why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy



Starring Tim Roth, Michael Rooker, and Chris Penn
Written and Directed by Jonas and Josh Pate
Website: www.mgmua.com/deceiver/

IN SHORT:  Smokin'

If you've read Cranky for a while, you know that one of the things he really enjoys is a movie written with a lot of different levels. Especially when those levels fit together well. Cranky would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Josh and Jonas Pate pitched their story of a murder suspect who gets an interrogating detective to put on polygraph harness.

Yeah, right. Let's leave reality at the door for a few moments, shall we?

The film up on the screen is called Deceiver which features a nail you to the wall performance by Tim Roth as the accused. Michael Rooker and Chris Penn are the detectives who administer the lie detector test not once or twice, but day after day for four or five days. There's a lot of really good stuff here folks, not only the kind that film students drink cappucino and smoke cigarettes over. Real meat and potatoes movie making. The kind that looks good and settles real nice. There's a bit or two of film student excess but overall it's a real satisfying meal.

John Walter Wayland (Roth) is the heir to an incredible fortune - - mom and dad are still alive, don't get ahead of me -- and doesn't have a care in the world to do anything that could be considered productive. He doesn't work. He gambles. He hangs with prostitutes. He gets ripped on absinthe, a greenish liquor which is apparently nastier than anything Cranky's gotten ripped on in lots of years of getting ripped. Don't ask. Problem is, Wayland suffers from temporal lobe epilepsy and his liquid jones aggravates the problem. When his body goes into seizure, one touch kicks up a beastly spate of the ol' ultraviolence. Simply put, Wayland is a nasty piece of work.

Trying to take him down is Detective Kennesaw (Rooker) a 20 year veteran, full of confidence on the job, and lacking the same in his marital bed. His partner, Braxton (Penn) is an ex-security guard with a tenth of the experience and a nasty gambling habit which has him twenty grand in the hole to an evil woman called Mook (Ellen Burstyn). Mook is connected, one way or another, to almost all the characters who move across screen in a Fu Manchu kind of way. If the connection is not direct, it's not more than a shared connection away and it sets up the big payoff at the end of the flick.

Which brings us back to the murder. A local prostitute (Renee Zellweger) is chopped in two. The pieces of her body are found miles apart. The only clue is Wayland's phone number, found in her pocket and a documented relationship between the two, documented in flashbacks of their parting through the absinthe high.

That's more than enough story to work with. What works superbly is Tim Roth's arrogant and manipulative performance. His Wayland knows his epilepsy drugs will keep him calm enough to beat the machine, but he wants to beat the system 'cuz he's rich and that's what the rich do. Then again, he may be innocent. The Pate brothers have written a great script but as directors they don't support their actors. Michael Rooker gets angry and sweats profusely and that's all that's expected. Chris Penn looks like the overweight blue collar cop that he is. Penn he gets more to work with as the cop stuck in the middle of a battle of wills.

Roth, I'll say it again, is superb.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Deceiver, he would have paid . . .


Rene Zellweger and Rosanna Arquette as the blondes at the center of the maelstrom set you up real good. Ellyn Burstyn as the Svengali at the center is even better. That's all I'll say.

See it.

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.