ESP’s movie critic Gavin Miller is getting his film fix at home and brings you his reviews on what’s showing on the small screen instead…
With cinemas closed and only a couple of major big-budget ‘original’ releases on Netflix and Amazon Prime per month – there’s going to be a spell where there are ‘slim pickings’.
Dangerous Lies is one of those films – as the new movie release on Netflix this week.
Using the term ‘decent-enough’ is probably about the boldest praise it can receive – as this TV-esque B-movie isn’t anywhere near in the league of last week’s glossier Extraction.
Which is reflected in the lack of an A-list star. It showcases Camila Mendes (from TV series Riverdale) and Jessie T Usher (who starred as Will Smith’s son in flop sequel Independence Day: Resurgence), and drags out Oscar-nominee Elliott Gould (best known for starring in the Ocean’s Trilogy and as Ross and Monica’s Dad in Friends), as this proves to be nothing more than a passable thriller.
When a wealthy 88-year-old reclusive elderly man with no family – Gould’s Leonard Wellesley – passes away, he leaves his house and everything he owns to his carer Katie (Mendes), which is an unexpected windfall for her (who has only held the job for four months) and husband Adam (Usher), who are struggling to pay the bills waiting to get well-paid jobs for their years of college debt. They even find $100,000 in liquid cash in an attic trunk which they soon stash in a bank safety deposit box.
But this leads to a web of deception and murder – Adam after years of poverty lets the money go ‘to his head’, shady real estate agent Hayden (Twilight star Cam Gigandet) aggressively stalks them, Jamie Chung’s (Big Hero 6) lawyer appears mysteriously from nowhere to offer support, and a dead body with stashed diamonds is discovered – and arouses the suspicion of Detective Chesler (Sasha Alexander from TV series Rizzoli & Isles), who thinks there could be foul play at hand from many sides.
This leads to the generally good girl Katie struggling to trust anyone (including her husband) as one unfortunate event happens after another that leads to a serviceable – but highly predictable – confrontational finale befitting a film off this ilk.
Which basically means that anyone with half a brain could telegraph the majority of the ‘twists’ way beforehand.
But again, with new movies in short supply, this is fairly safe viewing – and in truth is just about watchable for a quick lockdown fix.
ESP Rating: 2.5/5
Cast: Camila Mendes, Jessie T Usher, Elliott Gould, Cam Gigandet, Jamie Chung, Sasha Alexander & Michael P Northey
Running Time: 1 Hr 36 Mins
Director: Michael M Scott