Body of Lies | Chicago Reader

Body of Lies

A disillusioned CIA operative (Leonardo DiCaprio) risks life and limb in Iraq and Jordan; meanwhile his pudgy, cynical boss back in the States (Russell Crowe) checks in with him on a telephone headset, coldly moving human chess pieces around as he ferries his kids to school and soccer practice. This anti-jihadist action thriller beats the pants off such previous efforts as Traitor and The Kingdom: director Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down) gives the eruptions of street chaos a visceral solidity, and screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed), adapting a novel by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, wades deep into the ethical quicksand of the war on terror. But like Scott's last picture, American Gangster, this is a little too slick and commanding for its own good; despite Crowe and DiCaprio's best efforts, their characters keep getting flattened by the steamroller narrative. R, 130 min.

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