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Wick's Review

Created Oct 18, 2008 12:16AM PST • Edited Sep 11, 2018 03:04AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Good 3.0

    Given the dismal state of Islamist terror movies, this surprisingly evenhanded thriller tops the heap, though its disjointed plot comes together slowly and Leonardo DiCaprio’s CIA character lacks charisma. Fortunately he’s flanked by two great actors, the estimable Russell Crowe and the slickly impressive Mark Strong. Thrown together in Ridley Scott’s typically energetic style, the result is a worthwhile night at the movies.

  3. Good 3.0

    DiCaprio’s not enough of a superstar to make us bond with him when he can’t demonstrate his devil-may-care charm. As in Blood Diamond, he gets precious little opportunity to make light, so we end up feeling like he’s taking us on a forced march rather than an intrepid adventure.

    Crowe, OTOH, demonstrates yet again that true superstar actors can be interesting in buttoned down roles. Last but not least, British actor Mark Strong plays a Jordanian intelligence chief with oily charm (“not your ordinary fingernail puller” as Crowe’s character favorably describes him). This guy needs lots more roles: heroes or villains, the man is a star.

  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Good 3.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Good 3.0

    Ridley Scott’s movie and David Ignatius’ story deftly shows modernity-hating Islamists making brutally effective use of camcorders and instant global media. The unpalatable choices faced by Western forces operating in a most foreign land are also well drawn.

  9. Direction Good 3.0
  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music OK 2.5
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.8

    Combat violence isn’t pretty, a fact that Ridley Scott revels in.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Brutal 2.7
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7
  18. Glib 1.4

    Body of Lies imagines more of the semi-regular Islamist terror that afflicts Europe these days. Readily believable in the wake of the London and Madrid transport bombings, along with the snuff murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, the story serves as a cautionary tale for Americans who have grown forgetful in the seven years since our own terrible wake up call.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.7
  20. Biological Glib 1.4
  21. Physical Glib 1.2


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