Thursday, 3 December 2009

Film Review: BODY OF LIES (2008)

Director: Ridley Scott
Running time: 128 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 2nd December 2009.


Set against the war on terror, this film deals with the work of the CIA and their efforts to capture one of the terrorist leaders. Seen from the perspective of Roger Ferris, an agent on the ground, and Ed Hoffman, his handler back in the USA, it gives an interesting perspective to events in the region. Throw into the mix an enigmatic Jordanian security chief and a Muslim nurse who Ferris is interested in, and you have an enthralling espionage thriller.

As I said at the beginning, Roger Ferris is the agent on the ground, and we begin with him watching a suspect being tortured to death. Not a promising start, I know, but it does illustrate the point that torture does not work. Through several twists and turns, he picks up the trail of the terrorist leader Al-Saleem. We mostly see Ed Hoffman on the phone while taking his kids to school, or in the office, but when things really hot up, he makes the trip to Jordan where they are watching a safe house. They have solicited the help of the Jordanian security chief Hani Salaam, an enigmatic character who insists that Ferris always tells him the truth. Ferris has met a nurse, Aisha, and their relationship is just beginning to flourish when she is kidnapped. Thinking Al-Saleem is behind it, Ferris offers himself in exchange for the girl. And this is where I’m going to stop; I don’t want to give away too many spoilers!

A very well made film, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ridley Scott. Technically, I couldn’t fault it, the only problems I found were that the plot was very complicated to follow and it was a little long. Great performances from all of the cast, honourable mentions go to Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris, Russell Crowe as Ed Hoffman, Mark Strong as Hani Salaam, Golshifteh Farahani as Aisha, Oscar Isaac as Bassam, Ali Suliman as Omar Sadiki and Alon Abutbul as Al-Saleem.

I think I would have to re-watch this one to give it a fair go, but I will score it on my first viewing. Should I watch it again, I will re-score it. Over all, apart from the comments I made earlier, I quite enjoyed this film. Although it does help that I am a massive fan of the director.

My score: 6.5/10 (on first viewing)

IMDb Site:
Official Site:

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