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Body of Lies (Dir. Scott, Crowe, DiCaprio) [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Body of Lies (Dir. Scott, Crowe, DiCaprio)


JPRaup
10-10-08, 08:38 AM
I saw a preview screening last night and posted a review of it on my blog. Check it out:

http://thefilmstage.blogspot.com/

Count me in the group that is sick of "Iraq" films. Directed by Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Black Hawk Down) I had little excitement for Body of Lies and my mediocre expectations were fulfilled. There are decent moments of suspense and the film was well shot and well acted, but much of the story waded in familiar territory. The problems I had with last years American Gangster carried over to this film. I have seen all of this before. It is undoubtedly done well, but the material has been retreaded to death. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed, Blood Diamond) elevates the film with a terrific performance while Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster) literally doesn't do much the entire film. Mark Strong, last seen in this year's fun gangster romp RocknRolla, delivers a intense performance as Hani, Leo's go-to man in Jordan. Unfortunately the film stays wrapped up in boring back and forth double crosses with Leo, Crowe and Strong while never really going anywhere. Ultimately Body of Lies is a decent political thriller that will keep you entertained, but not deliver much to think about.

6 out of 10

Cardsfan111
10-10-08, 03:28 PM
^ Your review pretty much sums it up for me.

hasslein
10-10-08, 04:17 PM
Don't see anything with DiCaprio.

NoirFan
10-10-08, 04:45 PM
This has been getting pretty bad reviews, but the new New Yorker gives it a surprisingly positive writeup.

Dr Mabuse
10-10-08, 05:02 PM
The "O" gave a bad review also.

Ebert was kind of upbeat about it.

It was like 53% on Tomatoes last time I checked.

GoldenJCJ
10-10-08, 05:21 PM
Don't see anything with DiCaprio.

You're missing out on some pretty good movies.

Bluelitespecial
10-10-08, 05:22 PM
I saw it last Monday, I wouldn't call it confusing, but its very easy to get lost in the film's plot.

Geofferson
10-10-08, 05:22 PM
Surprised to see mixed reviews on this given the talent involved. I still plan on checking it out though.

scarface983
10-10-08, 06:00 PM
ill wait till its on dvd

mdc3000
10-10-08, 07:11 PM
I liked it. Nothing amazing but it moved at a good pace, I enjoyed the plot (and could follow it no problem) and think that Crowe and DiCaprio do a great job as usual. Scott doesn't do anything outrageous style wise and the music does get a bit heavy handed but for the most part I was entertained and didn't mind that there wasn't more of a political agenda to the flick. Certainly a solid matinee. 3.5/5 (for the poll I picked 3, because if I have to round, it'd be down and not up).

Daytripper
10-10-08, 08:44 PM
Don't see anything with DiCaprio.

Wha !? "The Aviator", "Blood Diamond" and "The Departed" were all great films with a terrific performance by DiCaprio. The kid just keeps getting better with age.

Giles
10-10-08, 10:35 PM
I saw it last Monday, I wouldn't call it confusing, but its very easy to get lost in the film's plot.

I thought the beginning was a tad confusing, but midway through it got it's stride, and I for one, enjoyed this film. Given that the majority of Iraq films have been, well... bad, this one wasn't IMO

Zen Peckinpah
10-10-08, 10:38 PM
If it's as good as Black Rain was, I'll be good to go.

hasslein
10-10-08, 11:33 PM
Wha !? "The Aviator", "Blood Diamond" and "The Departed" were all great films with a terrific performance by DiCaprio. The kid just keeps getting better with age.

Haven't seen 'em. I can't relate to him... You summed it up best when you said "the kid." Unfortunately, three interesting directors whose films under other circumstances I would never miss keep working with him.

thematahara
10-10-08, 11:43 PM
He's almost 35. How's that a kid?

anyanka323
10-11-08, 12:46 AM
It's probably one of the better Iraq/War on Terror films. DiCaprio was good and Crowe was believable as the armchair operative. It seemed like a simplified and easier to comprehend version of Syriana, which has a couple too many plotlines for it to make sense IMO.

It had the look of Black Hawk Down, but wasn't as good as that film. Its pacing reminded me a lot of Spy Game especially with the back and forth between DiCaprio and Crowe.

Daytripper
10-11-08, 02:03 AM
He's almost 35. How's that a kid?

He's a kid to me. I'm older. And I've seen him since he was a bit part on "Growing Pains" right up until now.

Daytripper
10-11-08, 02:05 AM
If it's as good as Black Rain was, I'll be good to go.

Yikes. Not me. That's one of my least favorite Ridley Scott films. Only because I think Michael Douglas was miscast.

DonnachaOne
10-11-08, 02:28 AM
Body Of Lies is alright. A lot of the plotting is awkward and DiCaprio never seems sincere. Crowe sits a lot, talks into a phone, and periodically looks over his glasses to let you know he's acting brilliantly.

Mark Strong is in it, and he's always fantastic multiplied by an awesome million. There's also shots of glistening low-flying helicopters, which are to Ridley Scott as F-14s are to Tony Scott. In fact, this is very much Ridley's Top Gun. Hotshot in over his head defies authority, gets in over his head and has to fight the faceless enemy of the state du jour. For a time he even has Arabic Goose.

So yeah, Body Of Lies: decent spy thriller, doesn't do anything new or different, looks nice for what it is, and Arabic Goose sounds tasty.

I really want Scott to make something really cool again.

hasslein
10-11-08, 02:49 AM
He's almost 35. How's that a kid?

He looks like a kid, coupled with the soprano voice, I just don't buy him as an adult...

Trevor
10-11-08, 08:32 AM
A friend of mine is an extra in this film. Showed up expecting to be in a background shot and never see any of the talent. Ended up in a several-hours-to-film shot with just him and Crowe, getting actual direction from Scott, a 2nd day call back, a possible close-up of his face reacting to a predator strike. Said Crowe was great, chatted with him both days, shared a bag of chips.

mdc3000
10-11-08, 10:29 AM
He looks like a kid, coupled with the soprano voice, I just don't buy him as an adult...

The reason you don't buy him as an adult is because YOU SKIPPED THE FILMS WHERE HE BECAME A MAN. Seriously, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Departed heralded the arrival of DiCaprio as a serious leading MAN, not the boy he used to be IMO. Honestly, you're skipping 3 of the best films in recent memory (especially the Scorsese ones).

NoirFan
10-11-08, 10:33 AM
Anatomy of a Scene (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/09/movies/20081009_BODY_OF_LIES.html)

hasslein
10-11-08, 09:26 PM
The reason you don't buy him as an adult is because YOU SKIPPED THE FILMS WHERE HE BECAME A MAN. Seriously, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Departed heralded the arrival of DiCaprio as a serious leading MAN, not the boy he used to be IMO. Honestly, you're skipping 3 of the best films in recent memory (especially the Scorsese ones).

Well, your adamancy is persuading me to check them out, but I have seen him in interviews and award shows, and he still comes off as someone I really have no interest in. But, try them try them, I will see....

Patman
10-11-08, 10:42 PM
Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe headline, and Ridley Scott directs "Body of Lies", a spy thriller that takes place in the middle east. With a trio of bankable cinematic talents on hand, does the film deliver? I would lean towards "not as much as I had hoped". The main problem is the script, which spends time setting up character temperments and tendencies, but never really offers anything too deep into their motivations, resulting in flat characters that do things because it's important to the plot, but doesn't feel true to spy operation. DiCaprio is agent Roger Ferris, a field agent with good instincts in the middle east, and Crowe is Ed Hoffman, an ambitious CIA director of operations who oversees Ferris.

The impetus of the film's plot is to find the head terrorist, Al-Saleem, whose organization is bombing different spots around the world, producing unrest and uncertainty. The film feels like 2 episodes of the Ferris and Hoffman show put together in a rather disjointed manner, which undermines the flow of the film. As previously alluded to, the 2nd half takes a bit of a detour in Ferris' personal life that has bad consequences, but it doesn't seem like something a smart agent like Ferris would involve himself, but it happens, and it's all to serve the plot, which I didn't buy, so I wasn't too keen on the concluding act of the film.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.

mndtrp
10-11-08, 11:11 PM
What about the end credit music hype? I doubt I'll get to this movie in the theaters.

wm lopez
10-12-08, 06:32 PM
Don't see anything with DiCaprio.
What's your reason?

hasslein
10-12-08, 09:24 PM
What's your reason?

Well, w/o opening a whole can of worms, I feel you have to relate to the actor on some level to enjoy a film. Maybe see something of yourself in him. He's not the only one of current actors, that I cannot find a connection with, but suffice it to say, I enjoy films more with an actor I can identify with. Average guys such as Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford etc. I avoid pretty boys like Leo, Tom, Wil & Ben, unless it's a comedy then, well, who cares....

lamphorn
10-13-08, 01:47 AM
Well, w/o opening a whole can of worms, I feel you have to relate to the actor on some level to enjoy a film. Maybe see something of yourself in him. He's not the only one of current actors, that I cannot find a connection with, but suffice it to say, I enjoy films more with an actor I can identify with. Average guys such as Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford etc. I avoid pretty boys like Leo, Tom, Wil & Ben, unless it's a comedy then, well, who cares....

Do you avoid movies with women as the lead characters?

hasslein
10-13-08, 05:49 AM
Do you avoid movies with women as the lead characters?

Depends on the actress... Good question...

Geofferson
10-13-08, 09:49 AM
What about the end credit music hype? I doubt I'll get to this movie in the theaters.
Following up on this as well -- is it confirmed that a GNR track played during the end credits?

JimRochester
10-14-08, 12:15 PM
He's almost 35. How's that a kid?


Anyone <40 is a kid

JimRochester
10-14-08, 05:53 PM
I gave it a 3 out of 5. I thought it was good but not great. DiCaprio was excellent, my dog could have played Russell Crowe's part. For similiar political thrillers I found it superior to Traitor but I think I liked the Kingdom a little better. I saw the ending coming but it didn't ruin it for me. I had no trouble following the plot changes as some have said.

toddly6666
10-14-08, 08:07 PM
Do people perceive Leonardo DiCaprio as a Shia LeBoef?

PopcornTreeCt
02-20-09, 11:48 PM
I just saw this and I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars. Since that wasn't an option I gave it 4.

Expectations are everything and this was better than I thought it would be. Since I've been watching The Wire and have been comparing everything else to it, I didn't think it was too shabby. Both have the same message, the government doesn't know shit about what's going on out there and know even less on how to stop it.

It was odd seeing Archie from Rock N Rolla playing a Middle Eastern guy. He actually is English.

Overall, decent movie if you keep your expectations in check.

dino88
02-21-09, 12:26 AM
Well, w/o opening a whole can of worms, I feel you have to relate to the actor on some level to enjoy a film. Maybe see something of yourself in him. He's not the only one of current actors, that I cannot find a connection with, but suffice it to say, I enjoy films more with an actor I can identify with. Average guys such as Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford etc. I avoid pretty boys like Leo, Tom, Wil & Ben, unless it's a comedy then, well, who cares....

lol...you don't like him because he is younger and a "pretty boy". You don't think Harrison Ford was considered a "pretty boy" when he was younger? He was the same age DiCaprio is now when he did Star Wars. So, I guess you didn't like him in that? Only when his hair went white right?

And De Niro was horrible when he was Leo's age too. All those crap films like Deer Hunter, Godfather2, and Taxi Driver. I'm assuming you didn't watch those shitty films.

And don't even get me started on all those crap films that little "pretty boy" Paul Newman made before his hair went white. ehhhh...makes me cringe just thinking about them.

On a much wider scale, never watch anything with a leading black man. I mean how could you possibly relate to any of them.

You must not be a true fan of film and obviously haven't seen many films with the standards you have.

RocShemp
02-21-09, 12:53 AM
I just saw this and I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars. Since that wasn't an option I gave it 4.

Expectations are everything and this was better than I thought it would be. Since I've been watching The Wire and have been comparing everything else to it, I didn't think it was too shabby. Both have the same message, the government doesn't know shit about what's going on out there and know even less on how to stop it.

It was odd seeing Archie from Rock N Rolla playing a Middle Eastern guy. He actually is English.

Overall, decent movie if you keep your expectations in check.

Tom Hardy is in this? I've been on the fence due to the lackluster reviews but I may check it out now.

iamiam
02-21-09, 01:08 AM
I enjoyed this film very much but the message may be perceived as too "anti-American" for many to appreciate. 4/5*s

Dr Mabuse
02-21-09, 10:51 AM
'Meh'

One of Ridley's low points. His personal politics were too present in the film, and he failed as a director on this outing. The technicals were good as you would expect on a Ridley outing. But he really dropped the ball on this movie. Except for 'telling them' about his view on the US I suppose.

Good performance by DiCaprio, which is the norm. I doubt he will ever rise to a better performance than 'The Aviator' though, what an amazing film.

chris_sc77
02-21-09, 02:00 PM
I thought this was very good. MUCH MUCH MUCH better than things like Syriana and The Kingdom. Those were incredibly boring but Body of Lies was completely entertaining and involving. **** out of ***** stars.

PopcornTreeCt
02-21-09, 05:25 PM
Tom Hardy is in this? I've been on the fence due to the lackluster reviews but I may check it out now.

Mark Strong (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0835016/)

RocShemp
02-22-09, 09:47 PM
Yeah, sorry about that. I dunno why I keep calling Mark Strong by Tom Hardy. I did it while watching the film today too. :lol:

ANyhoo, I really enjoyed it and though Mark Strong was great. I certainly hope he got to keep those great suits. :)