Body of Lies (film)

Infobox Film
name = Body of Lies

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Ridley Scott
producer = Ridley Scott Donald De Line
writer = Novel:
David Ignatius
William Monahan
starring = Leonardo DiCaprio
Russell Crowe
Golshifteh Farahani
Carice van Houten
Vince Colosimo
music = Marc Streitenfeld
cinematography = Alexander Witt
editing = Pietro Scalia
distributor = Warner Bros.
released = Australia:
October 9, 2008
North America:
October 10, 2008
runtime = 128 min
country = United States
language = English
budget = US$70,000,000
gross = US$4,350,000
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:393933
imdb_id = 0758774

"Body of Lies" is a 2008 American thriller film adaptation of the novel of the same name by David Ignatius about a CIA operative who goes to Jordan to track a high-ranking terrorist. The film is directed by Ridley Scott, director of "American Gangster" and "Black Hawk Down", written by William Monahan, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani and Australian actor Vince Colosimo. Production took place in Washington D.C. and Morocco. "Body of Lies" was released in the United States on October 10, 2008.


A CIA operative (Leonardo DiCaprio) is sent by his manipulative boss (Russell Crowe) to Jordan to find a high-ranking terrorist. While in Jordan, the operative forms an uneasy alliance with the head of Jordan's covert operations.


*Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris, a CIA operative who is sent to Jordan. DiCaprio chose to pursue the role because he considered it a throwback to political films in the 1970s such as "The Parallax View" (1974) and "Three Days of the Condor" (1975). [cite news | first=Larry | last=Carroll | url= | title=Leonardo DiCaprio And Russell Crowe Will Be A Good 'Fit' In CIA Flick, Ridley Scott Hopes | | publisher=MTV | date=2007-08-15 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ]
*Russell Crowe as Edward "Ed" Hoffman, a manipulative CIA boss who teams with Ferris. Crowe gained 63 pounds to suit his role. [cite news | first=Sally | last=Grover | url= | title=No Lies On Russell Crowe's Body | | publisher=Celebrity News Service | date=2007-10-31 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ] The actor said as a result of the film's exploration of the American government and foreign policy, "I don't think it will be very popular, but that’s never been part of my project choice process." [cite news | first=Larry | last=Carroll | url= | title=Russell Crowe Says ‘Body Of Lies’ Probably Won’t Be Popular | | publisher=MTV | date=2007-08-24 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ]
*Golshifteh Farahani as Aisha, Ferris' nurse in Jordan.
*Mark Strong as Hani Salaam, head of the Jordanian General Intelligence Department {GID). [Warner Bros., "Body of Lies" production notes, p. 7] Strong ascribed his acquisition of the role to his performances in the 2005 films "Syriana" and "Oliver Twist". [cite news | author= | url= | title=Accidental anti-hero | work=The Independent | publisher=Independent News & Media | date=2007-10-19 ]
*Vince Colosimo as Skip, Ferris aide-de-camp in Jordan.
*Oscar Isaac [cite journal | first=Ali | last=Jaafar | url= | title=Oscar Isaac joins 'Balibo' | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-07-01 | accessdate=2008-07-15 ] as Bassam, Ferris' translator and partner in Samarra, Iraq.Production notes, p. 9]
*Simon McBurney as Garland, an eccentric CIA computer whiz. [Production notes, p. 10]
*Ali Suliman as Omar Sadiki, an innocent architect used by Ferris as a pawn.


In March 2006, Warner Bros. hired screenwriter William Monahan to adapt the novel "Penetration" by David Ignatius into a feature film, which would be directed by Ridley Scott.cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url= | title=Warner sets spy team | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2006-03-12 | accessdate=2007-04-29 ] In April 2007, with the novel re-titled "Body of Lies" and the film similarly re-titled, actor Leonardo DiCaprio was cast in the lead role.cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url= | title=DiCaprio to star in 'Body of Lies' | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2007-04-08 | accessdate=2007-04-29 ] After DiCaprio was cast, Russell Crowe was courted for a supporting role, to which he formally committed after Monahan's script was revised by Steve Zaillian, who scripted Scott and Crowe's "American Gangster".cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url= | title=Crowe 'Lies' with DiCaprio | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2007-06-27 | accessdate=2007-06-28 ]

Production took place in Washington D.C., Europe, and the Middle East. Scott sought to film in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, but the federation's National Media Council denied the director permission due to the script's politically sensitive nature. As a result, scenes set in Jordan were instead filmed in Morocco. [cite journal | first=Ali | last=Jaafar | url= | title=Dubai rejects Scott's 'Lies' | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2007-08-03 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ] Filming began on September 5, 2007 at the Eastern Market, Washington, D.C. [cite news | first=Amy | last=Argetsinger | coauthors=Roxanne Roberts | url= | title=Reel Thrills in the Neighborhood | work=The Washington Post | publisher=Washington Post Company | date=2007-09-06 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ] Part of Capitol Hill neighborhood was converted to resemble a wintry Amsterdam to film ten to fifteen seconds of a car bombing. [cite news | first=Gene | last=Weingarten | url= | title=Boom Town | work=The Washington Post | publisher=Washington Post Company | date=2007-09-30 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ] Filming took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland to stand in for Northern Virginia. [cite news | first=Andrew | last=Childers | url= | title=Crowe, crew film here | work=The Capital | publisher=Landmark Communications | date=2007-09-08 ] Locations in Baltimore also stood in for Manchester, England and Munich, Germany. Production moved to Morocco afterward, [cite news | author= | url= | title=Russell Crowe filming in Maryland | work=USA Today | publisher=Gannett Company | date=2007-09-08 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ] where a nine-week shoot took place at CLA Studios in the city of Ouarzazate. [cite journal | first=Ali | last=Jaafar | url= | title=Moroccan studios having a mixed year | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2007-11-09 | accessdate=2007-11-30 ] Filming wrapped in December 2007. [cite journal | first=Glen | last=Ferris | title = Scott On His Upcoming Slate | journal = Empire | publisher=Bauer Verlagsgruppe | date = 2008-02-11 | url = | accessdate=2008-02-11]


The film score was composed by composer Marc Streitenfeld, who has now composed music for Ridley Scott for three features. He recorded the orchestral portions of his score at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios.cite news | first=Dan | last=Goldwasser | url= | title=Marc Streitenfeld scores Ridley Scott's "House of Lies" | | date=2008-06-19 | accessdate=2008-06-19 ] Of interesting note is the presence of a song in the film named "If The World," performed by Guns N Roses, and taken off of their long-delayed Chinese Democracy album. The track plays over the beginning of the end credits, but is not included on the official film soundtrack.


"Body of Lies" has been reported as a film to screen out of competition at the 65th Venice International Film Festival in August-September 2008. [cite journal | first=Eric J | last=Lyman | url= | title=As Cannes closes, eyes turn to Venice | journal=The Hollywood Reporter | publisher=Nielsen Company | date=2008-05-21 | accessdate=2008-07-15 ] The film is scheduled to be commercially released in theaters in the United States on October 10 2008. [cite web | url= | title=Body of Lies | | publisher=Coming Soon Media, L.P | accessdate=2007-12-24 ] The film has also been purchased by Turner Broadcasting System to screen on the television networks TBS and Turner Network Television. [cite journal | first=John | last=Dempsey | url= | title=TNT, TBS nab pack of WB films | journal=Variety | publisher=Reed Business Information | date=2008-03-27 | accessdate=2008-03-11 ] There is also a track on the soundtrack feature Serj Tankian and Mike Patton, a new song by Guns N' Roses "If The World" plays over the end credits.

The film was pre-screened on September 30, 2008 at Michigan Technological University, [] and October 2, 2008 at the Duke University, University of Maryland and University of Virginia. It was also pre-screened on October 3rd, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, at Michigan State University, at the University of Michigan, the University of Kansas, East Carolina University, and the University of Chicago on October 7th, and at Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The University at Buffalo, Columbia University, James Madison University, Syracuse University, the University of Washington, and Georgia Southern University on October 9th.

Critical Reception

The film has a rating of 54% on rotten tomatoes with the consensus that the film relies too heavily on the performances of DiCaprio and Crowe to lift it above the average espionage thriller.


External links

* [ Official site and trailer]
*imdb title|id=0758774|title=Body of Lies
*amg title|id=1:393933|title=Body of Lies
*rotten-tomatoes|id=10009225-body_of_lies|title=Body of Lies
*metacritic film|id=bodyoflies|title=Body of Lies
*mojo title|id=bodyoflies|title=Body of Lies
* [ Scoring Session Photo Gallery at]
* [ Middle East Intrigue] at "American Cinematographer"

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