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The Devil's Double

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Belgium, Netherlands
·
2011

Rated R · 1h 49m

Director Lee Tamahori
Starring Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi, Philip Quast
Genre Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller, War
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Baghdad, 1987: Summoned from the frontline to Saddam Hussein's palace, Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Yahia is ordered to become the body double of Saddam's son, Uday—a reckless, sadistic party-boy. With his and his family's lives at stake, Latif must surrender his former self forever as he learns to walk, talk, and act like Uday.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Variety by

The life story of Latif Yahia, body double to Saddam Hussein's diabolically unhinged son Uday, makes for slick action-movie fodder in The Devil's Double, a rocket-powered thriller.
40

Time Out by David Fear

This is a movie too enamored of its own tawdriness, turning every violent act and violation into gratuitously salacious grindhouse set pieces.
25

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

It's hard to believe that The Devil's Double doesn't intend to be a put-on. Despite a real-life basis of its plot, Lee Tamahori's fierce depiction of hedonistic Saddaam Hussein spawn Uday Hussein relegates the character to a farcical cartoon.
50

Slant Magazine by Glenn Heath Jr.

The film's first act is wholly concerned with the juxtaposition of physical similarities and ideological opposites, and Tamahori spends entire sequences upending the balance between the two.
58

The A.V. Club by Nathan Rabin

Dominic Cooper is electrifying yet stiff in The Devil's Double; he's simultaneously the film's biggest asset and its greatest flaw.
50

Village Voice by Nick Pinkerton

Ignoring all but the most obvious tensions in the Uday-Latif symbiosis, Devil's Double is static drama, with Michael Thomas's script establishing relationships as if perfunctorily pressing buttons marked "Father-Son Dynamic" and "Forbidden Love Affair," failing to dignify these themes with individuality.
80

Boxoffice Magazine by Pam Grady

In keeping with the flamboyant clan of despots that were the Husseins, the drama is ultraviolent and over the top and made absolutely mesmerizing by Dominic Cooper's electrifying turn in both roles.
75

Observer by Rex Reed

You won't find yourself yawning. It's a great double stretch for an actor and Mr. Cooper plays both the smoldering Latif and the bombastic Uday with combustible energy.
60

The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Undeniably fascinating as a visit to a world you'd never have wanted to have come near in real life -- that of the Hussein family's inner sanctum -- the film falls crucially short by not providing a window into the mind of the man who was coerced into acting as his double.

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