Hey gang, Valkor here. The next film to cross my desk for review, Dirty Lies, reminds me so much of “Pressed”; in both films, the main characters are in the mess they’re in because they did something they know they shouldn’t have. However, the films differ in how they end, which it would seem “Dirty Lies” does a much better job. And that’s why I enjoyed it so much and I think you guys will too. Read on to find out more, but also be aware that there are some minor spoilers ahead.
“Dirty Lies” puts the focus on a film intern named Josh (Mark L. Young), who is given the task of buying a necklace for his boss wife’s birthday, with the explicit instruction that it's not to be picked up until the day of her party. However, Josh feels that it would be easier if he brings the necklace home and then to the party, saving him the trouble of having to get it later. So, against his boss’s wishes, he goes and gets the necklace, brings it home and hides it under his bed, but not before letting his roommates know that he’s carrying a very expensive piece of jewelry. Residing with him, there’s singer/songwriter Stacey (Scout Taylor-Compton – 247°), next is her husband Viggs (Beau Knapp), and finally there’s Vigg’s piece on the side (unbeknownst to Stacey), Tiffany (AJ Michalka). It’s Stacey that owns the place and she has just received word that her home may be under foreclosure. And even though there are four people living under her roof, none of them are making any serious money to keep up with the bills; Viggs is a struggling artist and Tiffany just scored her first real paying gig, so she hasn’t been bringing in much, if anything. And Josh has been borrowing money from his mom, so you know he’s in the hole. But to celebrate her new acting gig, Tiffany wants to throw a party; and though Stacey is hesitant at first, she eventually comes around and agrees to the event.
On the night of the party, two thieves – Amber (Tania Raymonde – Wild Cherry) and her brother Del (Jesse Meledes) are searching the home, which we can assume they’re looking for the necklace. However, they can’t seem to find it. Viggs, while looking for his dog, stumbles across it under Josh’s bed and decides to take it for himself. Del and Amber frustrated that they can’t find the necklace, and after all the partygoers have left, decide to hold Josh, Viggs, Tiffany and Stacey at gunpoint to get them to reveal where the necklace is hidden. At first, the group doesn't divulge much, but eventually, the location of the necklace is revealed. So Del takes Josh and Viggs upstairs to get it, a struggle ensues and Del takes a bullet to the neck, putting him out of commission. When Amber comes up to see what happened, another struggle ensues and she's knocked out, while Josh takes a bullet to the head. And what follows begins a twisted spiral of treachery and lies of who informed the thieves about the necklace and why. Plus what do they do with them afterward? And what is the final outcome of the necklace? For that, you’ll have to pick up “Dirty Lies” to find out this and more.
“Dirty Lies” features a couple of cool cameos that really liven things up; first, there’s Keith David (Don McKay), who plays a guy named “Doc”. And then there’s Bryan Callen (The Hangover 2), who play’s Josh’s douchebag of a boss “Brian Campbell”. However, it’s Tania Raymonde who caught my eye, and I’ll never get over that carrot scene from “Wild Cherry”. I still wish her dad had bit into it tho… ah well. Let’s move on to the TOV Breakdown!
“Dirty Lies” is a crazy and suspenseful crime drama that has some predictability to it, but for the most part it’ll leave you guessing as it tosses many twists your way; the main plot is pretty simple, but it grows a little more complex just after it hits the part where Josh is shot (this a minor spoiler, trust me). However, it’s not too complex that it’s hard to follow. And by film’s end, I will admit, I was wowed! Josh’s tale isn’t uncommon - again I’ve seen similar situations before in “Pressed”, as well as other films. However, I’m glad that the experience worked itself out better than the aforementioned film. I wasn’t a fan mid-film, but thankfully the pacing is brisk enough that it makes this 80plus minute pill easy to swallow. “Dirty Lies” also features an amazing cast and I think everyone did a wonderful job, including the cameos. Also, I’d like to see another film featuring Keith David’s Doc character; he looks like he’s got a lot going on, but he gets the job done. Dirty Lies 2, perhaps? Regardless, "Dirty Lies" was the right amount of suspense and drama that’s certainly worth checking out.
I mentioned above, that midway thru, I wasn’t really pleased with the film; and that’s mainly because there was a lot of tying and untying that didn’t seem to be going anywhere. For instance, Amber gets tied up quite a few times with no real direction. Like, why not leave her tied up, for the most part? Then there’s the scene with the cops, which is just me nitpicking, but we could have done without it.
“Dirty Lies” is available now on the digital front such as Amazon Instant and Google Play; and honestly, if you’re looking for an entertaining and smart drama that’ll leave you guessing until the very end, then this is definitely one to check out. I highly recommend it. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving “Dirty Lies” a 4.