Precocious teen malcontent Howie (Paul Franklin Dano) lives in the wealthy burbs of Long Island, N.Y., right near the Expressway (hence the Signifying Title), where, apparently, nobody has seen American Beauty. And so it's only natural that, amid assorted family troubles, Howie is drawn to a charming sixtysomething ex-'Nam special-ops pedophile named Big John (Brian Cox, who honed his sick-fuck chops as the original Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter). The pot boils when Howie's dad (Bruce Altman) gets popped for embezzlement, his teen hooker bud Gary (Billy Kay) moves to Los Angeles, and Big John offers him life lessons by showing him kiddie porn. Glossy, facile, and stupid where it could have simply been nauseating and despicable, L.I.E. boasts good performances by all, while director/co-writer Michael Cuesta limns his first feature with all the depth, socio-sexual insight, and edginess of a Hyundai commercial written by Insane Clown Posse.