Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Roger Ferris is a CIA operative in the Middle East; Ed Hoffman is his control at Langley. Cynicism is everywhere. In Amman, Roger works with Hani Salaam, Jordan's head of security, whose only dictum is "Don't lie to me." The Americans are in pursuit of a cleric who leads a group placing bombs all over Europe. When Hani rebukes Ed's demand that Jordan allow the Americans to use one of Jordan's double agents, Roger and Ed hatch a plan to bring the cleric to them. The plan is complicated by its being a secret from Hani and by Roger's attraction to a local nurse. Satellites and cell phones, bodies and lies: modern warfare. Written by
During filming in the USA, a few of the POVs (privately-owned vehicles) which extras used to reach the locations were used during filming of scenes meant to portray parts of Europe, but first the cars needed to be "de-Americanized". This involved more than just switching license plates. Rear-view mirror dangling trinkets (graduation tassels, novelty-shaped air fresheners, etc) were removed. Bumper stickers advertising vacation spots and political views were scraped off. In some cases, windshield decals from European municipalities were added. See more »
The area around Balad, Iraq is flat, not mountainous. See more »
I and the public know what all schoolchildren learn, those to whom evil is done, do evil in return. - W.H. Auden
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Does trust go out the window in the time of war? It's the question the audience may ponder during the course of this film where it seems that even those on the same team aren't always working in each other's best interests.
Leonard DiCaprio stars as Roger Farris, a CIA agent who is seeking to capture a terrorist in Jordan. Farris is in constant contact with Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe), a US government official with no respect or time for Farris' calls to work with Jordanian officials to solve their case.
After a mishap jeopardizes Farris lead, he teams up with Hani (Mark Strong), a charismatic and enigmatic, Jordanian covert operations official.
What follows is the push and pull between the three men's methodology on capturing the terrorist.
While "Body of Lies" is definitely a product of a post-911 world, it does not feel like the numerous post-911 political thrillers such as "Syriana" due to it's subtlety. It's more of spy thriller with a cautionary tale on America's foreign relations mixed in.
One minor complaint is the pacing of the film. There are a few stops and starts as Farris deals with the reality of the effectiveness of his enemies. As he adjusts his plans it feels as if the story starts back from the top.
But the performances are excellent from DiCaprio; who is the only actor his age who could tackle this role with the any type credibility and depth. Crowe and Strong, down to Golshifteh Farahani as Aisha, the nurse DiCaprio is drawn to and especially Oscar Isaac who plays Bassam, DiCaprio's go-to guy for information.
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