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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 2013
Action packed? Compared to Jason Statham? I don't think so. The overall impression was that it's a complex, slightly confusing story with many characters and some action - a torture scene, and, very effective and pertinent, what it's like to be at the receiving end of drones - and what it's like to be at the control end thousands of miles away. It raises the issue of the dubious morality of modern warfare, where people far away, in state-of-the art luxurious surroundings are effectively playing a computer game with peoples lives on the other side of the world - who may be genuine military targets or civilians & innocent bystanders. Additionally, you have a nice contrast between the controller in the Defence Department in Washington, who enjoys his pampered good life while at the same time being in constant contact with his agent on the ground doing the dirty & dangerous work. Talk about a disconnect. The film works well in that it shows the complexity of Middle East politics, the many different national, sectarian, racial groups,all with different allegiances - so that you never really know who to trust and if people are who they really say they are.
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on 16 April 2016
You really have to admire Ridley Scott's moxie.

Even though the 70-year-old director has long established himself as one of Hollywood's best and most durable directors; having helmed some of the most entertaining films of all time, in virtually every genre (including sci-fi classics like Alien and Blade Runner); and having been nominated no less than three times for the Best Director Oscar (Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down), to decide to take on theme that has produced exactly zero blockbusters thus far – the Middle East and terrorism – takes an incredible amount of chutzpah.

But it does help if you have the help of two of the biggest actors in Hollywood at the moment, those being Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe (who has worked with Scott on two previous films, Gladiator and A Good Year). It's ironic to think that the last time these two actors shared the screen was back in 1995, with the clichéd-but-entertaining oater The Quick and the Dead. Of course, at the time, Crowe was a complete unknown and DiCaprio was a 21-year-old newcomer with only a couple of notable titles under his belt. But oh, how that's all changed now.

It's not easy to describe the plot of Body of Lies without giving too much away. DiCaprio plays CIA operative Roger Ferris, who is trying to flush out a terrorist leader named Al-Saleem in Jordan. He gets his orders from Ed Hoffman (Crowe), a man for whom results are the only satisfactory outcome, delivered with a fair amount of arrogance and a cocky Southern drawl. Ed plays the situation like a kid playing a video game, and has the resources to change the rules anytime he feels like it, dispensing his orders from his office, from his backyard, from his daughter's soccer game, for Pete's sake! This, of course, infuriates Ferris to no end, because he is the one who is in the trenches, chasing the bad guys, dodging bullets, ducking explosions, and procuring the badly-needed intelligence that Hoffman needs. Ferris is also trying to build a productive working relationship with the head of Jordanian Intelligence, Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), a relationship that is made even more tenuous by Hoffman's double-dealings and hidden agendas.

There are so many ways that Scott could have screwed this up. A lesser director might have chosen to ramp up the action, sacrificing intelligence for entertainment. A lesser director could have taken this story of espionage and twisted it into a convoluted and indecipherable Gordian knot. A lesser director would have gotten less convincing performances from his lead actors.

But Ridley Scott is not a lesser director. Though the plot is indeed complex, with many layers and sub-layers, deceit and treachery, Scott never lets you lose sight of the overall picture. He tells a solid, wonderfully entertaining story, without the need to drive home its message with sledgehammer subtlety (after all, very few things are black and white). And most of all, he gets electric performances from Crowe and DiCaprio, whose symbiotic relationship with a thinly-veiled veneer of mutual contempt is a pleasure to watch.
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on 29 April 2009
Body of Lies continues director Ridley Scott's consistency of making top-quality movies, I'm never disappointed with his work, and there was no change here.

The acting was good, DiCaprio, Crowe and all the surrounding cast performed well, I particularly enjoyed Mark Strong's performance as head of Jordanian intelligence Hani Salaam.

The plot moved along nicely, the film didn't feel too short or long, and I felt it had suitable pace to it, the cinematography was top-notch and the music, while not particularly memorable, supported the film well.

Overall, I would recommend Body of Lies quite highly, it's not a masterpiece, and dosen't do a whole lot new, but it dosen't do much wrong either, it's certainly worth a look.
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on 10 June 2013
Russell Crowe certainly piled on the pounds for this film, and reminded me of my old Physics teacher at school. He was always noshing on something. This is another film that kept me firmly on the edge of my sofa. Leonardo di Caprio is also vey good, trying to stay one step ahead of the enemy. Exciting action, and a good spy thriller, and a film not just for the boys. Thoroughly recommend.
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on 15 November 2015
Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!.. A very apt film, in light of the latest Terrorist atrocities. A thought provoking film with a lot of hidden truth. I really loved this film and I challenge anyone to not think the same way they did; about Islam, Middle East and War, before they watched this.
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on 9 June 2015
A disappointing homage to classic spy thriller films which proved that Scott had lost it as a director although the cast is still good DiCaprio doing his own thing Mark strong is a good villain and Russell Crowe is really lazy in this film.
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on 23 January 2016
Terrible film. It's like watching team America.
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on 1 November 2013
I watched the film, then read the book, then went back and bought the film to watch it again. I loved this film. There is a lovely balance of action and proper 'spy work' in it, and it also features solid performances from the cast. I'd recommend the film, and also the book to go with it.
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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2009
Based around the so called War On Terror in the Middle East, Body Of Lies combines high tech gadgetry with an action storyline to produce a compelling and entertaining film. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the field agent to great effect backed up (well sometimes) by Russell Crowe as his CIA handler who always knows best and loves to interfere.

When released it got some mixed reviews and I can see why as it is very much stylised rather than appearing to be a serious portrayal of the war. If you ignore this and concentrate on what it is trying to be - a top notch big budget thriller then you will likely really enjoy it.

One caution though - there is a torture scene right at the beginning of the film that could be very disturbing to some viewers.
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on 8 November 2015
Solid film, really don't know what the 1 star reviewers were expecting. If you set film up as being about the CIA, Islamic fundamentalism, double crossing etc you'll need to pay attention. Things you'll probably already know coming to this, politics is a grubby business, countries and agencies work to their own agendas, no side fully understands the others culture. The film plays with this. It's not a whoo-hoo all guns a blazing action film, though it does have elements to that.
I enjoyed it as a simple action, thriller that deals with modern m.e politics and warfare.
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