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Lord of War (2005)

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An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol Agent.

Director:

Andrew Niccol

Writer:

Andrew Niccol
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Popularity
2,822 ( 228)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Yuri Orlov
Bridget Moynahan ... Ava Fontaine
Jared Leto ... Vitaly Orlov
Shake Tukhmanyan Shake Tukhmanyan ... Irina Orlov (as Shake Toukhmanian)
Jean-Pierre Nshanian Jean-Pierre Nshanian ... Anatoly Orlov
Jared Burke ... Ukrainian Mobster
Eric Uys ... Ukrainian Mobster
David Shumbris ... Ukrainian Mobster
Stewart Morgan Stewart Morgan ... Ukrainian Mobster
Jasper Lenz Jasper Lenz ... Gregor
Stephen Gregor Stephen Gregor ... Eli Kurtzman
Kobus Marx Kobus Marx ... Boris
Stephan De Abreu Stephan De Abreu ... Liev
Jeremy Crutchley ... Arms Fair Salesman
Ian Holm ... Simeon Weisz
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Storyline

This film charts the rise and fall of Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to mobsters in his local neighbourhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 90s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son. The film also charts his relationship through the years with his younger brother, his marriage to a famous model, his relentless pursuit by a determined federal agent and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does. Written by davidgraham83@hotmail.co.uk

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where There's A Will, There's A Weapon. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug use, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | France

Release Date:

16 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El señor de la guerra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,390,144, 18 September 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$24,149,632, 19 July 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$72,617,068, 19 July 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Writer and Director Andrew Niccol, the filmmakers worked with actual gunrunners in the making of the film. The tanks lined up for sale were real, and belonged to a Czech arms dealer, who had to have them back to sell to another country. They used a real stockpile of over three thousand AK-47s, because it was cheaper than getting prop guns. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Jack Valentine enters the port, the name on the entrance "Port Odessa" (in Russian) is backwards so that it can only be read from the inside of the port not from the outside correctly. See more »

Quotes

Yuri Orlov: [in an interrogation room] The reason I'll be released is the same reason you think I'll be convicted. I do rub shoulders with some of the most vile, sadistic men calling themselves leaders today. But some of these men are the enemies of your enemies. And while the biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss - the President of the United States, who ships more merchandise in a day than I do in a year - sometimes it's embarrassing to have his fingerprints on the guns. Sometimes he needs a ...
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Crazy Credits

Before the end credits roll a message appears stating that the top 5 sellers of arms in the world are China, Russia, the UK, USA, and France - all of whom make up the permanent five members of the UN security council. See more »

Alternate Versions

For the US DVD release the aspect ratio of the film was changed to 1,78:1. A few weeks after the initial release the DVD was reissued with the film in its original aspect ratio of 2,35:1. See more »

Connections

References Belly (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Glory Box
(1995)
Written by Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley
Performed by Portishead
Courtesy of Go! Discs Ltd./Polydor Ltd. (UK)
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Featuring a sample of "Ike's Rap III"
Written and Performed by Isaac Hayes
Courtesy of Stax Records/Concorde Music Group, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Just Evil Prevails
1 October 2005 | by jon.h.ochiaiSee all my reviews

Atop a hillside in Liberia overlooking an impending village massacre once the arms deal settles, Nicolas Cage's Yuri pleads to his conscience rattled brother Vitaly (Jared Leto), "It is none of our business!" Writer and Director Andrew Niccol's "Lord of War" is all about the big business of war, and the cost of selling one's soul. That lost soul is Yuri Orlov played masterfully by Nicolas Cage. Cage as Yuri also narrates the story. Niccol sets the warped and dark tone in the opening sequence of the manufacture of a bullet to its final destination—so to speak. Yuri comments that there is one firearm for every 12 people in the world. So the question is "How do we arm the other eleven?" Niccol's "Lord of War" is not so much a clever indictment of humanity, rather an acknowledgment of perhaps humanity's darker nature. In a poignant and chilling realization for Yuri (Cage) he says, "They say that 'evil prevails when good men fail to act.' It should be 'evil prevails'." I don't think this is cynicism on Niccol's part, rather only stating what is so given all of history and now. He certainly makes us think from the inside out.

Yuri Orlov (Cage) is from a Ukrainian family in Little Odessa, NY. As a young man he has an epiphany witnessing a Russian mafia hit. Being an arms dealer is the path to success. He finds that he also has an innate gift for his chosen profession. He enlists his brother Vitaly (Leto) into the business. "Lord of War" traces the Orlov brothers over the course of 20 years—through the end of the Cold War to the advent of terrorist threats and dictatorships in third world countries. Yuri truly becomes the Lord of War supplying arms to anyone and any country for a profit. He also acts as an independent agent for undisclosed countries supplying arms to "freedom fighters". One gets the drift. Yuri eventually hits his stride and becomes very successful and very wealthy. He marries his trophy bride, supermodel Ava Fontaine (stunning Bridget Moynahan), has a son, and living in a luxury apartment in Manhattan. All the while he eludes the grasp of Interpol Agent Jack Valentine (very good Ethan Hawke), by keeping three steps ahead. Predictably Yuri's world comes crashing in upon him. In a powerful scene with Ava who purposely ignores what her husband really does for a living, Yuri has a conscience meltdown.

The actors in "Lord of War" are great. Nicolas Cage is such a powerful and versatile actor. I don't think any other actor than himself, could enroll sympathy as arms dealer Yuri. Cage gives Yuri a subtle detached edge and an expert in context. Cage knows he is in morally bankrupt position, and he uses his smarts and sense of humor to rationalize that he only supplies the weapons to men who do evil. Yuri is the ultimate poster child for "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Jared Leto is surprising as the coke head brother, who eventually cops to the monster he has become—the counterpoint to Yuri. Bridget Moynahan is deceivingly powerful as Ava, the former model aware that her asset of being pretty is fading, and closes her eyes to what her husband does until it is too late. Moynahan is stunningly beautiful and has distinctive grace and vulnerability. Ethan Hawke as Jack Valentine is the intrepid idealist saving the world from the likes of Yuri. Hawke is very strong and compelling.

Andrew Niccol's "Lord of War" ends and the world continues on. The echoes of Yuri voice, just "evil prevails" is a chilling and poignant reminder. Nicolas Cage is brilliant as the lost soul in "The Lord of War". "The Lord of War" is one the year's best.


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