Leonardo DiCaprio fights terrorists for the CIA in this rapid-fire thriller from director Ridley Scott .
While Roger Ferris (DiCaprio) gets his hands dirty on the teeming Arab streets, his handler Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) watches from Washington via spy satellite, cheerfully giving bull-in-a-china-shop style orders while picking up his kids from school.
Innocent lives are lost, buildings blow up, and the threat of winding up beheaded on the internet is always one move away.
LIES is decked out from front to back with fascinating bits of Arabic and espionage minutiae as it races along its wild mission to track down an elusive terrorist sect leader.
Crowe has fun in his portly Southern-accented INSIDER mode, while DiCaprio does his usual anguished moral suffering over the fate of individuals.
As the suave head of Jordanian intelligence, Mark Strong gives a scene-stealing, cobra-like performance that clashes beautifully with Crowe's "ugly American" bullying. The beautiful Golshifteh Farahani plays the obligatory love interest, the nurse who treats Ferris's regularly occurring battle and torture wounds.
When most action heroes are completely healed within minutes of every fight, it's refreshing--in a grisly sort of way--to see how Ferris's wounds bruises pile up.
The solid, punchy script is by William Monahan (THE DEPARTED) from the David Ignatius novel., Though this thriller is the fourth collaboration between Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, it marks the veteran director's first pairing with Leonardo DiCaprio.
In this adaptation of a novel by David Ignatius, DiCaprio plays a CIA agent who wants the help of a more experienced agent (Crowe) in his investigation of a Jordanian terrorist.