Body of Lies

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: -1

Content: -4

Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac,Simon McBurney. Dramatic thriller. Written by William Monahan. Directed by Ridley Scott.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius 2007 novel about a CIA operative. Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio), who uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan. When Ferris devises a plan to infiltrate his network, he must first win the backing of cunning CIA veteran Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) and the collegial, but perhaps suspect, head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men without putting his entire operation and his life on the line.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I average walking out of a press screening about once a year. Thats not a bad, considering I see around two hundred movies a year. I mean, its not like Im sluffing off or anything. So, lets analyze this. Why would a professional film critic (I get paid, I must be a professional) exit a film before the end credits? Hes seen all kinds of violence, heard any number of obscene and profane expressions. Hes been forced to endure mediocrity and Hollywoods obsession with denouncing the American way. So what makes him leave?

Usually, when I leave its a feeling that what Im watching is grieving the Holy Spirit. Thats a confirmation that the Holy Spirit lives in me and while I consider what I do a directive from God as my lifes calling, there must be a point where even God is surprised by mans vileness. Yes, God has seen every wickedness, but it must sadly amaze Him that we are entertained by such depictions. I say entertained because most of us dont plop down $8 for deep messages. I suspect that after viewing the nightly news and struggling with the price of milk, most moviegoers are looking for a little escapism. Throw in a little profundity and thats okay so long as we feel entertained, not debriefed.

I cant always declare that my motive for leaving this movie was due to His leading. To be honest, Im not sure if it was Gods command or just my own disgust. Whatever the reason, I must state up front (or at least by the third paragraph) that this is not a review. Although I suffered through all but the last 15 minutes or so, I cant give a full assessment of the directors objective. This is merely an explanation for why I walked out on a film featuring two of Hollywoods finest actors.

Along with the use of Gods name followed by a curse at least eight times (mostly by Leo), and Christs name uttered four times as a release of frustration, the endless array of f-bombs and the recreation several jolting times of terrorist bombings and suicide missions, shootings and beatings, and once again the proclamation of corruption in Americas war efforts, all of which Ive seen time and again, my enough-is-enough quotient came when the bad guy started breaking Leos fingers with a mallet.

Now, Im pretty sure the actor didnt really go all Stanislavski-method, allowing a fellow thespian to smash his digits for the sake of realism. But the bloody visual sure looked it.

While a motion picture can be useful in spotlighting abuses, here I felt the kinetic and often confusing storyline was further distressed by its visual brutality. I just dont want to get to where Im being entertained by the depiction of physical abuse. Silly me.

That said, if there is a redemptive assertion that goes rewarded by films end, I cannot say, for as I explained several paragraphs ago, I left before the filmmaker had a chance to tie up all the loose and bloody ends. I kept thinking of entertaining movies with political agendas; film experiences where I didnt feel like a POW.

So, please read someones review of this movie. Maybe other colleagues in criticism found a positive purpose to the proceedings and maybe he or she wasnt as sickened by the realistic-looking torture.

The content (reason for the rating) only reflects the action up until I left. There could have been some really good justification delivered after I left.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A crude sexual reference

Obscene Language: Around 50 obscenities, mostly the f-word

Profanity: At least 12 profane uses of Gods or Christs name

Violence: Sudden and jolting explosions as suicide terrorists blow up innocent tourists and civilians; countless Rambo like shootings; beatings; torture, including a mans fingers smashed by a hammer. Blood: Much blood, some sprayed about, along with brains as a man is shot in the head.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking and smoking

Other: None

Running Time: Too long
Intended Audience: Adults

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