Body of Lies - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Body of Lies Reviews

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
| Original Score: 3/5
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
May 6, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
November 21, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
November 10, 2008
Good solid far-fetched multiplex action-adventure fare in the Bondian mode, with awe-inspiring technology and just enough moral philosophizing laced through it to give the mind a little something to chew on.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
November 10, 2008
Just because it's really dense and layered doesn't mean it's good.
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
November 10, 2008
A complicated movie about the war on terror with two terrific performances and a terrific director.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 18, 2008
DiCaprio's solid, though I wonder if a real CIA agent could get away with looking so earnest every second. Crowe has the right idea, in addition to all the fun: Just throw it away, throw it away and pretty soon you build yourself a clever characterization
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
Body of Lies has nothing to say about geopolitics, the action scenes are formulaic, and DiCaprio is rarely on the screen with Crowe, who coasts through the most puzzling performance of his career.
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
October 18, 2008
Yes, there are a couple of chase scenes, but Scott rarely shifts into high gear.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 13, 2008
A high-priced potboiler that never comes to a boil.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
October 10, 2008
Its chief bid at seriousness, a confrontational colloquy with the top terrorist near the end of the film, comes across as the awkward regurgitation of a hastily swallowed subscription to The Economist.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 10, 2008
It's a study in semisimilitude, more Google-Earthly than grounded in feelings.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 10, 2008
The plot occasionally becomes convoluted and murky, but when it trains its focus on matters of treachery and intrigue, Body of Lies is exciting and compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 10, 2008
Body of Lies is more than anything a missed opportunity -- or perhaps, given its cellular phoniness, a series of missed connections.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 10, 2008
I'm still waiting for the war-on-terror thriller that has more on its mind than the threat al-Qaida poses to movie stars.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 10, 2008
This makes for a movie experience in which the viewer sits patiently for about 45 minutes waiting for the story to kick in, only to realize, oh. So this is it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 10, 2008
Body of Lies is excessively intricate and extremely dull, the latest example of a filmmaker giving us a disjointed, overlong movie that's unnecessarily confusing to follow.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 10, 2008
For those who care about there being more to a thriller than pointless car chases and over-edited fight sequences, Body of Lies offers a satisfying dose of truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 10, 2008
Body of Lies is a riddle wrapped in an enigma served with a side of mystery meat. It's very watchable, with some entertaining action beats, kind of a Syriania as scripted by Tom Clancy, a The Kingdom with a little less C.S.I.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 10, 2008
It's a little bit of Syriana, a lot of Traitor -- and an awful lot of scenes of people cursing into cell phones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 10, 2008
Body of Lies is being hailed in some quarters as a 'new' kind of war thriller. While this glitzy production may attract audiences suffering from battle fatigue, it's nothing of the sort.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 10, 2008
The movie isn't witty or memorable, but it keeps you on edge, and it's the first war-on-terror film to weave its anti-U.S. politics so deeply into the narrative that the characters don't need to speechify.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
October 10, 2008
Art may be imitating life, but it sure makes for dull movies. Body of Lies is the latest example of what a crutch this has become -- show grainy satellite images, cut to a chase in a crowded bazaar, discuss 'intel'. Repeat.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 10, 2008
Unfortunately, we've seen variations on this story a dozen times.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 10, 2008
Body of Lies has its share of exciting moments -- Scott remains a master at directing physical action -- and it certainly couldn't be more timely. But it's also a safe and predictable movie about a subject that is neither.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 10, 2008
As the film's episodic story gradually reveals itself, it ends up too unconvincing and conventional to consistently hold our attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 10, 2008
On this basic premise builds a complicated story plied with onion layers of perspective and cunning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 10, 2008
Russell Crowe's portrayal of an overweight, amoral CIA honcho in the Middle East thriller Body of Lies is mesmerizing, chilling, disturbing to the bone and one of the best performances of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 10, 2008
Body of Lies is an A-list project with B-game results.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
October 10, 2008
As a movie seeking to tell a story, Body of Lies is a confused jumble.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 10, 2008
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.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 10, 2008
The movie is an urgent current-events thriller that falls somewhere between Syriana and the Bourne movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 10, 2008
Mr. Scott's professionalism is, as ever, present in every frame and scene, but this time it seems singularly untethered from anything like zeal, conviction or even curiosity.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 10, 2008
What begins as a movie suggesting the moral complexity of counterterrorism ends up feeling very much like a thriller as generic as its title.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 9, 2008
Body of Lies is most alive while relishing the surveillance and communications tools abused by Hoffman, tools that supply him military intelligence, but not the smarts or scruples to effectively use it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 9, 2008
Body of Lies clicks along at an engaging pace, legibly limning its multitude of characters and even throwing in a good bit of wry humor.
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
October 9, 2008
It's solid filmmaking that, bafflingly, leaves little to talk about on the way home.
| Original Score: B
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
October 9, 2008
A passable Friday night flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
October 9, 2008
Its generic attributes (and title) notwithstanding,Scott's film may be the sharpest and most perceptive of all the post-9/11 thrillers -- and also the most purely entertaining.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 9, 2008
Body of Lies contains enough you can believe, or almost believe, that you wish so much of it weren't sensationally implausible.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 9, 2008
It's no surprise that Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe are so good in Body of Lies, Ridley Scott's thrilling film about the war on terror, its costs and its frustrations.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 8, 2008
Working from a screenplay by William Monahan, Scott takes rusty '80s clichés from the days when we were playing nuclear chicken with Russia and retrofits them to the post-9/11 world. He exposes how weary those old spy tropes really are.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 8, 2008
Each character thinks that what he's doing is the right course for the greater good. But when you break down Body of Lies to its most fundamental elements, it's really about disagreeing with your boss.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 8, 2008
Body of Lies is yet another in a long, tiresome line of loud, violent, nauseating and incoherent riffs on how mercenary and inhuman the spooks in the C.I.A. are, even to each other.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 8, 2008
| Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
October 6, 2008
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.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 3, 2008
DiCaprio gives the role plenty of brio, while Crowe -- who reportedly gained 50 pounds to play the morally and physically sloven office spook -- is agreeably obnoxious.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
October 3, 2008
Neither the location-based verisimilitude of Ridley Scott's shooting style nor the estimable Middle East expertise of source-material author David Ignatius can disguise Body of Lies as anything other than the contrived phony-baloney it is.