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"RENDITION"
(2007) (Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Heavy Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Moderate None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Moderate Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: As the U.S. interrogates a suspected terrorist in North Africa in hopes of stopping another bombing, the man's wife tries to find out what happened to her husband who's suddenly disappeared.
PLOT:
After a bombing in North Africa kills a CIA case officer, young analyst Douglas Freeman (JAKE GYLLENHAAL), who was there at the attack, finds himself overseeing the interrogation of suspected terrorist Anwar El-Ibrahimi (OMAR METWALLY). He's an Egyptian born chemical engineer who's lived in the U.S. since he was 14, and is now married to the very pregnant Isabella (REESE WITHERSPOON).

She's concerned when he doesn't return from a business trip to Cape Town, and after she can't get answers from anyone, she turns to her former college boyfriend, Alan Smith (PETER SARSGAARD), who works for U.S. Senator Hawkins (ALAN ARKIN). Alan starts doing a little digging, but runs into major resistance from a high-ranking CIA official, Corrine Whitman (MERYL STREEP), when he starts asking about extraordinary rendition, a procedure where the U.S. can hold suspected terrorists in overseas facilities without due legal process.

Corrine won't admit nor deny anything to do with Anwar, meaning the engineer must face the torturous interrogation techniques delivered by Abasi Fawal (IGAL NAOR). Unbeknownst to him, his rebellious daughter, Fatima (ZINEB OUKACH), is secretly seeing fellow student Khalid (MOA KHOUAS), who's been drawn into the terrorist movement.

As Isabella and Alan try to use the available resources to find out what happened to Anwar, Douglas questions whether the torture he witnesses is justified, all while wondering if Anwar really is involved with the terrorists, unaware that the likes of Khalid are preparing for the next strike.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're enticed by someone in the cast or the involved politics and such, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For torture/violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAKE GYLLENHAAL plays a CIA analyst who's assigned, for the first time, to oversee the interrogation of an alleged terrorist accomplice, and thus he witnesses the torture of that man. He uses strong profanity, drinks, seemingly briefly uses drugs, and sleeps with a woman, all while having to decide what's right and wrong.
  • REESE WITHERSPOON plays a pregnant wife who desperately wants to find out what happened to her husband who suddenly disappeared, seemingly without a trace.
  • OMAR METWALLY plays Isabella's husband, an Egyptian born chemical engineer who's lived in the U.S. for a long time, but is suspected by the CIA of being involved in helping terrorists with their bomb-making capacity. He ends up held captive with no legal representation, and is tortured during this time.
  • PETER SARSGAARD plays Isabella's former college boyfriend who now works in the U.S. Senate and tries to use the position to find out what happened to Anwar.
  • MOA KHOUAS is a young student and aspiring painter who's really part of the local terrorist cell.
  • ZINEB OUKACH plays his girlfriend who isn't fully aware of his involvement with that, and she rebels against her father, Abasi.
  • IGAL NAOR plays an interrogator and torturer hired by the U.S. to break suspected terrorists. He smokes some, and is concerned about Fatima in his personal life.
  • ALAN ARKIN plays Alan's boss who initially gives him the green light to investigate what happened to Anwar, but then revokes that when things get too hot from Corrine. He uses strong profanity.
  • MERYL STREEP plays a top-level CIA official who gives the order to arrest Anwar and transport him to an overseas facility where he's to be interrogated and tortured. She refuses to answer anyone's question about what happened to the man.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 9 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Nude male suspects are seen on several occasions, but due to lighting conditions and camera angles, nothing more than a brief bare butt view is observed. Some off-screen sexual activity is implied while some kissing and related material briefly occurs.

    A bombing kills and injures many people, while a person is shot dead, others are beaten, and suspects are tortured. There are varying degrees of bloody results from all of that, and the perpetrators have bad attitudes. Those scenes and moments of peril might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers, while some behavior might be enticing to imitate.

    Some tense family material is present, while characters drink and/or smoke in several scenes, and one appears high from what's presumably drugs in one brief scene. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there is handheld camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a bottle of liquor on a table by Douglas.
  • Abasi offers booze to Douglas who declines, but Abasi pours it anyway.
  • The woman with Douglas has wine.
  • Douglas takes a hit from a hookah and acts a bit stoned (because of being troubled by having just partially choked Anwar after witnessing other torture).
  • Douglas has several shots of liquor.
  • Senator Hawkins, Alan, and others have champagne at a reception/party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A waiter is shot, with slightly bloody results, followed by an explosion by a fountain, with many people injured or killed (We hear that 19 were killed and 75 injured). The man with Douglas in a vehicle is one of the dead and lies bloody in Douglas' lap, while Douglas has blood on his face and clothes.
  • On the TV news, we see covered bodies as well as one bloody kid on a stretcher.
  • We see Anwar's bloody face in his dark cell.
  • Khalid has some blood on his face after being hit by police raiding a protest.
  • We see various bloody cuts on Anwar's nude body (no explicit nudity).
  • We see a nude and bloody male suspect, but no explicit nudity is seen.
  • We see photos of Khalid and his dead brother who's somewhat bloody.
  • We see a different angle of the earlier scene from above, where a sniper shoots and accidentally hits a waiter (with bloody results), and then a suicide bomber deemed unreliable (also with bloody results).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The terrorists obviously have bad attitudes for their murderous actions.
  • Depending on your view on such matters, those who hold Anwar without due legal process may or may not exhibit bad attitudes, while also holds true regarding the torture he experiences.
  • The terrorist leader uses propaganda to motivate his followers.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • A waiter is shot, with slightly bloody results, followed by an explosion by a fountain, with many people injured or killed (We hear that 19 were killed and 75 injured). The man with Douglas in a vehicle is one of the dead and lies bloody in Douglas' lap, while Douglas has blood on his face and clothes.
  • Upon leaving his commercial flight, Anwar is grabbed, hooded, and removed from the scene, with his information erased from the passenger manifest.
  • Anwar is put into "the hole" (a small, solitary confinement cell), the door is closed, and we hear his screams.
  • We see Anwar receiving water-based torture (water poured on his face, while hooded and strapped nude to a board, etc.). To try to get him to talk, Douglas suddenly grabs Anwar by the throat, partially choking him.
  • We see Anwar strung up nude (nothing explicit is seen) where he's shocked for a long time, and we see and hear his pained reaction. He's then shocked again.
  • Fatima finds photos of her and her dad in a terrorist's book.
  • Without official authorization, Douglas gets Anwar out of his cell and outside the building, telling him to keep walking despite guards yelling at them.
  • Fatima runs to try to stop Khalid from doing a suicide bombing.
  • We see a different angle of the earlier scene from above, where a sniper shoots and accidentally hits a waiter (with bloody results), and then a suicide bomber deemed unreliable (also with bloody results). The bomber falls, lets go of his detonator, and the huge bomb explodes just like before.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Sniper Rifles/Explosives: Used to kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see armed guards at the facility where Anwar is being held.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking traffic," "You f*cking coward," "Who the f*ck knows," "It's a f*cking soccer team," "What the f*ck are you doing?" "Where the f*ck is he?" "Why the hell didn't we get that?" "You son of a bitch," "Hell yes" and "Then why are you standing there like an idiot?"
  • It's possible the film could inspire some kids to perform terrorist acts.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A sudden explosion might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 9 "f" words, 1 "s" word, 2 hells, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes" and "God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Douglas shirtless in bed. A young woman in a towel then walks up to him, they briefly kiss, and he has his hands on her towel-covered butt (it's implied they slept together the night before).
  • Fatima and Khalid passionately kiss.
  • Anwar is stripped of his clothing and we then see him sitting nude, but due to the positioning of his body and the camera, we don't see anything explicit.
  • Abasi backhands the nude Anwar off a chair, and we see the latter's bare butt as he lies on the floor.
  • Douglas and a woman do some passionate kissing while clothed and standing. He then carries her to the bed with her legs wrapped around him, but he then rolls off her once on the bed.
  • Anwar is strapped nude to a board during torture, but we don't see any explicit nudity.
  • We see a belly dancer in standard garb in the background of a shot.
  • We see Anwar strung up nude (nothing explicit is seen) where he's shocked for a long time.
  • We see various bloody cuts on Anwar's nude body (no explicit nudity).
  • Anwar is still nude, but he's in the dark so nothing is seen.
  • We see Khalid shirtless in bed with Fatima who's asleep.
  • We see a nude and bloody male suspect, but no explicit nudity is seen.
  • SMOKING
  • Abasi smokes several times, as do miscellaneous characters in several scenes, including with a cigar.
  • We see cigarette butts in a glass in Douglas' room, and he picks up his lady's cigarette, but doesn't smoke it.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Isabella worries about her husband after he disappears and she can't get any answers about what happened to him.
  • Despite her going with Khalid, Fatima says that her father has already chosen a husband for her.
  • Fatima's sister reports that there hasn't been any contact with Fatima for a while.
  • We see photos of Khalid and his dead brother who's somewhat bloody.
  • Fatima's family realizes she's dead.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The process of rendition and holding suspects without due legal process.
  • Terrorism.
  • Despite her going with Khalid, Fatima says that her father has already chosen a husband for her.
  • The terrorist leader uses propaganda to motivate his followers.
  • The terrorist leader states that his followers' greatest weapon is their body (meaning using it in suicide bombings).
  • Abasi justifying his interrogation means (including torture) by saying it's important and that they're saving lives.
  • Corrine stating that the United States does not torture suspects.
  • The notion that torture ends up creating new enemies.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A waiter is shot, with slightly bloody results, followed by an explosion by a fountain, with many people injured or killed (We hear that 19 were killed and 75 injured). The man with Douglas in a vehicle is one of the dead and lies bloody in Douglas' lap, while Douglas has blood on his face and clothes.
  • Anwar is thrown into a small cell.
  • Abasi backhands the nude Anwar off a chair.
  • We see video playback of the initial bombing.
  • We see Anwar receiving water-based torture (water poured on his face, while hooded and strapped nude to a board, etc.). To try to get him to talk, Douglas suddenly grabs Anwar by the throat, partially choking him.
  • There's a police raid on a protest where many suspected terrorists are hit and/or kicked, including Khalid, but he also hits one of the cops, and then escapes with Fatima.
  • We see Anwar strung up nude (nothing explicit is seen) where he's shocked for a long time, and we see and hear his pained reaction. He's then shocked again.
  • Khalid overturns things in anger.
  • We see a different angle of the earlier scene from above, where a sniper shoots and accidentally hits a waiter (with bloody results), and then a suicide bomber deemed unreliable (also with bloody results). The bomber falls, lets go of his detonator, and the huge bomb explodes just like before.



  • Reviewed September 26, 2007 / Posted October 19, 2007

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