The Imposter 

Honey, I found the kid.


The Imposter tells the true story of a San Antonio, Texas family whose thirteen-year-old son, Nicholas Barclay, disappeared in 1994, then suddenly and puzzlingly turned up in police custody, three years and four months later, in Linares, Spain.

The young man in custody bears almost no physical resemblance to Nicholas. His eyes are a different color, he appears older than sixteen, and he unaccountably speaks English with a French accent. And yet when his sister, Carey Gibson — played in this combination documentary-docudrama by actress Anna Ruben — flies to Spain and interviews him, she IDs him as her long-lost brother. With the blessing of the US State Department and its missing-children unit, "Nicholas" is allowed to fly home and rejoin his distraught family, who welcome him with open arms. But doubts linger. Bart Layton's fascinating film is the story of what happens next.

London-based filmmaker Layton, a television documentarian, uses familiar Errol Morris-style techniques to wrap us in the mystery of Nicholas Barclay. Even though Nicholas' grandmother, the wonderfully named Beverly Dollarhide, and the private investigator who devotes himself to cracking the case, Charlie Parker, appear as themselves, other key figures, including "Nicholas" himself, are portrayed by actors, and events are restaged. That gives the proceedings a definite detective story flavor, a flavor bolstered by the general untrustworthiness of the missing boy's family, a collection of lower-middle-class characters who seem to deliberately overlook all evidence in their haste to proclaim "Nicholas" their missing child.

We won't spoil the denouement, but it's going to be difficult for audiences to be surprised — reviewers have routinely tipped the ending of this made-for-TV film. The thrust of the piece is that in the heat of discovery in criminal cases, myriad motives previously hidden may surface inexplicably. Witnesses are not always reliable. Truth depends on the telling of the tale. Human beings will believe what they want to believe regardless of the evidence. People may not be who they say they are. Life goes on regardless. Want to test any of these propositions? Catch The Imposter quickly, before it vanishes from local screens.

The Imposter
Rated R · 95 minutes · 2012
Director: Bart Layton


Now Playing

The Imposter is not showing in any theaters in the area.

What others are saying

  • Film Details


    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

    Latest in Movie Review

    • Black Cinema

      Fifteen Black-themed films you should've already seen.
      • Jun 10, 2020
    • A Star is Bored

      Coming soon to a screen near you: your own Covid-19-themed horror feature
      • May 27, 2020
    • Crossing the Streams

      From the new releases everyone's talking about to the cult classics they should be, here are five things to stream and skip this week.
      • Apr 22, 2020
    • More »

    Author Archives

    • Black Cinema

      Fifteen Black-themed films you should've already seen.
      • Jun 10, 2020
    • Drive, He Said

      Ken Loach takes pity on an independent contractor delivery driver in Sorry We Missed You.
      • Mar 13, 2020
    • More»

    Most Popular Stories

    • Blockbusted

      Theaters still uncertain when they can go back to the movies
    • Black Cinema

      Fifteen Black-themed films you should've already seen.

    Special Reports

    The Beer Issue 2020

    The Decade in Review

    The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

    Best of the East Bay


    © 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
    Powered by Foundation