Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    88
    The crisply photographed and edited Body of Lies reveals some ambition, for while it certainly works as pure entertainment, this tale of a good man trying to extract himself from an impossible situation offers some commentary on America's feelings about being in Iraq.
  2. 88
    Body of Lies neither panders nor condescends. It involves current events and has a political viewpoint, but it overplays neither.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    80
    Its generic attributes (and title) notwithstanding, Scott's film may be the sharpest of all the post-9/11 thrillers--and also the most purely entertaining--in the way it maps the vectors and currents of the modern intelligence-gathering game without losing us in its dense narrative thicket.
  4. 75
    The result is commendably non-West-centric, but no less sentimentally conceived.
  5. 75
    Body of Lies is a James Bond plot inserted into today's headlines. The film wants to be persuasive in its expertise about modern spycraft, terrorism, the CIA and Middle East politics. But its hero is a lone ranger who operates in three countries, single-handedly creates a fictitious terrorist organization, and survives explosions, gunfights, and brutal torture.
  6. Fascinating and flawed spy thriller.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    It's a genre film - the action is fierce and nonstop - with a brooding undercurrent of unease that aims for the complexities of John le Carre.
  8. 75
    Leonardo DiCaprio brings straight-razor reflexes and rooted emotion to the role of a deceptively rugged CIA man.
  9. As good as it is in pieces, its protagonists are distancing, its story is tangled, its film-noir cynicism is oppressive and unglamorous, and it just doesn't leave us with the satisfying unity of the kind of great movie it wants to be.
  10. 75
    It's not like the screens are so flooded with decent movies that we couldn't use another, particularly a timely, clear-eyed thriller about the Middle East and the role of the U.S. therein.
  11. It may not be as much fun as old spy movies starring Cary Grant or more recent entertainments such as "Spy Game," directed by Ridley's brother Tony, but it feels all too accurate.
  12. Always crisp and watchable. But as the film's episodic story gradually reveals itself, it ends up too unconvincing and conventional to consistently hold our attention.
  13. 70
    With its urgent post-9/11 context and often brutal violence, it seems off-key to describe Body of Lies as a nifty political thriller, but that's what it is.
  14. 70
    The movie is smart and tightly drawn; it has a throat-gripping urgency and some serious insights, and Scott has a greater command of space and a more explicit way with violence than most thriller directors.
  15. Ftrangely emotionless. There's little offered in the form of rooting interests or compassionate characterizations, making the film ultimately as ephemeral as its title.
  16. 67
    Doesn't have much new to offer in either style or substance. It's got the same glossy-gritty urban warfare sheen as "Black Hawk Down" and every other Third-World geopolitical action thriller of the last few years.
  17. The most interesting thing about this slick but frustrating picture is the way it puts Crowe’s Hoffman at the center of our mixed feelings.
  18. 63
    It's a generic, clunky title. The movie isn't quite as disposable, but it's not exactly memorable, either.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    A tautly paced, well-acted espionage thriller with the requisite explosions and action sequences. Still, it ends up leaving the viewer rather cold.
  20. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    63
    Scott doesn't bring much to the table as an action director, and his keen storytelling abilities go invisible here.
  21. The romance seems tacked on as a way to humanize this character; there's no reason the nurse would take up with a brash, secretive American.
  22. The film has one indelible asset: Mark Strong, who plays the Jordanian spymaster Hani. He's sleek and lounge-lizard sharp like a young Andy Garcia, and he could be bigger than Garcia. The Jordanian holds all the cards, and opposite two superstars, Strong is the only actor who holds the camera.
  23. 50
    Aside from a nifty new way to avoid surveillance in the middle of the desert, there's nothing here we haven't seen in many other movies - including "Spy Game," directed by Scott's brother Tony before 9/11.
  24. Lacks, a story that makes it feel personal.
  25. The sickly feeling that Body of Lies leaves at its conclusion isn't just about the brutality of its subject; it's the realization that real-life barbarism translates so easily into adrenaline kicks for the multiplex.
  26. 50
    As it is, the movie is a hodgepodge of borrowings and half-cooked ideas, flung together into a feverishly edited jet-setting exercise in purposeless intensity.
  27. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    DiCaprio and Crowe, two supposedly high-wattage movie stars, are remarkably dull to watch together--perhaps because so many of their scenes together take place over the phone.
  28. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    50
    In all, Body of Lies is a mixed bag of treats and trials, but it should be seen by audiences, and emulated and improved upon by other top directors.
  29. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    A mostly formulaic approach that becomes more disappointing as the yarn unwinds.
  30. For all of Ferris's desperate struggles, and for all the director's efforts to emulate the remarkable verisimilitude he achieved in "Black Hawk Down," his new film remains abstract and unaffecting. It's a study in semisimilitude, more Google-Earthly than grounded in feelings.
  31. 50
    Like Scott's last picture, "American Gangster," this is a little too slick and commanding for its own good; despite Crowe and DiCaprio's best efforts, their characters keep getting flattened by the steamroller narrative.
  32. It's a lot easier to follow than "Syriana." But intelligibility is about the only thing this international thriller has going for it.
  33. It's like torture, though Body of Lies has nothing to spill.
  34. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    40
    For all the enthralling visuals and action, the film feels garbled.
  35. 40
    Excessively intricate and extremely dull, the latest example of a filmmaker giving us a disjointed, overlong movie that’s unnecessarily confusing to follow.
  36. Most of this just seems, you know, so three years ago, so "Bourne" again.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Jul 15, 2014
    6
    This one is alright to pretty good. Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe are great, Mark Strong's performance is also strong, while Oscar Isaac has a good turn as well. Ridley Scott's direction is also good as usual. The story us interesting and quite compelling for surs. The action is also done very well, which is nice. In addition, the cinematography and the sets are good, making the imagery really nice and the locations believable. However, there are two major problems with this one. First, the script is poor. While the overall story is good, the telling of it is very convoluted and can be hard to follow at times. This is not helped by it being hard to hear some characters at times. In addition, the few scenes of torture are a little much for my liking. They are effective, but would have still been so if toned down just a little bit. Overall, Body of Lies is a solid action spy thriller sporting killer acting performances and an entertaining premise, which make the film an enjoyable one to watch. However, you have to pay close attention, as you can get lost easily. Full Review »
  2. Jun 30, 2014
    8
    Good movie, with great actors and an interesting plot. The pace however is too slow, which destroys the overall impression a bit. Still worth to watch it. Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2013
    6
    Body of Lies tell truth to entertainment.
    The film floats on an interesting premise with very good action, and an artful execution. The movie
    is long and at some times less desirable with certain scenes that could have been edited out. The overall product is a slightly overly long entertaining film with good acting. Full Review »