Body of Lies movie review: Based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius' 2007 novel about a CIA operative, Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio), who uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan. When Ferris devises a plan to infiltrate his network, he must first win the backing of cunning CIA veteran Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) and the collegial, but perhaps suspect, head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men without putting his entire operation – and his life – on the line.
The buzz: Perhaps this is the topical drama viewers will actually go see: The movie continues DiCaprio’s streak of working only with big-time directors (Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Edward Zwick), and whenever Crowe teams up with director Ridley Scott (“American Gangster,” “Gladiator”) there’s usually high-stakes drama and plenty of bloodshed to match. Based on the 2004 novel “Penetration” by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, the film’s got a new, generic title because we assume a movie called “Penetration” brings in a different type of actors for the casting call. (Er, as opposed to “Body of Lies,” which sounds like a late-night Cinemax flick.)
The verdict: Enough with jamming love stories in the middle of this madness (remember “Rendition”?). That said, “Body of Lies” is intriguing as Ferris struggles to spearhead the operation as Hoffman’s faraway decisions change the situation like the earth’s plates moving beneath him. There’s a lot of finger-pointing at disjointed U.S. procedure, and a hole at the film’s center where there should be an unraveling of this operational inefficiency. But Scott does something most directors of terrorism-related films haven’t: He makes the threats, the obstacles and the explosions seem shatteringly real, and fashions big-budget entertainment that’s neither exploitative nor patronizing. Source: Metromix
Box Office: The movie was not successful in its first weekend, pulling in just $12.9 million. Overall, while the film has grossed only $40 million at the US domestic box office, the film has grossed $115,097,286 worldwide.