Sunday, March 19, 2017


Movie Name: L.I.E.
Year of Release: 2001
Director: Michael Cuesta
Stars: Brian Cox, Paul Dano, Billy Kay, Bruce Altman, Tony Michael Donnelly, Walter Masterson, Adam LeFevre, James Costa
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

"L.I.E." (standing for Long Island Expressway) was director Michael Cuesta's debut feature, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival of 2001, and earning accolades in several festivals and awards guilds. The film follows the story of Howie Blitzer, a teenage boy, whose mom has passed away recently, and whose father is currently in the throes of dealing with some shady businesses and dating new people. Howie is pretty much left to his own devices, and spends time with the charismatic Gary, who flirts with him, and who has the habit of robbing houses in the neighborhood. One of their victims turns out to be Big John, one of Gary's clients. Big John develops a friendly relationship with Howie, something that is further enhanced when his father is arrested for dangerous practices in his business. "L.I.E." is a fantastic film and was a great debut for Michael Cuesta, who has gone on to direct a mix of feature films (more recently "Kill the Messenger") and high profile TV shows (such as Showtime's "Dexter" and "Homeland"). His first feature tackles difficult issues, with the central character coming to terms with who he is sexually, and also by making the dubious Big John his father figure. It's a film that deals with the alienation of families, lack of communication, and also how the process of finding one self isn't always a linear one. The film features two great central performances, one from the always underrated and terrific Brian Cox, and from Paul Dano, then just starting his career, who impresses beyond his young age. A very good film from a very interesting director.