Movie Review – Lord of War [2005]


Lord of War is one of my favorite movies. It’s not like I watched it once and thought “Oh my god this is the best movie ever”– it just sort of grew on me over time.

The opening scene is really powerful, and might easily be my favorite opening sequence of all time. It shows the journey of a bullet, from manufacture to the brain of a child soldier. (If you haven’t watched the movie, watch the opening sequence, and then watch the movie before reading the rest of this review.)

Spoilers ahead.

The closing scene is equally powerful if not more so.

There are lots of interesting stories. A man from a difficult place, and his brother. Corruption in governments and militaries. The human predisposition to violence. Lies and deceit.

It also asks some very interesting, and painfully practical, questions about where responsibility begins and ends. Nicholas Cage’s character, Yuri, thinks of himself as just a supplier, a cog in a massive machine that he isn’t personally responsible for. His brother (Jared Leto) has a change of heart, and dies because of it. The man who’s pursuing him

At one point, an African warlord…

Depiction of African warlords with gold-plated AK-47s.

The protagonist starts out poor, wanting to get rich. He gets very, very rich, but he loses everything in the process – his family, his ‘innocence’, his integrity, everything. And ultimately he gets addicted to arms dealing, because he’s so good at it.

Apparently AK-47s are so cheap, it’s cheaper to buy an actual AK-47 than a prop– and so the movie used real AK-47s.


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