Liver metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC) have a poor prognosis. Despite recent advances in the management of advanced disease with chemotherapy, liver resection remains the only hope for cure for patients with colorectal liver metastases. Approximately 15% of patients with stage IV CRC referred to specialist centers have metastatic liver disease deemed to be resectable at presentation. Over the last five years, combination chemotherapeutic regimens, namely 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid with irinotecan or oxaliplatin and, more recently, integrating targeted monoclonal antibodies, have been shown to downsize the tumour burden to an extent that sometimes allows initially unresectable metastases to be excised. Five-year survival rates following liver resection range between 25% and 55% compared with 0% and 5% for non-operated patients. Beyond liver resection, the rationale for “pseudo-adjuvant” chemotherapy lacks scientific evidence, despite some promising data. However, perioperative chemotherapy for resectable lesions is gaining ground in current practice. In this article we review the state of the art treatment for CRC liver metastases and, considering the results of recent trials, try to determine the appropriate role of chemotherapy.