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Traitor (2008)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 166
Fresh: 105 | Rotten: 61

Despite another reliable performance from Don Cheadle, Traitor suffers from too many cliches and an unfocused narrative.


Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 19

Despite another reliable performance from Don Cheadle, Traitor suffers from too many cliches and an unfocused narrative.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 63,855

My Rating

Movie Info

An undercover CIA agent within a terrorist cell is marked as a terrorist suspect by the FBI in Overture Films' upcoming thriller Traitor. Don Cheadle produces and stars in the film as the operative under Guy Pearce's investigation. Based on an idea by Steve Martin, the film is written and directed by Day After Tomorrow screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Feb 17, 2009


Overture Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (168) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (105) | Rotten (61) | DVD (13)

Once the pieces fall into place, it loses momentum, meandering towards a contrived climax in which all ambiguity is swept aside and the forces of righteous democracy prove reassuringly triumphant.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A good political action movie that makes you use your brain a little bit.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It was complicated but ultimately it failed in that attempt to deliver a complicated message.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Let's just say this is a well paced thriller with a strong cast -- it's good to see Guy Pearce on screen -- but the terrorist threat which obsessed the recent Bush administration has been dwarfed by a couple of things...

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Promising premise devolves into a by-the-numbers espionage thriller.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Traitor gets a leg up thanks to a solid cast, including Guy Pearce, an underused Jeff Daniels and chiefly Cheadle's Horn, whose quiet dignity makes his blurred loyalties believable and his true sympathies indefinable.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Simmers down into a reasonably smart little thriller with a moral conscience, yet.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

If it doesn't succeed in challenging you perception of the war on terror, it might challenge your view on Steve Martin.

March 13, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Surprisingly, Steve Martin created this story. In a decade of wild and crazy fictional terrorism, his was the most horrifyingly plausible - one that spun terrorism as drama into uncomfortable community theater, striking the country's friendliest corners.

November 4, 2010 Full Review Source:

We watch for the sake of the chase, and while it's a chase that certainly proves better than most, it's also one that is good enough to have been even better than that.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinematical

As a thriller, Traitor excels and feels especially relevant, considering the subject matter.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

The action scenes will grab you, but there's an actual story here, too.

June 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Star Magazine
Star Magazine

Much harder to see coming is the film's denouement, but that's only because of its extreme silliness.

March 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A certain interest resides in the film's even-handedness.

March 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

As the eponymous terrorist, Cheadle makes a big impact without too much noise.

March 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

Traitor is undeniably an intelligent, watchable thriller that wisely steers clear of racial stereotyping, yet manages to fall short of delivering a wholly satisfying cerebral or visceral experience.

March 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

The result is an absorbing, old-fashioned drama without the gung-ho rhetoric you might have expected.

March 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A globe-trotting conspiracy thriller that is a little too complicated for its own good.

March 28, 2009 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper

Traitor has its faults. It's overlong, contrived in parts and ultimately resorts to some predictable tactics. The irresistible question is whether the US would be making films like this if 9/11 hadn't happened.

March 27, 2009
Little White Lies

Strong turns from Cheadle and Pearce elevate an ambitious suspenser with a keen eye for the duplicities that propel the War On Terror. The risible ending, alas, is pure wish-fulfillment hokum, while the solitary female character is barely a cipher.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

More carefully measured than many of its American contemporaries, Traitor doesn't match the heights of Syriana, but sits comfortably above, say, The Kingdom for mapping out the complexities of its issues .

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The moral maze is not quite as murky as it should be, a suspicion that we may have misjudged the hero whisks the film back into the realms of fiction, and detracts from the issues it raises.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Some well-meant but fantastically flaccid and perfunctory gestures of friendship towards the Muslim world are the foundation of this empty thriller.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian

The mounting fear and isolation of the Cheadle character puts us in an interesting place: the war on terror is reconfigured as a tussle of the soul.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Globetrotting conspiracy thriller which moves at a fair old pace, blending action with a complex storyline.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

Audience Reviews for Traitor

review coming.
December 19, 2012

Super Reviewer

The only person he can trust is himself.

A very solid good movie surprisingly so. The story was amazing and very creative. It's intriguing and suspenseful with a combination of drama and espionage action. The leading role acting by Don Cheadle really was impressive. The direction and photography also is top-notch. One thing that's odd about this film: it has very strong statements which will please both liberals and conservatives, both devoutly religious folks and atheists. It pretty much covers the field. Highly recommended film, Enjoy!

Samir Horn (Don Cheadle), a devout American Muslim, and a former U.S. Army Special Forces expert in explosives, has been mysteriously showing up on the FBI's radar for being in the area of terrorist bombings. FBI agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) heads up a task force investigation to link Horn to these bombings. Clayton is able to question Horn after he was arrested in Yemen for attempting to sell explosives to an Islamic terrorist group. The terrorists break out of prison and take Horn with them. With the help of Max Archer (Neal McDonough), Clayton is able to link Horn to a bombing of an American Consulate in Nice, and a failed police raid to capture his top terrorist contact in London. Clayton has been pursuing Horn around the world and has tracked him to the United States. Clayton must capture Horn before he strikes his next target.
July 19, 2011
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

it's okay, some good action scenes. C+
June 24, 2010

Super Reviewer

Three high quality actors Cheadle, Pearce and McDonough, who is wasted, in the service of an ordinary terrorist conspiracy thiller. Not terrible but nothing extraordinary either.
March 26, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

    1. Samir Horn: We're in prison in Yemen for terrorism. I wouldn't make any plans.
    – Submitted by Rater W W (16 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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