L.I.E. (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

L.I.E. (2001)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: L.I.E. is a well-acted and unsettling look at a boy's relationship with a pedophile.

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Movie Info

A teenaged boy in desperate need of a father figure finds one in a place no one should ever have to look in this controversial drama. Howie (Paul Franklin Dano) is a 15-year-old who has been emotionally at sea ever since the death of his mother in an auto accident several years before. Howie's father Marty (Bruce Altman) is also having trouble dealing with the loss, and distracts himself with empty sex while avoiding authorities attempting to prosecute him for using unsafe materials in his building contracting business. Howie falls in with a group of homeless delinquents his own age, becoming especially close to streetwise Gary (Billy Kay). In time, Howie begins to wonder if his feelings for Gary go past ordinary friendship, but the issue of his sexuality is forced into a very different light after Gary persuades Howie to join him in robbing the home of middle-aged former Marine Big John Harrigan (Brian Cox). It doesn't take long for Big John to track down the culprits after Howie and Gary steal several guns from his house, but Howie learns that Big John and Gary have met before -- Gary sometimes works as a male prostitute, and Big John, whose tastes run to boys in their early teens, is a regular customer. When Gary runs away to California, Big John proposes that Howie work off their debt by having sex with him; while Howie is hardly comfortable with this arrangement, he has nowhere else to go after his father ends up in jail, and he finds an unexpected degree of emotional support in his relationship with the curiously compassionate pedophile, who comes to understand just how badly Howie needs help. L.I.E. (the title stands for "Long Island Expressway") premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
Rating:
NC17 (for some explicit sexual content)
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Brian Cox
as Big John Harrigan
Paul Dano
as Howie Blitzer
Billy Kay
as Gary Terrio
Bruce Altman
as Marty Blitzer
James Costa
as Kevin Cole
Marcia DeBonis
as Guidance Counselor
Adam LeFevre
as Marty's Lawyer
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Critic Reviews for L.I.E.

All Critics (82) | Top Critics (25)

Cuesta never gives us the satisfaction of fulfilling our expectations; instead he gives us a movie that we can ponder long the road takes its final turn.

Full Review… | March 29, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Recoiling from L.I.E. is a very human, and frankly a very responsible, reaction.

October 19, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A mature, insightful and extremely well-acted study.

October 19, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Difficult and flawed feature debut.

October 9, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Gripping, troubling, and deftly acted.

October 9, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

One of the most provocative independent films of the year.

Full Review… | October 9, 2001
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L.I.E.

This is a fairly well acted film with part of the story being of a disturbing nature. The power of suggestion is everything in this film and heightens the controversial subject in hand, whilst giving Brian Cox a controversial role to tackle. The general storyline does hold your attention, but the highs and lows of the film and few and far between, leaving it on a very monotone level.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

½

Good, but be ready for some biting qualities.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

½

Amazing. The film covered so much ground and officially went where no coming-of-age story has ever dared to go. Paul Dano was dead on, one of the most believable confused teens i've seen on camera. Brian Cox was almost too good and I'm sure it was an incredibly hard role to play. The look and direction of it was really good. It was a perfectly depressing backdrop. I guess if you can't handle the subject matter it would be rough, but I really liked that aspect of it. It wasn't afraid to bring up any subject.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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