Media

Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX

"Lie To Me Season One" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-november-2009-lie-to-me

Synopsis

In this unique new crime drama, Tim Roth stars as Dr. Cal Lightman, an expert in “deception detection.” He and his team investigate crimes by carefully interviewing suspects and others looking for signs of lying and other emotions which help lead them to the truth. His team consists of a psychologist (Williams), a computer geek (Hines) and a human lie detector (Raymund) who has a natural ability to detect human emotion from the tiniest of expressions in a subject’s face or body. The plot of each episode takes some unexpected twists and turns as Lightman and his assistants home in on the facts and solve some pretty interesting cases.

 

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 2009, Color, Not Rated, 9 Hrs 32 min (13 episodes)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 21Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines, Monica Raymund
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This mid-season show is a unique and fast-paced crime drama that is inspired by actual science. Dr. Lightman who is played expertly by Tim Roth has engaged in years of training and research to turn himself into a human lie detector. He quickly finds that his skills also tell him things about his friends and loved ones that he doesn’t necessarily want to know. Early on, he recruits a new team member in Ria Torres (Raymund). Though untrained in deception detection, she is a naturally gifted reader of emotions, instantly able to tell when people are lying, afraid, or angry. She tends to keep friends at arms length because of her gift and this makes her character somewhat comical as she tries to adapt to various social situations. Eli Loker (Hines) is the team’s techno-geek. His defense mechanism is to always tell the truth whether it’s welcome or not. He is the show’s comic relief as he comes out with some truly funny one-liners. Psychologist Dr. Gillian Foster is nearly as skilled at detection as Dr. Lightman but with a less cynical view of life. She is the glue that binds the whole team together.

The different plot lines are very well thought out, fast-paced and quite original. Each episode covers two different cases. The show is not serialized. The writing is excellent and anyone who is a fan of crime thrillers and twisty-turning plots will appreciate Lie To Me. I remember seeing ads for the show during the last season of 24 so I had been curious to see it. This review opportunity turned into a new show for my wife and I to enjoy.

Technical

Video quality was not the best I’ve seen from TV-based Blu-ray. The image is a bit noisy and contrast levels are sometimes overblown with crushed detail. The image is fairly sharp though with a nicely saturated and natural color palette. Dark scenes are few but shadow detail holds up reasonably well.

The audio is pretty typical of TV with a flatter dynamic range and little use of surrounds or subwoofer compared to most movies. The music is decent and appropriate to the subject matter. Dialog is of average clarity sounding slightly compressed and occasionally sibilant. Tim Roth’s lines sometimes sound muddy as his British accent becomes more prevalent or he speaks more quickly. Voices also sound a bit chesty at times.

Extras

Bonus features are pretty thin with only a single featurette entitled “The Truth About Lies” and a few deleted scenes.