Body of Lies (15)

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Nov 18 2008

Ever had the feeling your boss doesn’t have your best interests at heart? The stakes are certainly high for Leonardo DiCaprio’s CIA operator on the ground in the Middle East, who’s fluent in Arabic, culturally aware, and covertly tracking terror suspects. What he doesn’t need is his Washington handler (a porked-out yet somehow terrifyingly steely Russell Crowe) continuing to operate on a separate gung-ho agenda, blithely impacting on his agent’s carefully cultivated trust with the Jordanian intelligence service (headed by a suave, scene-stealing Mark Strong). Meanwhile, as Manchester, England, buckles under the latest extremist outrage, the information war is too important to lose.

Adapted from a David Ignatius novel by ‘The Departed’ writer William Monahan, Scott’s latest almost manages to square the circle of providing a cogent analysis of Bush II’s foreign policy failings while delivering a steady stream of multiplex-friendly bumps, scrapes and explosions. Anchored by a hard-working, persuasive DiCaprio, it’s dense, knotty stuff, convincing (as ever with Sir Ridley) in its milieu, and offering a deftly pointed study in contrasts between front-line personnel who really know the territory and powerful, insular decision-makers, far removed from the daily threat of assassination or abduction.

Perhaps Scott’s ever-restless shooting style doesn’t quite differentiate between the peaks and troughs of the narrative, yet it’s still an engrossing account of the intersection between process and ethics – shades of Jean-Pierre Melville? Docked a star, unfortunately, for a hokey final reel which somewhat reduces the intelligence quotient, though the trenchant coda very nearly gets it back again.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Nov 21, 2008

Duration:

128 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|23
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Terry

Agree with everything mockingbird said - just cracking entertainment. Did not know RScott was the director til the end...just a bit ' nick of time ' stuff at the end.

ANDY128

Extremely entertaining film but I had a problem woth a hardened field agent compromising his objectivity by dallying with a local woman. I just don't think a professional intelligence operative would do that.

katherine

Great film, had me glued to the screen all the way through. One to watch again I think.....:)

katherine

Great film, had me glued to the screen all the way through. One to watch again I think.....:)

Chad Davies

I like the bit when Di Capriati gets an uzi and shoots his own legs to escape the pirates, the falls down the never ending well and is saved by the mermaids. Bloody Excellent Rubunchious

Chad Davies

I like the bit when Di Capriati gets an uzi and shoots his own legs to escape the pirates, the falls down the never ending well and is saved by the mermaids. Bloody Excellent Rubunchious

usman khawaja

DELIRIOUS MIND RIDDLED WITH FESTERING ROTTEN FLESH After turning his auspicious attentions to the ignonimous medieval crusades scott turns to the worthy crusades between the yanks and muslims in the mayhem of the modern middle east. the austere cast includes a goattteee adorned leo and an obesely disgruntled russel crowe who both keep eating everything on screen to justify their weight while there are enough explosions to annihilate every militant on this planet in a hackneyed plot which we have seen a dozen times in the last 12 months alone . there is a pretty palestinian iranian damsel who takes her archetypal american dates to palestinian refugee camps for initiation while playing a medic in her spare time and romantic interest for leo most of the time . there are plenty of latin american actors dreseed in arab smocks praying in mosques while scott drops the words alqaeda and hammas like bombs going off in baghdad and the shoot in amman manages to make it look like a hovel as much as this hilarious epic with a beheading scene straight out of the pearl incident which reduces that tragedy to a travesty and some awful caricatures of arab sheikhs . the worst comes as a badly acted shouting match across a dinner table which is meant to be a seriously mock intelligent view of the confused middle east milieu reducing that equation to a travesty. it reveals scott to be virtually mentally disabled and artistically handicapped as he fills his vistas with rabid barking dogs ,shooting squads ,surveillance satellites and the muslim prayer calls against murky sunsets . after the intelligent and darkly atmospheric syriana this reduces the middle east thriller genre by hollywood to the level of the sandler pantomimes like zohan with the exception that flick has an ocassional laugh while this is violently amusing and inadvertently burlesque.

Howard

This does not quite hang together. Too many subplots. Starts promisingly but then gets lost in all the plot twists and turns. Mark strong is fantastic as usual but crowe almost literally has to phone in his performance. Its watchable but not thrilling.

mockingbird

Brilliant film hooks you from the first minute.Over 2 hours but didn't drag for a second.Mark Strong is outstanding,which says a lot in a film of so many superlatives.They say people always fall in love with their nurse and if Golshifteh Farahani was mine I would be no exception.

mockingbird

Brilliant film hooks you from the first minute.Over 2 hours but didn't drag for a second.Mark Strong is outstanding,which says a lot in a film of so many superlatives.They say people always fall in love with their nurse and if Golshifteh Farahani was mine I would be no exception.

Andy S

Pretty dull, to be honest. Di Caprio's ok, but not convincing as a world warey CIA Operator, Crowe is given nothing to do but talk on a hands-free kit, the plot is too boring and confusing. The action scenes are worth seeing, but you find you don't really care about the characters. Even more boring than 'American Gangster' which, too, was a poor effort considering the talent. Steer clear unless you like high-tec humourless films.

Netta&gt;UK

Food for thought most definately.Not a sound in the cinema all the way through(apart from a sharp intake of breath)I thought I might be diappointed...........I was not.

Netta&gt;UK

Food for thought most definately.Not a sound in the cinema all the way through(apart from a sharp intake of breath)I thought I might be diappointed...........I was not.

Madison

Gritty, tense, gripping action. I hate violent movies but the pace and intrigue of this film together with the humanity of the characters kept me glued to my seat. Loved it

Madison

Gritty, tense, gripping action. I hate violent movies but the pace and intrigue of this film together with the humanity of the characters kept me glued to my seat. Loved it