This unexpected touching movie traces a male youth who struggles with fitting in after losing his mother on the L.I.E., having a friendship with a young male hustler who eventually leaves for California, feeling lost and alone after he thinks his father abandons him (but is really arrested by the FBI), and in a troubling and ironic twist, being watched over by a child sexual predator who does not take advantage of the lost youth's situation. Not your normal fare for a movie, but the acting is outstanding and by the end of the story, one is emotionally connected to the youth and hoping he would find his way.
Superb and impressive performances by all, especially Brian Cox, who is entirely credible as the smarmy predator and depraved father figure to young boys. Kudos to the director who guided the entire cast, and, notably, the teenagers, to natural and visually interesting performances. The camera loves everyone, as we are led appropriately and easily to feelings of empathy, disdain, or disgust for the various characters. The script is extremely well written; the camera work, truly striking. The ending left me with a hole in the pit of my stomach and some satisfaction, as well. An amazing first feature from the director, Michael Cuesta, "L.I.E." has a European feel to it, in that we are allowed an in-depth examination of the characters' psyches, a factor even more important than the (wonderful) drama. The subtle and slightly eerie score enhances the tone. All in all, a marvelous film and great fare for thought and discussion.
This movie really shows one of the more realistic depictions of teens, predators, families of today in trouble and the soul of our country is held in the eyes of this young boy and a monster is our only hope for this boy. The boy is being tested and he could fall either way as he questions his Mom's death, his Dad's abscense, his new young MALE friend he has a crush on and doesn't quite understand his feelings for, and a man he knows "likes little boys". Will he make it, will the predator give in to his inner demon he fights just for this boy, will there be a happy ending or a REAL ending?