User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 139 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 139
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  1. JasonM.
    Nov 30, 2008
    7
    Something tells me that my rating would have been much lower had it not been for the fact that I got a good night's sleep before seeing this movie. In other words: This is a VERY complex film, with many subtleties and subplots, and one must be prepared to give it their undivided attention. That said, Body of Lies is certainly worth the attention span required. It is indeed cleverly Something tells me that my rating would have been much lower had it not been for the fact that I got a good night's sleep before seeing this movie. In other words: This is a VERY complex film, with many subtleties and subplots, and one must be prepared to give it their undivided attention. That said, Body of Lies is certainly worth the attention span required. It is indeed cleverly executed and well acted; specifically, my favorite performance was that of Mark Strong, as the Jordanian head of Intelligence. Overall, Body of Lies intelligently combines the art of mind-games war drama with a cautious amount of exploding-in-your-face action. Why not a higher score? While the film was well put together, I feel that it is ultimately a bit forgettable. Movies like this have been done before, and this one doesn't exactly stand out from the bunch. Worth seeing if you see a lot of movies, but if you're an occasional moviegoer, you may wish to skip it. Expand
  2. LisaB
    Sep 14, 2009
    4
    If it had not been for Mark Strong's performance in this movie, it would have been terrible. I'm a big DiCaprio fan, not so much of Crowe. But I expected a lot from this movie. As some people said before, it was a bit too Hollywood for my taste. But again, Strong's perforance steals the show and he proves that he can hold his own and even shine brighter than well known If it had not been for Mark Strong's performance in this movie, it would have been terrible. I'm a big DiCaprio fan, not so much of Crowe. But I expected a lot from this movie. As some people said before, it was a bit too Hollywood for my taste. But again, Strong's perforance steals the show and he proves that he can hold his own and even shine brighter than well known great actors. Expand
  3. EdT.
    Feb 28, 2009
    1
    Boring 'cellphone' pic. Wholly unoriginal and entirely unbelievable at the same time.
  4. BrianY
    Oct 26, 2008
    8
    This movie is as every bit entertaining as the Bourne series, but has a more current overlay with the war on terror. It has just as much or more suspense as Jaime Fox's The Kingdom, and performances from all the main characters are excellent. I highly recommend this movie, and urge all to forgo all the negative criticism, and be your own judge. I promise you won't be disappointed.
  5. DanaM.
    Oct 19, 2008
    8
    Very enjoyable movie. Worth seeing on the big screen. The acting was very good (not sure what other folks are saying). Definitely worth the ten bucks to see this film. Be prepared for some quezy torture scenes.
  6. NatterG.
    Oct 2, 2008
    7
    I didn't mind this, I kind of expected something in between Kingdom of Heaven and Blood Diamond. But of course, it is better than Blood Diamond. The action is better, the movie is exciting and great. But the acting is awful and it's very predictable. It could have been much better if it had a point, but it was good otherwise.
  7. TonyM
    Mar 8, 2009
    10
    Another masterpiece from Ridley Scott. Small problem in the plot which had me rocking in my seat- Those UAV's have Infrared. The U.S. could have seen the exchange of Ferris.
  8. caporegime
    Jun 10, 2009
    1
    This movie won't be remembered.
  9. marko
    Jan 28, 2010
    9
    I've seen this movie numerous times on HBO lately, and it always grabs me and keeps me interested. i like the characters, i like the actors, and i'm very interested in the subject matter. i really appreciated that there were sympathetic and powerful arab and persian characters, and hani pasha/mark strong gives me a particular thrill. I've seen this film compared to bourne, I've seen this movie numerous times on HBO lately, and it always grabs me and keeps me interested. i like the characters, i like the actors, and i'm very interested in the subject matter. i really appreciated that there were sympathetic and powerful arab and persian characters, and hani pasha/mark strong gives me a particular thrill. I've seen this film compared to bourne, which i don't really get. bourne was a kind of James bond/superman type who pulls off stuff which demands suspension of disbelief. the only superhuman act that Ferris manages is a medium range hip-shot/head-shot with a mac-11. other than that this film seemed fully convincing to me, and david ignatious (the writer of the novel), certainly knows the middle-east and the cia. i think of this film as comparable to "hunt for red October." Expand
  10. MatthewT.
    Nov 10, 2008
    10
    The best work to date on this war on a an abstract verb thing. Period. An accurate & authentic portrayal of Arabs & Arabic values & culture that should be recognized as groundbreaking, this seems to go over most professional reviewer's heads... I too, speak Arabic & have lived long in the Middle East.. although it's not without flaws. The support cast is outstandingly good. Do I The best work to date on this war on a an abstract verb thing. Period. An accurate & authentic portrayal of Arabs & Arabic values & culture that should be recognized as groundbreaking, this seems to go over most professional reviewer's heads... I too, speak Arabic & have lived long in the Middle East.. although it's not without flaws. The support cast is outstandingly good. Do I need to say the same about the famous leads? 5 stars ..10 out of 10 for me! Expand
  11. Enrique
    Oct 11, 2008
    10
    An intelligent, very well crafted political thriller. It will obviously have many detractors, at it would be expected. Crowell and DiCaprio are both at their best. Great cinematography, excellent supporting cast.
  12. JessD.
    Nov 20, 2008
    9
    I liked this film a lot. Leo and Russell were excellent but the actor who stole the film is Mark Strong. He was exceptional. Worth a look and surely the performances should be considered and cited for awards at year end. Take a chance. You might be surprised at how good it is.
  13. Dylan
    Oct 14, 2008
    9
    Very well made film with a brilliant performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. Mark Strong who plays the character Hani actually does a much better job than Russell Crowe does in this film, which surprised me. Overall "Body of Lies" is definitely a film worth checking out.
  14. JohnM.
    Nov 7, 2008
    10
    Loved every minute. DeCaprio and Crowe are magnificent as are other actors of lesser renown.
  15. GregA
    Oct 22, 2008
    8
    This is a solid movie, DiCaprio just gets better and better, and Strong was very good. Crowe did a fairly ordinary job, I felt perhaps the role didn't suit him. In any case, this film puts the viewer right into the mix and is engaging right to the end (although somewhat predictable!).
  16. DanyF.
    Sep 29, 2008
    6
    I have certainly seen much better from leo and crowe. This movie goes to fault as a disappointment, because it's pointless in all aspects, it works, but after a while it just doesn't go anywhere. There's no display in the relationship of Leo and many other peoples, their communication and survival against and upon one and other, like Babel. But Scott got lazy and Monahan I have certainly seen much better from leo and crowe. This movie goes to fault as a disappointment, because it's pointless in all aspects, it works, but after a while it just doesn't go anywhere. There's no display in the relationship of Leo and many other peoples, their communication and survival against and upon one and other, like Babel. But Scott got lazy and Monahan drew in excellence. I give it a 7 because i better give this some credit, it just is almost pathetic. But overall, when it comes to it's composition, it gushes out real hard and a gritty, intense, edge-of-your-seat ride. It's okay. Expand
  17. Newman567toyou
    Sep 29, 2008
    7
    Now this is not as bad as most movies out there in the cinema. just for a heads up to those who plan to see this. This movie is very similar to righteous Kill, the same kind of editorial and execution. But in this, the acting isn't very good. But as a Ridley Scott movie, it does disappoint. But it's also a big Oscar film that I think deserves some credit. I liked it.
  18. RicoS.
    Feb 1, 2009
    2
    What's with all the distractions? Why is Crowe's character always doing five things at once while on the phone, coordinating CIA business? Because the phone-conversation isn't interesting enough in itself? Well, that's the problem with this movie: Over-sophisticating a simple story, replacing lack of script with chaos. It's just very annoying.
  19. JayH.
    Feb 15, 2009
    7
    Excellent cinematography, very good production and performances. It's a little long but it is compelling. The plot is complex but interesting. Solid.
  20. VinceH.
    Feb 22, 2009
    7
    I agree with Jess D.'s review...Mark Strong really stole this film and regardless of awards or any of that, very few reviewers even mentioned him. Anyways, as you can see from the user reviews, this film is not nearly as bad as the critics made it out to be. This is easily Ridley Scott's best film since "Black Hawk Down".
  21. RobertI.
    Mar 29, 2009
    7
    Hollywood takes on modern political warfare, with tart, crisp results, but still Hollywood.
  22. NathanL.
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    I have spent the entire last week reading reviews from critics that would lead me to believe that this film was a big, over the top, action movie with some decent performances that ultimately takes us nowhere that we have not been before. Imagine my surprise when I come to find out that the opening scene of the film is the only real action scene in the movie and that it wasn't very I have spent the entire last week reading reviews from critics that would lead me to believe that this film was a big, over the top, action movie with some decent performances that ultimately takes us nowhere that we have not been before. Imagine my surprise when I come to find out that the opening scene of the film is the only real action scene in the movie and that it wasn't very long. This is most certainly an action movie but, the action is more dialogue driven than anything else and since the performances are all uniformly excellent (especially that of Mark Strong who gives one of the most memorable performances of the year) that is a good thing. I must also point out that DiCaprio's character is a complicated man, no doubt, but where his heart lies is at no time in doubt. Also, the relationship with the Jordanian nurse was very well handled and the young Arab actress who plays her is very good. I will look forward to seeing her in the future. This film is not over the top, it is highly accurate. My wife did Imagery Interpreting in the military and without giving away any real secrets she told me that the film was very close. Isn't that the kind of thing we want insight into. I know I do. Now to the comment that we are not breaking any new ground here. Well, that is right to an extent. There is nothing in this movie that has never been said and this movie plays out very similar to the way other spy films have in the past. The biggest reason for this is the fact that we have developed a pretty good idea of how intelligence is collected in the last 20 years. David Ignatius, the author of the novel, is a journalist who would know better than any person who could possibly review this film and I take is version of intelligence gathering at face value. However, the most important reason to see this movie is to help you understand the way that intelligence does work and how it should work. Which is the true lesson in this potboiler. I would also like express my gratitude to the writer for some of the expertly created bits of social commentary that could have come of as lines but, in this film, have consequences. This is not the best film of the year and will probably not finish in my top ten ( The Dark Knight sits a top that list now), but it is an expertly crafted piece of work that accomplishes everything that it sets out too and in a year with so many terrible films, I was deeply satisfied. Expand
  23. ChadS.
    Oct 15, 2008
    5
    The lonely person on the other end of the line wants to believe that the phone sex operator has her undivided attention on him alone. But that's just not the case. In Robert Altman's "Short Cuts", the jaded sex industry worker(played by Jennifer Jason Leigh), diapers her baby as she talks dirty to a client. Likewise, Ed Hoffman(Russell Crowe) achieves a seamless synchronicity The lonely person on the other end of the line wants to believe that the phone sex operator has her undivided attention on him alone. But that's just not the case. In Robert Altman's "Short Cuts", the jaded sex industry worker(played by Jennifer Jason Leigh), diapers her baby as she talks dirty to a client. Likewise, Ed Hoffman(Russell Crowe) achieves a seamless synchronicity between his professional and domestic life, too, tending to his young daughter while he's in communique with Roger Ferris(Leonardo DiCaprio), the man in the field, at the mercy of a disengaged partner, jaded, just like the sex hotline caller in the Altman film(based on the Raymond Carver short story collection). Film theorist Linda Williams, author of the essay "Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess", explicates on how victimized women elicit a corresponding fluid in three interconnected genres of film: semen(pornography), blood(horror), and tears(melodrama). In "Short Cuts", the fetishized release of a fluid is coordinated by an empowered woman; the phone sex operator instigates the happy ending, not the man. Likewise, while Ed is obviously not a woman, he assumes the feminine side of the gender binary, since Roger is a man of action(masculine), not talk. Losing semen can't kill a man like how losing blood can. Ed's relative indifference for his partner has the potential to result in an unhappy ending(death, unlike the happy ending; the little death); the real-life horror of being martyred by the enemy at some undisclosed location. Contrary to the popular(and condescending) notion that a woman could never start a war, the primary quality associated with traditional(or is that reactionary) womanhood(femininity), until recently(as women in combat became more prevalent, therefore unfixing the masculine/feminine binary), has been the catalyst behind wars since time immemorial, when people like Ed stayed behind and allowed the real men do the dirty work. It's even worse here, since Ed gives Roger his marching orders in the informal setting of his home. Like a housewife, perhaps? In "Body of Lies", through a multitude of intertextual prisms, the filmmaker unconsciously suggests that the final destination point of the film body is not exclusive to the tyranny of male objectification. Expand
  24. BobwickH.
    Oct 17, 2008
    7
    I can't imagine why this has gotten such a low critical reception. It has problems, but most of the complaints I'm reading are ridiculous. This movie is nothing like Spy Game and especially nothing like the Bourne series (not even the original one). If I had to compare this movie to any other, it would be to The Kingdom. And that's a favorable comparison. One person I think I can't imagine why this has gotten such a low critical reception. It has problems, but most of the complaints I'm reading are ridiculous. This movie is nothing like Spy Game and especially nothing like the Bourne series (not even the original one). If I had to compare this movie to any other, it would be to The Kingdom. And that's a favorable comparison. One person I think shouldn't have been in the movie at all, however, is Russell Crowe. Not only does he bring nothing as an actor, but his part in the story is equally pointless. Apparently he serves only as an outlet for DiCaprio's character's internal monologue, without which we would know nothing. Despite that, I still give the movie a solid 7. Expand
  25. PamelaH.
    Oct 21, 2008
    10
    Leo always gives a stellar performance.
  26. LynnR.
    Oct 25, 2008
    8
    This is an excellent movie-timely and with an interesting plot that makes you put yourself and your political ideals in context with the reality of the people on the ground. I agree that Russell Crowe is somewhat unbelievable, but, his performance makes you thinks instantly of Bush and his operatives and how closely to their lives any of the war really is-excellent performance by Mark This is an excellent movie-timely and with an interesting plot that makes you put yourself and your political ideals in context with the reality of the people on the ground. I agree that Russell Crowe is somewhat unbelievable, but, his performance makes you thinks instantly of Bush and his operatives and how closely to their lives any of the war really is-excellent performance by Mark Strong and DiCaprio is always excellent. The comments concerning the confusion over the "love interest" -he missed the point-the girl was the perfect foil to make us believe that DiCaprio's character cared about the real muslims and had a stake in the outcome of his mission beyond CIA success. Expand
  27. tj
    Oct 28, 2008
    8
    DiCaprio is excellent. Scott's filmmaking is top-notch. Could the characters be fleshed out a bit more--yes, but this is a gripping and exciting film. Better than 95% of the movies out there.
  28. BobbieohG.
    Sep 22, 2008
    9
    The ads may show nothing but a worthless, pointless, and indirect of annoying circumstances of a film. But mainly I was attracted because it is from director Ridley Scott who is winning Oscars, I loved his Gladiator, American Gangster, and Kingdom of Heaven. I loved what William Monahan was writing for The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven and lets see what he does with Jurassic Park 4. The ads may show nothing but a worthless, pointless, and indirect of annoying circumstances of a film. But mainly I was attracted because it is from director Ridley Scott who is winning Oscars, I loved his Gladiator, American Gangster, and Kingdom of Heaven. I loved what William Monahan was writing for The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven and lets see what he does with Jurassic Park 4. Also, Body of Lies has a great and stellar cast. Leo and Russell don't even have to try, they resonate from nowhere and easily create magnificence. I liked their performances, although not their greatest roles. It seems somewhat fimiliar, but is very exciting and realistic. It's a quick and entertaining movie. It proves no purpose, I just loved the writing and the shining brights on such fabulous actors. A Great Movie. Expand
  29. JaredC.
    Sep 26, 2008
    10
    After success with supporting actor Russell Crowe in Scott's American Gangster, and Leonardo's fantastic performance in Scorsese's The Departed, Ridley bundles them together in a high-steak intensity thriller. A global crisis event of filmmaking, and an influential crisis as well. A national masterpiece of stirring proportions. Don't blame it, Body of Lies is City of After success with supporting actor Russell Crowe in Scott's American Gangster, and Leonardo's fantastic performance in Scorsese's The Departed, Ridley bundles them together in a high-steak intensity thriller. A global crisis event of filmmaking, and an influential crisis as well. A national masterpiece of stirring proportions. Don't blame it, Body of Lies is City of God (but English version) meets The Bourne Ultimatum. A great successful match for sure. The Pulp Fiction of all intense thrillers. You can't stop watching this classic. I know, I know people say Gladiator won 5 oscars 'cause it was Scott's best movie, but actually winning almost way to many academy awards, this is beyond better. Sure Gladiator was a groundbreaking colussus of action genres, but Body of Lies is beyond a colossus of thriller genres, it's a masterpiece of them all. Scott really attempts a lot of styles, Gladiator the action genre, American Gangster the crime genre, and kingdom of ehaven the adventure genre (which is actually better than Gladiator). This is by far the best movie of the year. Go see this now. Expand
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. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    A mostly formulaic approach that becomes more disappointing as the yarn unwinds.
  3. 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.