The Liability
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2013
Used to be you could discover a movie for yourself. Roll home late, switch on the TV, next thing you know you're glued to the sofa long past bedtime. Or maybe you were hypnotized by the second movie in the double bill at a long-dead indie rep. Left the theatre banging on about it to all your friends. Not any more. Thanks Internet.

So when a movie comes along that looks like one thing, turns out to be something else, and draws you in so completely you feel you're in the middle of an actual discovery all of your own, enjoy it. All that earnest amateur analysis you skimmed online beforehand, the radioactive comparisons with other flicks, the petulant certainties about genre shortcomings, pay none of it any heed. Instead, hand yourself over to the people with the actual talent. Go where the writer and the film makers take you.

The Liability is a movie worth discovering for yourself. The poster of a geezer with a shooter gives a broad hint of what to expect and there is a full identity parade of crime flick archetypes: the middle-aged killer who wants to pack it in, the naïve kid who thinks he fancies the life, a properly evil crime boss, a put-upon moll, even an exotic beauty with razor blade cheek bones. But these characters exist only to service a weird and sinewy plot in an unhinged, off-kilter reality in a parallel England of no policemen, deep dark woods and American diners. Nothing proceeds as it should.

Tim Roth, distantly echoing his young gun in Stephen Frears's 1985 movie The Hit, thoroughly enjoys himself as the professional holding it together with mystified cool as chaos randomly explodes around him. Jack O'Connell was born to play the eager-to-please would-be gangster who not only has to be smarter than he looks, actually might be. Tallulah Riley (who knew?), takes a very modern femme fatale and makes her all her own. Peter Mullen cranks his scary man act to new levels of terror, and as his broken down moll, Kiersten Wareing creates miracles with barely any screen time at all, revealing lifetimes of grief through the tiniest flicker of her densely mascara'd eyes.

Working from John Wrathall's sharp and hilarious script, director Craig Viveiros and DP James Friend have manufactured a series of iconic visual moments that endlessly defy what must have been a traditionally tiny British movie budget. This film is worth checking out if only to see how to make the most of one of those American-style OK Diners that dot the A roads around the UK.

A movie that keeps you guessing with a grin on your face even when you know it's leading you up a blind alley, The Liabilty is
dense with crime cinema lore but no less enjoyable if you've never seen a hit man movie in your life. It's a genuine British eccentric there to be discovered on its own terms.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Dark, funny British hitman thriller, takes you places you didn't expect to go, both plotwise and geographically (it's set in the Northeast of England). Tim Roth, Peter Mullan, Jack O'Connell (soon to be seen in 300 prequel) are all on cracking form. And Talulah Riley. Wow! What a revelation. She sure was wasted in St Trinian's!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
JUST SEE IT! But don't read the movies description because it gives the "surprise" away! After I saw this exciting film, I read the description and was so glad I didn't read it first before seeing the film! It would be like buying a "who done it book, which tells the reader who did it on the book jacket!"

Yet another excellent performance by Tim Roth. He even makes the other unknown actors look terrific with his understated, intense expressions that say so much more than any dialogue can. Bravo!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Peter (Peter Mullan) is a crime boss who deals in human trafficking. His step-son Adam (Jack O'Connell) is the "son he never wanted." Peter has Adam work for him to pay off a debt. He is to be a driver for Roy (Tim Roth) a quiet reserved hitman as opposed to the chatter-box Adam. As expected things don't go right, but then the film adds an additional twist to it.

The movie is a substandard grindhouse. The music, action, killing, and dialouge are a cut below. Roy steals a Grenada to perform their hit as the car is hot wired, yet has no trouble opening the trunk. Peter lives in a huge house, yet Adam's bed is right next to his mom's and Peter's bedroom. While this makes for film continuity, it is indicative of the missed details and missed opportunity this film had. May be worth a rental to British crime film fans.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, rape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2013
What caught my attention with The Liability was the fact that it stars Tim Roth, who is in my opinion one of the most underrated actors. I'm not as familiar with the rest of the primarily UK-based cast, aside from actress Kierston Wareing, of the incredible Fish Tank (2009). Upon reading the plot, I was intrigued about this film even more: a young man named Adam (Jack O'Connell) joins aging hit man Roy (Roth) after Adam wrecks his stepfather's car and is forced to repay him by running errands. Adam is enthralled by Roy's profession, while Roy on the other hand is less expressive about his feelings or anything else for that matter at the start. The trip the two take winds up affecting them in more ways than they knew. The performances by the two leads is excellent, as is their chemistry. The cinematography was reminiscent of Drive at moments, with nice choice of music mixed with stylish imagery. This is the type of hit man flick that I enjoy - it's not so much heavy on the violence and action, but focuses more on the characters, their inner conflicts and circles around an interesting story that is fairly original for the genre. One thing I couldn't help but was that the film ended a bit abrupt with a few things that didn't quite add up. With a story like the one it had, I felt like it could have carried on more and I would have loved to see more. To top that off, Kierston Wareing is unjustly underused here. Those things aside, it's refreshing to see a hit man movie, or even a crime movie in general, doing something different.
Source: criticnic.com 30 April 2013
Disclosure: Film sent by Lionsgate
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
One of the better low-budget crime thrillers. As long as your expectations are not set too high, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how entertaining this film is. Starring Tim Roth, a great character actor, and some other actors I never heard of or saw before, but all the actors do a great job. Peter Mullan and Jack O'Connell and Talulah Riley are all actors I hope to see much more of. The plot has some twists and turns that make for an interesting film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2013
Intense movie, loved it, great twists and turns.Tim Roth is awesome. I really recommend this movie, it's a notch above the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
For the most part this was an exciting thriller. There were a few spots that dragged a little, but overall it was a pretty good movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
When the Brits get their act together, a really decent movie results. This is such a film. Sex and violence here so not for young ones.
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on January 8, 2015
Disappointing. The first thing you need to know is that the plot is extremely obvious in the first 10 minutes. There are zero twist or surprises in this film. This is one of those movies where everyone knows what is about to happen except the person it is about to happen too. This is a British film and usually I don't have a problem with that but this is British hill country. Which means that there are very few people in this film. The acting was split, two of the primary characters did good and the other three were different levels bad. There is no scenery to enjoy and his is definitely not a family film mainly due to gory violent scenes and language. Tim Roth attempted the impossible but then accepted that he could save this film. If you like inept hit man films that are not comedies or spoofs and it comes on television for free then give it a try. Unfortunately this is another dvd that we will never play again.
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