The Liability – Review

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When teenager Adam (Jack O’Connell) smashes up the BMW of his ruthless gangster step-father Peter (Peter Mullan), he has to start paying off his debt with a day’s work – as a driver.

He meets the mysterious Roy (Tim Roth) at a remote petrol station and drives him off on his first job – a hit on an eastern European criminal, hiding in a caravan in the woods.

As the pair are disposing of the body, Adam receives a baptism of fire, as a teenaged hiker (Tallulah Riley) stumbles by. She’s seen them. Can they afford to let her live?

To make the job even more complicated, it turns out that her arrival was less of an accidental coincidence than they thought.


Cameraman-turned-director Craig Viveiros teams up two of Britain’s leading character actors, Tim Roth and Peter Mullan, neither a stranger to crime movies, with relative newcomer Jack O’Connell.

It looks and feels a like a low-budget British crime thriller, given added credibility by its older cast members.

It’s not entirely convincing the way the story begins to unfurl, but once Roth and O’Connell set off on their mission, several strands of the story start to come together neatly.

Some of the plot points don’t feel particularly believable, too many of the characters and extras are little more than stereotypes, the locations are cliched and a twist, midway through, sends the film in a slightly unlikely direction which becomes tough to accept, but if you go with its obvious flaws, it’ll be an entertaining ride, down to seeing Roth recall his Pulp Fiction hold-up-in-a-diner routine.

If not, The Liability will feel a little contrived, admirable mostly for Roth and Mullan’s willingness to help out a new British film-maker who has shown the potential that a little more time and money might afford him.