Body of Lies
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  • Russell & Ridley are involved? I'm there!
    I didn't think of this movie as a political statement or a current news program, just as a good story with great actors. If I want to watch the news I will tune into CNN.

    For me it is all about the story, photography and acting. BOL has it all. Ridley's ability to transport us to the location, Russell's ability to say so much without words, and Leo has been a pleasure to see develop into one of the best actor's of our time.

    I give this movie the highest rating Amazon allows. It moved quickly enough to never be a bore and slowed down from time to time to allow the story to be apparent.

    ...more info
  • Body of Lies (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]
    Although the acting is great and the story compelling, I felt I had seen this movie once or twice before more or less. Oh that's right, I saw Traitor (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray], Syriana [Blu-ray], Spy Game [Blu-ray], and maybe a a couple others with parts of this movie in them. To be honest I'm getting tired of this story. If it wasn't for the great production values and acting I probably would have given it two stars because this plotline is getting old. If you liked this check out the other movies I mentioned above.

    CA Luster...more info
  • The War on Terror Drones On and On
    What's disappointing about Ridely Scott's "Body of Lies" is that I felt nothing for it. It tells a story that should be engaging, but somehow, I wasn't engaged--I felt detached and apathetic, as if I had been watching an instructional video instead of a spy thriller. This is in no way a statement against Scott, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Russell Crowe, who have been, are now, and most likely always will be very talented people; I suspect the problems with this movie have more to do with the story, which has all the elements but just can't seem to go beyond what we've come to expect. Based on the novel by "Washington Post" columnist David Ignatius, "Body of Lies" is derivative and lethargic, taking far too long to make a point that's already been made numerous times. I kept waiting for something to pique my interest, something that would compel me to invest in both the story and the characters. Sadly, I was left dangling.

    It also wasn't fun to see DiCaprio's character--a CIA operative named Roger Ferris--endure so much physical abuse. Attack dogs bite his legs, requiring a painful series of rabies injections. His transport vehicle is destroyed by a missile, which not only scars his face, but also leaves bone shards embedded in his arm. He even becomes familiar with the working end of a hammer during an uncomfortable torture scene, and I won't describe that any further. By the end of the film, Ferris looks more like a botched medical experiment than an operative for the United States. His mission seemed straightforward enough: Enter Iraq and track down a terrorist named Al Salim. Of course, missions like this are never straightforward. Too much is at stake for that to be possible, especially since unknown terrorists are responsible for bombings in Manchester, England and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Capturing Al Salim would hopefully strike a serious blow to Middle Eastern extremists.

    After recovering from an attack, Ferris travels to the country of Jordan to share intelligence with Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), the head of the General Intelligence Department (GID). Hani makes it clear that he will help Ferris on the condition that no lies are told. Does that seem a little obvious to you? Why would someone in his position have to demand the truth? Isn't the truth something we all want from the people we interact with?

    As all this is being established, we discover that Ferris' supervisor, Ed Hoffman (Crowe), is constantly keeping track of him with the help of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. What a strange character; he always has an earpiece on, and he interacts with his family while simultaneously communicating with Ferris. His soft voice masks a stubborn, manipulative personality, which I guess stems from his intolerance of terrorism. Unlike Ferris, he feels that negotiating will solve absolutely nothing, and he gets his point across by continuously going behind Ferris' back. Example: After ordering Ferris to inspect a Jordanian safehouse run by Al Salim, Hoffman orders a Middle Eastern operative to meet a terrorist residing there. Ferris was never told about this, which only makes things worse when the operative blows his cover. I'm really not sure how we're supposed to feel about Hoffman; it's good he knows that terrorists are rejecting technology and are therefore becoming harder to track down, but it's also unnerving that he would willingly subject Ferris to such people. A better performance from Crowe would have helped. His delivery is so lax, it was surprising DiCaprio didn't fall asleep listening to him.

    While in Jordan, Ferris meets a nurse named Aisha (Golshifteh Farahani), who he gradually falls in love with. While there was nothing particularly wrong with the subplot in and of itself, I'm hard pressed to say that it was necessary for the film as a whole. It felt tacked on, superfluous, and unimportant, although I'm sure the intention was for something more significant. Maybe this isn't the kind of story that needs a romance, least of all an interracial romance. Obviously, I can't say that removing it altogether would affect the story one way or another. However, I have the feeling that more significant ideas were better suited for "Body of Lies," ideas that would have allowed it to be more meaningful.

    Unfortunately, all we're left with is routine material. You experience neither highs nor lows watching this movie--there's nothing but a quiet sense of indifference. I wasn't excited or moved by any of it, not even when Ferris and Hoffman stage a terror attack in an attempt to lure Al Salim out of hiding. The film crawls its way from point A to point B, and by the time its message is delivered, we're too bored to take any interest. It doesn't help that the message has been given before, even in the most recent films about Middle Eastern terrorism. "Body of Lies" is one of Ridley Scott's weakest films, failing to engage the audience as a suspenseful spy thriller. This isn't to say that its heart wasn't in the right place. I could tell that an effort was being made, and I was pleased to see that Leonardo DiCaprio turned out yet another fine performance. It's too bad that even he couldn't make me care about what was going on; you'd think that a believable character would be able to stir up something rather than instilling a complete lack of concern. This also applies to Ridley Scott, one of today's most talented directors....more info
  • great movie
    body of lies is a intrieging movie that shows how life is around the world with the terrorism. And how the U.S tries to catch the terrorist. Leonardo plays a good role as an honest man but having to do the dirty work. This movie looks and sounds great on blueray....more info
  • Fantastic
    I myself was skeptical about a middle eastern topic movie and I waited for the video to be released. When I saw it I really enjoyed it. Some say leo is not a good actor but he wouldn't be paid the big bucks if most people believed that, Leo D. is a very capable actor and plays this part very well and Russell Crowe adds to the film as well. They work well together and the movie was thrilling to the end. I would recommend this movie to anyone, especially those who might not give a movie in this genre a try.
    It has the drama, technology, action and thrilling story to keep you guessing the whole time. 5 stars!...more info
  • Spy on terrorist on spy
    The worst thing that cam happen, happens: his cover is blown and the bad guys are shotting rockets at his jeep!
    So when his face has healed up some, he takes on the data he
    got as a CIA head of station.
    The previous head of station seems to have been much less brave?
    Getting to people who are only dealing with people they have known all their lives is very hard.
    Communication has gone to word of mouth and face to face,
    but they are still killing.
    Will this lead pan out for Roger Ferris?
    The acting is good, the directing is good, just the subject
    is not much fun?...more info
  • Can Ridley Scott make a bad movie?
    I found Body of Lies to be in the middle of the pack of all the great Ridley Scott films, but that's not to say it isn't very good, it really is. This is not a movie your going to want to watch more than once or twice, but it's never boring and features some impressive acting performances. Leonardo DiCaprio just gets better and better with age. He was great in The Departed and Blood Diamond, so it's no surprise he turns in yet another layered acting showcase. Russell Crowe dives stomach first into his supporting role with 50 plus pounds of weight gain for the part. You'll love to hate this guy. Mark Strong really caught me off guard. His acting easily measured up to the two headliners.

    The story jumps all around the world and various countries, but it is never hard to follow. The action scenes are few and far between, but they are realistic and well done.

    Body of Lies is a smart film that features very good acting and some important issues. If your in the mood to be entertained and think a little at the same time, check it out in theaters. It really is an impressive looking film....more info
  • Intense Political Thriller Takes More Cues from Hollywood than the Current Middle East Crisis
    The craftsmanship behind director Ridley Scott's 2008 convulsive political thriller is impressive, but having acts of terrorism drive an intentionally labyrinth plot reveals how they impede the story structurally, an insurmountable barrier that screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) can't seem to overcome. The movie's first half is all the more bewildering for all the double-crosses and cover-ups that serve to set up the central situation. Based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius' popular 2007 novel, the movie focuses on embedded CIA operative Roger Ferris who is on an undercover assignment to hunt an Al-Qaeda terrorist leader named Al-Saleem. Ferris is not entirely alone as he is connected via cell phone with his stateside boss Ed Hoffman, who is the head of the CIA's Near East division and directs Ferris toward life-threatening tasks in a most nonchalant manner from his upscale suburban home.

    The plot's impetus is driven by the elusive Al-Saleem's unblinking series of suicide bombings in Europe in response to the invasion by US and UK troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The movie gets more interesting when Ferris decides to work with Jordanian intelligence director Hani Salaam, an erudite, enigmatic figure who is well entrenched in the Middle East militia and appears to take a page from Mario Puzo's The Godfather when it comes to loyalty and betrayal. Of course, it's a matter of course that Ferris' loyalty is tested when an elaborate plan is hatched to create a bogus competing terrorist group and use an unwitting Dubai architect as the head. The other complicating factor is that Ferris has fallen for pretty Iranian nurse Aisha when he gets treated for possible rabies at a clinic. It becomes inevitable that she also becomes a pawn in the political intrigue. Scott paints his canvas with a lot of graphic violence from large-scale bombings to more intimate acts of torture.

    All of the external elements are fitting, but they can't seem to masquerade the convoluted and often clich¨¦-ridden plot at the film's core. A solid cast goes a long way to compensate for the plot holes. As Ferris, Leonardo DiCaprio applies his trademark wiry energy to an intensely compelling performance that could have shown a bit more variety. Adding fifty belly-stretching pounds to his frame, Russell Crowe, Scott's favorite leading man (Gladiator, American Gangster, A Good Year), plays the Arkansan Hoffman as a scene-stealing character part. The irony is that the Australian actor's Southern accent is more convincing than DiCaprio's. Their antagonistic interplay, played out mostly on the phone, is rather predictably developed. Fetching Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani provides gratefully calm relief to the ongoing mayhem as Aisha, although her character comes across as a mere plot device. There is a nicely fractious dinner table scene with Ferris and her judgmental older sister, although the movie plays down the more human-size hostilities in favor of the pyrotechnics.

    As Hani, Mark Strong (Sunshine, Stardust) leaves the most vivid impression of the cast but for the most old-fashioned of cinematic reasons - he plays what could be a villainous figure as a suave, mysterious man of honor who is completely on top of his job, an intentional counterpoint, at least physically, to Crowe's slovenly Hoffman. The film's resolution defies credibility, but it finally becomes clear that Monahan is not interested in exposing the factors that have driven the Middle East political maelstrom into acts of escalating terrorism. Rather, his screenplay shows that testosterone-driven Hollywood-style entertainment can take place anywhere....more info
  • A solid film, coupled with a great BD
    I noticed all of the reviews got clumped onto the BD, but at least the intricate story has been covered adequately by everyone here. A very detailed story based on Ignatius' book that came across beautifully on screen. The stand alone performance of Mark Strong (once again) makes this entire film re-watchable and makes it a recommendation on him alone.

    The most challenging part of this BD was how to set the display. There are so many brights and contrasts, intertwined with intense darks and solemn indoor sequences, that it leaves it open for how you wish to best see the saturation lines. The best result/test was watching the dark black helicopters attacking the convoy whilst it is speeding through the bright desert. That sequence by itself has made for a solid BD display in the store. The sound, picture and presentation all look worthwhile for BD ownership. No complaints.

    The special features are thorough and cover virtually all aspects of the production. Different options are afforded to you should you wish to watch them separatley or while watching the film. The additional/deleted scenes in 1080 are a mixed bag of what should have stayed or was rightfully cut. The alternate ending was much more enjoyable for character closure, and the BD live options have some fun material. Also an interesting option involving a "cross-graph" of snippets from Scott, Leo and Crowe about the story and characters that you can select. The Digital Copy disc is included as disc 2. ...more info
  • Good, evenfor dicaprio
    Despite my distaste for leo, this is pretty good. Its particularly effective at showing the abyss and tension between field operators and headquarters analysts. A few very good action scenes, good tension and believable acting (even for dicaprio). The BluRay version is pretty good; not quite reference material, but still very good. ...more info
  • An Ambiguous View
    This would have been a two star film except for the exceptional performances by Crowe and DiCaprio. There is no doubt that as DiCaprio ages and develops character in his face and experience in his craft his performances have gone from competent to outstanding. In spite of the torture, crashes, and explosions this movie actually had some slow spots and I found myself looking at my watch. Nevertheless it is entertaining and it makes some excellent points by pointing out the many issues and ambiguities in the middle east politics. I think few Americans have read the Koran or have any real knowledge of middle eastern history or politics but this film does touch on several very key points and shows both sides of some very complicated issues -- hence my review title of ambiguous. The terrorist bad guy quotes the Koran to justify his position relative to murder and terrorism but is rebutted by DiCaprio who also quotes from the Koran. But the Crowe character also points out that the devout Muslim is charged with killing all infidels and so concludes there are no innocents -- thus justifying the killing of the unwitting Muslim Pawn. The plight of the Palestinians is hinted at but not explored. Crowe plays a jaded, arrogant, and cynical CIA agent. This part is exaggerated I think to make the point that in general Americans are terribly ignorant of other cultures -- especially the Islamic culture. The film also points out the superior American technology is useful but cannot be substituted for truly understanding how the Islamic Culture operates. Of course there were some illogical parts to the film. We see Muslim women without head scarves and being seen in public with a man not related to them. Then we have DiCaprio prancing around the Middle East where he would stand out and would only lack the American Flag to identify him as an American. On a final note I must ask -- does Crowe ever take a bath or shave? He always looks like a hygenic disaster. Nevertheless this is an entertaining film and worth seeing...more info
  • The rot is in the house et the bomb under the bed
    This film is a pamphlet and as such is an essential film in our consciousness of reality the way it may be in this globalized world. It shows how the West cannot win the war in which we have engage ourselves without even thinking it over twice. The war that must be stopped at once, and at once is already too late, that war against Islam, even if we pretend at times it is only against the Arabs because we don't want to know better, this war is lost, and was lost even before starting it, because it is not a war against terror at all , but a war against those who don't want to be westernized because we have been dumb enough to pretend that the American way of life was the future of the world, once again without even thinking it over twice. But what can we do in that situation? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The war is in fact between those in the Moslem world who want to move with history and benefit from the alleviating technology of the modern world on one hand, and the others in the Moslem world who do not want that alleviating effect because for them suffering and physical exhaustion and corporal punishments are the norm and have to go on for ever because they are the law of god. They can accept modern technology but only if it enables them to fight the world that has produced it. In fact the conflict is a conflict we have known before them when we were divided between those who wanted to go on with the good old faith that was telling us every single detail we were supposed to respect, accept and suffer in our daily life in the name of our own god and in the patient expectation of the coming redemption of our liberation by death. That was the struggle we had to fight for education against those who wanted to keep us uneducated. And it is the fight we are still fighting in our modern countries against those who do not see the necessity of restructuring our economy, our political system, our daily life and want to keep everything the way it has always been, ... well at least the way it has been for fifty years or so, maybe even less. They would certainly not torture anyone, except that they do sabotage the railroads and everyone would like to make us believe that it is not dangerous for anyone. Ask the students who would like to study for their future and who are blocked out of their classrooms by minorities who are numerous enough (most of the time a couple of dozens) to block the lifts that go up in the buildings and that blockade makes the security services stop all possible circulation in the buildings and on campus if necessary in the name of the risks people would run if they let them go through the blocking picket lines. The film is thus an absolute denunciation of the war on terror as being lost even before being fought, and as a means to make our own best patriots and soldiers regress to the level of pure animals, birds of prey, carnivorous saber tigers straight out of the jungle or Siberia, in one word regress back to the time of the crusades. And finally this film reveals to anyone who wants to know about it how the present surveillance based on the satellites over our heads enables the people behind the screens that receive their images to see details that are so small that they could not have a better view if they were just ten yards away. That mess was not created by Bush, of course not. He was just dumb enough to fall into the trap and Cheney was dumb enough to believe he could win that war, and John McCain knows how to win a war, like the one in Vietnam, or the one in Somalia, or the one in Afghanistan, or the one in Iraq, or ... what would the next one be if these warmongers had the power to start a new one? And imagine the mess Barack Obama has to clean up, because now the eggs have been broken the omelet must be cooked. Good luck if we do not want the whole kitchen to explode knowing there are tons of flame sensitive explosive hovering just one foot over the gas-burner.

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
    ...more info
  • A Smart Spy Thriller That Is Utterly Current
    Munich, then Syriana, and now Body of Lies. All smart, smart, smart spy thrillers, and all current. David Ignatius is a columnist for the Washington Post on international affairs. On the side, he is one of the best writers of spy fiction writing currently: he is, on a par with Robert Littell and Charles McCarry and, at most, a half step behind John Le Carre. Lies unfolds in the modern Middle East, Iraq and then Jordan, with sidesteps to Turkey and Dubai. (In the first scene in Dubai, one of our favorite buildings in Dubai was in the background, the Hotel Dusit.) Di Caprio plays a young CIA field agent. Crowe is his aging fat-around-the-middle handler and superior back in Washington, a man who cannot stop double-dealing, even with his own agents. Their objective is to entrap the head of an effective and up till then subterranean terrorist agency. If they cut off the head of the movement, they hope, the body will die. The movie plays out in a cascade of episodes, many of them grisly and all effective. Shot alternately in closeup (handheld cameras) and long shot (the view from overhead spy planes), they show the viewer how difficult it is to operate in an alien terrain where the enemies don't play by the rules. (The terrorists don't use cell phones or email so there's nothing to track.) In desperation, Di Caprio sets up a sting operation: he creates a false backtrail that insinuates that there is a second jihadist group out there drawing attention away from the master terrorist that Di Caprio and Crowe seek to capture. Di Caprio's sting leads to the death of an innocent and to Di Caprio's capture and torture - it's rough stuff, all of it, but it has the smell of truth to it. The movie is effectively filmed and efficiently plotted; the acting is always adequate and often much more than that. Russell Crowe is excellent (what a good actor he is!), Di Caprio is adequate to good, and Mark Strong as Hami, the head of Jordanian counter-intelligence, is absolutely superb. Body is really good. ...more info
  • "Body Of Lies" is excellent!
    "Body Of Lies" is excellent! This is how the story goes: A CIA operative, Roger Ferris, uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan. When Ferris devises a plan to infiltrate his network, he must first win the backing of cunning CIA veteran Ed Hoffman and the collegial, but perhaps suspect, head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men without putting his entire operation--and his life--on the line.

    The cast led by Academy Award Nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (as Roger Ferris) & Academy Award Winner Russell Crowe (as Ed Hoffman) is excellent! This is the second time that DiCaprio and Crowe teamed up, the first being "The Quick And The Dead" (1995). The directing by Ridley Scott (who also produced with his production company, Scott Free, which produced said films in this sentence) (in his fourth go-round with Crowe, their fifth teaming will possibly be the upcoming "Nottingham" (2009), he also directed "American Gangster" (2007, also with Crowe and fellow Academy Award Winner Denzel Washington), "Gladiator" (2000, also with Crowe), "A Good Year" (2006, also with Crowe), "Hannibal" (2001), "Black Hawk Down" (2001), "Kingdom Of Heaven" (2005), & "G.I. Jane" (1997) is excellent! The screenplay (which is based on David Ignatius' novel) by William Monahan (who also wrote the screenplay to "Kingdom Of Heaven", "The Departed" (2006, for which he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and which also starred DiCaprio), & the upcoming "Edge Of Darkness" (2009, which stars Mel Gibson & Ray Winstone, who worked with DiCaprio and Monahan on "The Departed") is excellent!

    The cinematography by Alexander Witt (he directed "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004), he also did second unit director work on films, such as the upcoming "The Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time" (2010) & "The Taking Of Pelham 123" (2009, which also stars Washington & directed by Ridley's brother, Tony) (also director of photography: second unit), he also did "American Gangster" (also director of photography: second unit), "Casino Royale" (2006, also director of photography: second unit), "Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl" (2003, also director of photography: second unit), "The Italian Job" (2003, also director of photography: second unit), "Daredevil" (2003, also director of photography: second unit), "XXX" (2002, also director of photography: second unit), "The Bourne Identity" (2002, also director of photography: second unit), "Black Hawk Down" (also director of photography: second unit), "Hannibal" (also director of photography: second unit), "Remember The Titans (2000, which also starred Washington and was also director of photography: second unit), & "Gladiator" (also director of photography: second unit), he also was a camera operator: second unit on "Thelma & Louise" (1991, which was also directed by Scott), & was a camera operator on "Black Rain" (1989, which was also directed by Scott) is excellent!

    The music by Marc Streitenfeld (who also did the music to "American Gangster" & "A Good Year") is excellent! The film editing by Pietro Scalia (who also did the film editing to "American Gangster", "Black Hawk Down" (for which he won the Oscar for Best Film Editing), "Hannibal", "Gladiator", & "G.I. Jane", he also did the film editing to "The 11th Hour" (2007, which DiCaprio produced, wrote, and narrated) & "The Quick And The Dead") is excellent! The casting by Jina Jay (who also did the casting to "A Good Year", "Kingdom Of Heaven", & the upcoming "The Lovely Bones" (2009) & "Nottingham") & Avy Kaufman (who also did the casting to "American Gangster" & "Baby Mama" (2008) is excellent! The costume design by Janty Yates (who also did the costume design to "American Gangster", "Gladiator" (for which she won the Oscar for Best Costume Design), "Hannibal", & "Kingdom Of Heaven") is excellent!

    The production design by Arthur Max (who also did the production design to "American Gangster", "Black Hawk Down", "Gladiator", "Kingdom Of Heaven", & "G.I. Jane", he also did the production design to "Panic Room" (2002) & "Seven" (1995) and also the upcoming "Nottingham") is excellent! The art direction by Charley Beal (supervising art director) (who also did the art direction to the upcoming "Milk" (2008), & "Invincible" (2006), also was an assistant art director to "American Gangster" & "The Village" (2004), Robert Cowper (who also did the art direction to the upcoming "The Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time", "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007), "A Good Year", & "Kingdom Of Heaven" he also was an assistant art director on "Spy Game" (2001, which was directed by Ridley's brother, Tony), Peter J. Hampton (supervising art director) (who also did the production design to "White Squall" (1996, which was also directed by Scott) & "The Duelists" (1977, which was also directed by Scott), he also did uncredited additional scenes on production design to "Blade Runner" (1982, which was also directed by Scott), Hinju Kim (who also did work on films such as, the upcoming "Shutter Island" (2009) (assistant art director), "The Lovely Bones" (assistant art director), "American Gangster" (assistant art director), "World Trade Center" (2006) (art director: New York), "The Interpreter" (2005) (assistant art director), "The Village" (assistant art director), "Spider-Man 2" (2004) (assistant art director), "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" (2004) (assistant art director) & "Something's Gotta Give" (2003) (assistant art director: New York), Alessandro Santucci (who is a co-art director on "The Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time", also did work on "Kingdom Of Heaven" (assistant art director) & "Hannibal" (set designer: Florence), Marco Trentini (supervising art director) (who also did the art direction to "Black Hawk Down", was an art director in Florence for "Hannibal", & an supervising art director for "Kingdom Of Heaven") is excellent! The set decoration by Sonja Klaus (who also did the set decoration to "American Gangster", "Kingdom Of Heaven", & the upcoming "Nottingham") & Nancy Nye (who also did the set decoration to "Fracture" (2007) & "Matchstick Men" (2003, which was also directed by Scott) is excellent!

    This is an excellent action-thriller that keeps you thinking and your heart racing and on the edge of your seat. This is another hit for Ridley Scott, Leonardo DiCaprio, & Russell Crowe....more info
  • Ok, but tedious.
    Ridley Scott movies usually move along pretty well but this seemed to go on forever. The performances are good; the story is almost plausible but at the end I was left feeling that the Middle East and its problems are like a skin condition. Never gets better, never gets worse, never goes away.

    For fans of this type of story there are the usual high speed drives in the desert in big black SUVs, remotely guided missile strikes and of course, torture with broken fingers. If there is anything new, it would be the more or less happy ending which is a real, real stretch.

    The one thing that puzzled me was Russell Crowe's fake southern accent. Whereas DiCaprio does seem to have an ear for authentic accents, Russell doesn't and why have an Australian actor attempt a southern accent if it adds nothing to the story?...more info
  • Body Of Lies
    Definitely purchase this title if you like the spy-thriller genre. This movie holds audience attention from the beginning to the end. ...more info
  • Body of Lies... Believable at Best!
    Director and Producer Ridley Scott and Screenwriter William Monahan have created a memorable tale of our conflicting times, with lots of grey (metaphorically as well as literally) and very few whites and blacks.

    Overtly put, the movie is simply the story of CIA covert operations agent in the Middle East, Roger Ferris, and his handler back at Langley, Ed Hoffman and one particular operation that they get into. Throw in a Jordanian Chief of Intelligence, Hani, who is sauve, sophisticated and patient with his own game plan quite different from the harried ploys the CIA is prone to use, and a master terrorist, Al-Saleem who is currently registering hits around the world and you get a pot-boiler, with remnants of Munich, Syriana, The Traitor...

    Even though realistic depictions are gaining momentum in Hollywood of late, it must have taken a very brave Ridley Scott to take the dive so soon after the strain has appeared on the wall. But, trust Scott to do a good job - as he has always done.

    The movie is a taut, psychological thriller, with double dealing & triple dealings galore, and terror is everywhere you look. Trust no one, Deceive everyone. That's the tagline on the movie posters, and the movie does complete justice to that theme.

    Crowe is a middle-aged CIA handler, warming the benches back in Langley, (supposedly) doing all the planning and winning all the wars by himself. He takes this war on terror as a regular part of life, so much so that he is shown talking to DeCaprio while dropping his kids to school, while eating his cereal breakfast, while cheering his daughter during her soccer game! Sure, he has a right to a life, but I get the feeling Scott wanted to show the relative importance that making these decisions has for Hoffman, while DiCaprio's putting his life on the line. Talking of DiCaprio, he's a CIA field agent in the volatile Middle East - Iran, Jordan, Dubai - who sees human casualties with much more seriousness than his boss back in Langley. As a result of his thinly veiled dislike for his superior's ways-of-working, he developes a close rapport with the Jordanian Chief of Intelligence, played with an uncanny dexterity by Mark Strong, whose style is to let the small fish live, so that it can lead him back to the real big fish out in the ocean, and then he can move in for the kill. Patience is his virtue, something that CIA has not really appreciated so far, and so his natural disbelief of DiCaprio makes it that much more difficult for the latter to gain his trust.

    The story moves through the streets of Iran, and Amman, and Dubai with deals going through and going wrong simultaneously, the stakes are real and bomb blasts are not just on TV.

    The direction is terrific, and the acting is superb. The southern drawl of Crowe's character is like the icing on the cake - shows his (repeated) contempt for all other intelligence agencies. No wonder he equates himself with America, when Ferris has to make a choice... but - I'm not going to reveal anything more.

    Overall rating; 4 out of 5...more info
  • I really wanted to like this one...
    These days, Ridley Scott's brand as a director is such that when you go to see a film of his, there tend to be certain expectations ranging from story to action to screenplay. When the trailer came out, i had very high expectations for this movie. I wouldn't say i was sorely disappointed but it was a bit of letdown.

    'Body of Lies' stars Leo dicap as Roger Ferris, a CIA counter-terrorist agent based in Jordan. Russell Crowe as a manipulative and sometimes not entirely well meaning senior head at CIA who is Dicaprio's supervisor.

    The movie has the trademark Ridley Scott touch to it, in terms of action, cinematography etc. But there are a lot of holes in the script that come of as a letdown. The sudden need of a love interest for Dicap's character is pretty out of place in the story and if you ask me, is not warranted in the least.

    My highlights in the film would be Russel Crowe's character which is a complete diff from his usual persona and he seems to have added a few pounds for this role (similar to Stallone in Copland) , the other would be a solid performance by Mark Strong, who plays Hanni Salaam (pasha) head of Jordan's secret service and who plays a key role in Leo Dicap's character being based in Jordan and his work there.

    The movie reinvents the same whole concept and dangerously gets into the stereotype of Arabs and the subsequent influence of terrorism from the middle east.

    3 Stars. This movie would have been a classic had it a more cohesive and tight script. ...more info
  • Body of Lies Is a Knockout
    Fete of Death
    As directed by Ridley Scott, "Body of Lies" is an engrossing, tense thriller adapted by William Monahan ("Departed") from a novel by "Washington Post" columnist David Ignatius. It's a long movie, but I was never aware of its length, as the film is tautly paced and never lets up.

    Shot on location, "Body of Lies" is a gritty depiction of espionage in the Middle East. As the title suggests, the movie is all about lies within lies. In the end everyone is deceiving and exploiting everyone else and nobody can be trusted. The hero, Roger Ferris, himself a CIA liar, realizes deception is the name of the game, is finally revolted by it, and comes to terms with it his way. His boss, Hoffman, on the other hand, could care less about the deception and the manipulation. Ever the pragmatist, the overweight Hoffman cares only about results. For him the ends justify the means. He has no problem with that--and the beat goes on, as far as he's concerned.
    --Bryan Cassiday...more info
  • absorbing political thriller
    Less pedantic than "Lions for Lambs," but more pulpy than "Rendition" or "Stop-Loss," "Body of Lies" is Hollywood's latest endeavor to bring the war-on-terror to the silver screen.

    Leonardo DiCaprio plays an undercover CIA operative working in the explosive Middle East under the guiding hand of Russell Crowe, his ruthless, acerbic boss who feeds him instructions straight from his cushy office at Langley Headquarters. Despite their double billing, DiCaprio and Crowe rarely appear on screen together, making DiCaprio the default star of the picture. He gives one of his finest performances as a man thoroughly dedicated to the cause he is fighting for but deeply cognizant of the fact that much of what he is required to do in the course of his job will wind up robbing him of a certain percentage of his humanity after all is said and done. Crowe as the cynical boss and, even more impressively, Mark Strong as a high official in the Jordanian government offer superlative support.

    As directed by Ridley Scott (from a screenplay by William Monahan based on a novel by David Ignatius), "Body of Lies" benefits from engaging dialogue, exciting action sequences and razor-sharp editing. The movie is long (128 minutes) but rarely uninteresting, and DiCaprio makes us care deeply about his character.

    It may not be the "deepest" of the war-on-terror movies, but it's certainly one of the most watchable. ...more info