Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Roger Ferris is the best man U.S. Intelligence has on the ground, in places where human life is worth no more than the information it can get you. In operations that take him around the globe, Ferris' next breath often depends on the voice at the other end of a secure phone line--CIA veteran Ed Hoffman. Strategizing from a laptop in the suburbs, Hoffman is on the trail of an emerging terrorist leader who has orchestrated a campaign of bombings while eluding the most sophisticated intelligence network in the world. To lure the terrorist out into the open, Ferris will have to penetrate his murky world, but the closer Ferris gets to the target, the more he discovers that trust is both a dangerous commodity and the only one that will get him out alive. (Warner Bros.) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A tautly paced, well-acted espionage thriller with the requisite explosions and action sequences. Still, it ends up leaving the viewer rather cold.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    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.
  7. Most of this just seems, you know, so three years ago, so "Bourne" again.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Jun 1, 2012
    A modern classic.
  2. NathanL.
    Oct 13, 2008
    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
  3. JessD.
    Nov 20, 2008
    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. Expand
  4. NatterG.
    Oct 2, 2008
    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. Expand
  5. Oct 2, 2011
    i found the story of Body of Lies very intriguing. the representation of the conflict in the middle-east was very accurate. the movie is also very exiting. i was sitting on the tip o my chair almost all the time. Expand
  6. Jan 18, 2011
    Just your average run of the mill CIA/Terrorist thriller. DiCaprio dies well in his role and Crowe is as annoying as he can possibly be (in a good way). The plot his complex and strong with its statement on political interference in the Middle East, but the movie just doesn't separate itself in any way from the myriad of other movies in this genre Expand
  7. EdT.
    Feb 28, 2009
    Boring 'cellphone' pic. Wholly unoriginal and entirely unbelievable at the same time.

See all 42 User Reviews


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