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Rendition (2008)

Jake Gyllenhaal , Reese Witherspoon , Gavin Hood  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, Meryl Streep
  • Directors: Gavin Hood
  • Writers: Kelley Sane
  • Producers: Steve Golin, Marcus Viscidi, Toby Emmerich, Keith Goldberg, Edward Milstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00102F5WK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rendition" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Gavin Hood
  • "Outlawed" documentary
  • "Intersections: The Making of Rendition" documentary
  • Five deleted scenes including an alternate ending

Editorial Reviews

Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep star in this nail- biting thriller about a man who mysteriously disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington DC and the government conspiracy put in place to cover it up.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This 2007 film is scary. That's because the theme is about the practice of interrogating suspected terrorists in a foreign country where laws against torture do not apply. This practice is called rendition and this film makes it real. It's hard to watch.

The film opens in an American middle class suburb. Reese Witherspoon is playing with her small son when they get a phone call from her husband, Omar Metwally, an Egyptian citizen who has lived in America for 20 years. He tells his wife and son he is on the way home from a business trip and they plan on meeting him at the airport. All seems well.

When he gets off the plane, however, he is detained at the airport and questioned. He is a chemical engineer and the questioners are asking questions about a terrorist bomb plot. He denies everything. He seems clean but Meryl Streep, playing a high powered Washington decision maker, orders him to be put into rendition and he is whisked away to an unnamed middle eastern country and his name erased from the plane's passenger log while his wife and son wait patiently at the airport for a husband and father who has disappeared.

The scene now shifts to an unnamed middle eastern country where Yagal Noor, an Israeli actor of Jewish Iraqi descent, is cast in the role of the interrogator. Jake Gyllenhaal is cast as an American diplomat, who has just lost a co-worker in a suicide bombing, and has been promoted to assist Yagal Noor with the questioning. It is awful. I am cringing now just writing about it as scenes of waterboarding and electric shock torture are shown in detail. There is also a subplot about the interrogator's daughter and a suicide bomber which expands the story.

In the meantime Reese Witherspoon is trying desperately to find her husband.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty by circumstance March 5, 2008
Format:DVD
This well acted drama is a wakeup call to the horrors of the alleged practice of "extraordinary rendition", where persons suspected of being involved in terrorist activities are apprehended and sent to another country to be interrogated (translate: tortured)

Based upon one cell phone record and an Islamic name, chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is removed from a flight from South Africa to Washington D.C. and sent to an interrogation centre, where he is questioned, beaten and abused for proclaiming his innocence.

The movie uses flashbacks and lots of switching between characters to illustrate the chain reaction that results, and how it affects not only El-Ibrahimi, but also his wife (Reese Witherspoon), his family, an observing CIA analyst (Jake Gyllenhaal), and even his torturer, Abasi Fawal.

In a gripping sub-plot, Fawal's daughter secretly becomes romantically involved with a young man, not knowing that his brother had perished at the hands of her father.

Chilling at times, and maddening at others, especially when Meryl Streep's character gets involved, this movie is about the suffering of the innocent as a result of the sins of a minority. Food for thought, even though it may be a bit too bitter for some tastes.

Amanda Richards, March 5, 2008
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Get A Lot For Your Money Here June 9, 2008
Format:DVD
There's a lot on this DVD, almost all of it interesting and informative.

The movie itself is a dramatization of a composite case in which a traveler with a Middle Eastern name and heritage gets flagged as having possible terrorist ties, is waylaid by US/coalition authorities, and is sent to an "undisclosed location" where he is subjected to brutal bouts of questioning and torture. All this happens because of what might have been a simple cell phone mix-up.

However, to the movie's credit, while making a moving humanitarian appeal against such treatment, it does not foreclose on the possibility that this traveler might have some al-Qaida ties. The movie also tries to give at least some weight to our State Department's arguments for the necessity of extracting information by any means. Meryl Streep makes the Government case with chilling pragmatic efficiency.

So this movie does recognize some of the complexities involved. It is not a simplistic good guys vs. bad guys screed. This becomes especially true as it interweaves the story of two young Middle Eastern lovers caught up in the inflamed politics of their fundamentalist culture.

Then this DVD contains what is tantamount to a whole second feature film - this one a documentary outlining the cases of two men who actually were tortured at such top-secret compounds located in out-of-the-way places around the globe. These undisclosed locations actually exist and are the receiving points for suspects detained under the Rendition Act.

Neither of the two men interviewed here are Americans. The testimony of the German National from a Middle Eastern background is especially poignant.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and intelligent political thriller November 5, 2007
RENDITION has it all: Superb direction (by the masterful Gavin Hood of "Crash" fame); a great cast (Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Omar Metwally); a riveting and harrowing plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat; even an interesting twist at the end (which I won't give away) that had us all discussing the movie for an hour afterwards. And if all of that isn't enough, this is an extremely timely topic. Our government's participation in torturing people at secret prisons around the world is something that all American citizens should be discussing and debating. Unfortunately, this engaging thriller is not getting the audience it deserves. The fact that "Saw IV," a warped glorification of brutality, has earned four times as much at the box office as Rendition suggests that for many Americans, out of sight is out of mind and escapism is the name of the game.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting.
Complex and intriguing. Great acting.
Published 3 days ago by Rose L
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie if you can deal with the stuff even ...
Great movie if you can deal with the stuff even our government does.
Sometimes "truth" can be a little hard to deal with.
Published 1 month ago by Eve
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Saw it so long ago....no idea if I liked it
Published 1 month ago by M.H.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See
Gripping and well cast. Real. Scary.
Published 1 month ago by R.Ellertson
2.0 out of 5 stars I did not like this movie
I did not like this movie, very confusing and the ending was worse the the Sopranos. Don't bother watching this.
Published 1 month ago by Alex Gonzalez
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not like it at all
Did not like it at all, it had the potential to be a good movie but it never got there.
Published 1 month ago by Patty DaSilva
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching. Liked it very much.
Good movie with a some drama, some twists and some surprises. A touch confusing so it keeps you guessing but it all comes together nicely at the end. Worth watching.
Published 1 month ago by redfuddman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie. The first copy I got was broken, but it was promptly replaced.
Published 2 months ago by Charlene
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent performance
I was in a Meryl Streep mood. I always like seeing fine actors in roles that are "against type." Ms Streep turned in a very good performance as the cold--perhaps even... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rachel Dale
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
Plot jumps around too much.
Published 2 months ago by Brian Smith
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