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Lord of War

4.1 out of 5 stars 457 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The film, based on fact, follows the globetrotting exploits of arms dealer Yuri Orlov. Through some of the deadliest war zones, Yuri struggles to stay one step ahead of a relentless Interpol agent, his business rivals, even some of his customers who include many of the world's most notorious dictators. Finally, Yuri must also face his own conscience.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan, Shake Tukhmanyan
  • Directors: Andrew Niccol
  • Writers: Andrew Niccol
  • Producers: Andrew Niccol, Andreas Grosch, Andreas Schmid, Artemio Benki, Bradley Cramp
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BYA5G4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,689 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lord of War" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on September 18, 2005
I'm kind of shocked to see poor reviews of this film here at Amazon.com. I think part of the reason some individuals didn't enjoy the film is that they didn't explore the depths of the characters very well; and this is definitely a character-driven film.

Nicholas Cage is perfect at Yuri Olav, a Ukrainian native who's family moved to America years before. They run a substandard Russian restaurant that serves borscht (beet soup) as a staple. Their father has become a devout Jew. And Yuri and his brother Vitaly (Jared Leto, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) help with the restaurant. Then one day, after witnessing a failed assassination attempt, Yuri receives an epiphany: everyone needs guns. Thus the stage is set for him to become one of the premiere arms dealers in the world.

Against the backdrop of Yuri's life, we get to see the effects of his chosen profession upon his brother's psyche. Vitaly gets into drugs and women, anything he can to help him forget that he and his brother are involved in a business that allows people to kill other people. And when Yuri gives up gun running for a while, Vitaly too comes back to a semblance of normalcy. But when Yuri returns to guns, and asks Vitaly to join him, the stress becomes overwhelming (this is something that I have yet to see any other reviewer comment on and, the way Jared Leto pulls off his excellent portrayal of Yuri's brother, it's a pretty powerful message.)

I also think that many reviewers may not understand the mentality of a sociopath. Their moral compass is broken, according to our standards. So when Yuri (Cage) doesn't grow out of his morally ambiguous state, it didn't surprise me one little bit.

Also, Nicholas Cage is a deadpan actor, and that's probably why they chose him.
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Format: DVD
Many of the reviews of this movie are unusually naive and stupid.

My review of this movie is based on a lifetime overseas as the son of an oilman, as a Marine Corps infantry officer, as a clandestine case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, and as the foremost trainer of governments interested in getting a grip on reality by focusing on open source of information in all languages.

This is a first rate movie with some truly extraordinary visuals and some truly extraordinary lines. It is an intelligence movie for intelligent people, and it should certainly give anyone both a couple of hours of enjoyment, and a couple of hours of reflection.

Among the highlights:

1) AK-47 as the real weapon of mass destruction

2) Africans stripping a plane overnight, literally pulling every piece of it off and making it "disappear"

3) There is one gun for every 12 people, the arms dealers goal is to arm the other 11 as quickly as possible

4) The top arms dealers ("merchants of death") are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

I read more than I watch movies, and will end with two comments: a) all of my reading bears out the importance and relevance of this movie; and b) it is easily one of the more serious and appreciable movies I have seen in some time. The intellect in the devising and presentation of this movie is absolutely first rate.
3 Comments 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) sells international weaponry like he's selling used cars. If you don't like the deals from the former Soviet Union's stockpile of arsenal, you may be interested in a huge lot of discontinued assault rifles. How about unused guns and ammo from the U.S.-led aid to the Bosnian War? If you stick a gun in his face, he'll bring the price way down.

"Lord Of War" is a cynical, yet not heartless and probably accurate portrayal of an American 'secondary market' international weapons dealer. Yuri globe-trots the world scooping up fantastic deals on abandoned and obsolete weaponry and peddles it off to third world countries where demand for blooldshed is high. His biggest competitor, he likes to joke, is The President of The United States.

So you get a heavy dose of good-humored anti-war subtleties, with a highly entertaining movie thrown in for good measure. The first person narrative, sometimes spoken directly into the camera, offers an endless stream of topical one-liners. Some work, and some don't - "Buying your first gun is like making love for the first time. You don't know what you're doing, but you know you're having fun." - or something to that effect. You eventually come away with a crash course in international arms dealing, that all the Time magazine issues in the world couldn't offer, sure to make you a more politically conscious observer. Exposure to the horrific results of weaponry in such an entertaining fashion is harsh, humane and like an unexpected needle from a doctor.

Like a confident puppateer above the chaotic gunsmoke of war, Nicolas Cage reveals a believable and likable global arms dealer, who could be the same guy you saw selling a hot car radio in an ally.
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Format: DVD
Just a warning to those purchasing this DVD. Inexplicably, Lions Gate has reformatted this film from its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio to a 1.78:1 ratio. This means the film has been pseudo pan-and-scanned to entirely fill a widescreen TV, just as a full screen version fills a standard TV.
However, new shipments of the DVD are being sent out with a sticker over the original packaging listing the aspect ratio as 2.40:1; presumably, Lions Gate has realized their mistake and shipped out corrected discs.
When purchasing this product from Amazon, I would recommend either waiting a few weeks to ensure Amazon has the corrected discs, or I would check the back of the DVD case before removing the shrink wrap once the DVD has arrived. If the sticker is on the lower-left corner of the back of the DVD stating "Aspect Ratio 2.40:1," then it is one of the corrected discs. If, however, there is no sticker and the packaging states "Aspect Ratio 1.78:1," then I would ship the DVD back to Amazon and request a replacement with the corrected aspect ratio.
No word yet as to whether or not Lions Gate will be offering a disc replacement program for those who purchased the 1.78:1 version, but hopefully they will offer one soon. In the meantime, make sure you check the package to make sure what you are buying is, in fact, the correct version of the film, as it was intended to be seen.
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