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What if someone you knew just ... "disappeared"? Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin star a harrowing thriller--a story that could happen to anyone today--a tale of Rendition. When an Egyptian engineer "disappears" on a flight from Africa to Washington, D.C., his American wife (Academy Award winner Witherspoon--Walk the Line) and a CIA analyst (Academy Award nominee Gyllenhaal--Brokeback Mountain) who witnesses his torture find their ordered worlds spinning out of control and themselves caught in a struggle to secure his release from a secret detention facility somewhere in the Middle East.]]>
- Commentary by director Gavin Hood
- "Outlawed" documentary
- "Intersections: The Making of Rendition" documentary
- Five deleted scenes including an alternate ending
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
That pretty much sums up this poor attempt to tell a story that you’ll likely not care about. The summary states “A nail-biting thriller about a man who mysteriously disappears on... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Todd M.
long drawn out one plot film with sedated acting. Not more to tell.Published 12 days ago by Raven of Reviews.
If you are naive enough to believe the U.S. doesn't torture (I think we've all dropped that illusion by now) this film, based on a true story, will enlighten you. Suspenseful.Published 1 month ago by JustMyOpinion
Interesting plot since I didn't know anything about Rendition. However, seemed like Jake was sleep walking through the movie--maybe Reese was paid more than he was? Fat chance!Published 1 month ago by Lois
Will not play in many players and none of my computers. Gee, thanks studios and publishers for pushing this buggy copy protection on us!Published 1 month ago by Joe Whitehead