Lord of War: Garth Stead
September 14, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lord of War

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
122 minutes
Wide Release Date
09/16/05
performer
Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan, Donald Sutherland, Eamonn Walker, Jeffrey Wright
director
Andrew Niccol
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Andrew Niccol
Genre
Drama, Action Adventure
We gave it a D-

It’s clear that writer-director Andrew Niccol did his homework before making Lord of War, the tale of an international arms dealer. Watching the movie, which is like a feature-length trailer crossed with a lecture held together by Nicolas Cage’s ”hard-boiled” narration (”They say every man has his price, but not every man gets it”), we learn that the outlaws who sell arms on the black market deal in Uzis, Glocks, and Kalashnikov assault rifles; that they’ll offer their products to everyone from the rebels of Lebanon to the dictator of Liberia (Eamonn Walker). More than that — and this is the film’s big insight, so hold on to your popcorn — we learn that weapons salesmen are sleazy troubleshooters who don’t care about the harm they cause. Gosh. Cage’s Yuri Orlov, partnering with his party-boy brother (Jared Leto), isn’t much more than a generic crooked businessman boating off in dangerous gray suits to the world’s trouble spots. Lord of War comes on like it’s the GoodFellas of global assault hardware, but Niccol stages ideas for scenes rather than the scenes themselves. He never quite creates a present tense, and the result is a dead pile of information in search of a movie.

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