Rendition

2007

Rendition

Critics Consensus

The impressive cast cannot rescue Rendition, which explores complex issues in woefully simplified terms.

47%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 153

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 305,459
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Movie Info

The director of the Academy Award-winning 2006 crime drama Tsotsi returns to the helm with this tale of a Middle East CIA operative who begins to have doubts about his latest assignment after witnessing the interrogation of a suspected suicide bomber by secret police. When Egyptian-born chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) mysteriously vanishes on a routine flight from South Africa to Washington, his wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), embarks on a frantic international search for her missing husband. At the same time, a CIA analyst (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrives at a clandestine detention facility outside of United States. As the interrogation of El-Ibrahimi gets under way, the CIA analyst is profoundly shaken by the unorthodox methods used by the man's captors, and quickly begins to reevaluate his assignment. Peter Sarsgaard, Meryl Streep, and Alan Arkin co-star in this topical political thriller penned by Kelley Sane and produced by Steve Golin. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast

Jake Gyllenhaal
as Douglas Freeman
Reese Witherspoon
as Isabella El-Ibrahimi
Peter Sarsgaard
as Alan Smith
Alan Arkin
as Senator Hawkins
Meryl Streep
as Corrine Whitman
Omar Metwally
as Anwar El-Ibrahimi
J.K. Simmons
as Lee Mayer
Bob Gunton
as Lars Whitman
Igal Naor
as Abasi Fawal
Zineb Oukach
as Fatima Fawal
Moa Khouas
as Khalid El-Emin
Rosie Malek-Yonan
as Nuru El-Ibrahimi
Christian Martin
as Senator Lewis's Aide
Aramis Knight
as Jeremy El-Ibrahimi
Laila Nrabti
as Lina Fawal
David Fabrizio
as William Dixon
MrabtiBoubker Fahmi
as Senior Prison Guard
Nava Ziv
as Samia Fawal
Raymond Amsallem
as Layla Fawal
Simon Abkarian
as Said Abdel Aziz
Najib Oudghiri
as Omar Adnan
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News & Interviews for Rendition

Critic Reviews for Rendition

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (72) | Rotten (81)

  • I don't fault Rendition for its liberal politics. I fault it for hammering home those politics in such pounding, slanted fashion.

    Oct 22, 2007
  • If these new, allegedly topical movies are to make us feel anything -- to move us toward any action or even just toward any fresh realization -- they need to at least seem alive on the screen, instead of just courting our polite, measured applause.

    Oct 20, 2007
  • That it's embarrassingly plausible, that it depicts things that have happened and that are probably still happening, is enough to make Americans sick to their stomach.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • What finally gives Rendition its headlong narrative momentum is the sense that we're rarely certain what argument the filmmakers are endorsing.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • It's one thing for a thriller to be timely, quite another for it to function as Rendition does, a gripping piece of entertainment with a clear head on its shoulders.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • Rendition, while engrossing, does not grab us as it should.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rendition

  • Jan 11, 2014
    RENDITION // Before "Zero Dark Thirty" caught everyone's attention about the treatment of terrorist suspects in other countries, "Rendition" explored the same basic idea six years prior to a much lesser audience. But what's the difference? Were people not ready to hear about the idea of "extraordinary rendition" back then, which was a very real thing that occurred under the go ahead from the George W. Bush administration? One thing "Rendition" did have on its side was star power, which is actually what finally got me to see it. While "Zero Dark Thirty" has impressive newcomers that will be legends decades from now in Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke, "Rendition" has household names like Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon, which on paper, really sells this film on its own. When "Rendition" came out in 2007, I paid little attention, probably because I am not that in touch with politics, especially back then. With its entire plot focusing on the event of a U.S. citizen and family man being intercepted at an international airport and being immediately deported to be tortured in a foreign country, there's not much sheer entertainment value in that to grab anyone's attention. But add to that the familiar faces, like Gyllenhaal in his follow up role to the dark and brooding Fincher movie, "Zodiac" or Meryl Streep in one of her only villainous roles, and the reasons for seeing the film skyrocket. And once you take the film at face value, the story becomes interesting and you start learning more about this strange occurrence in our nation's history and you start to wonder why this wasn't a bigger deal in the media at the time. Timing is the key factor here. Not long after the death of Osama Bin Laden, "Zero Dark Thirty" made waves with a female director and the story of how men were tortured to divulge information in order to find and kill Bin Laden. "Rendition" takes no real measures in focusing on any real life counterparts and presents a political fiction simply based on ideas. Both films have great performances in them, with a fantastic cast of characters, but "Zero Dark Thirty" proves so much more with its unseasoned cast and with a shocking look at that world, in which the curtain is drawn back on some of our nation's dirty secrets. "Rendition" is a film that always feels like a film, which makes the audience lack that connection that latches them to the material. We may love the actors in their roles, but in the end, its watching them play these roles instead of become these roles that makes the huge difference.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2013
    Rendition is a tense and engaging thriller full of strong performances, smart social commentary, and with a clever twist that adds context and emotional poignancy to everything which precedes it.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2012
    This film made me questioned about America's involvement in torture techniques during the days of The War On Terror and how innocent people were captured, detained, humiliated, abused and stripped of their own humanity. "Rendition" left me with the impression of feeling guilty and disillusioned. Egyptian-born chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) mysteriously vanishes on a routine flight from South Africa to Washington, his wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), embarks on a frantic international search for her missing husband. At the same time, a CIA analyst (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrives at a clandestine detention facility outside of United States. As the interrogation of El-Ibrahimi gets under way, the CIA analyst is profoundly shaken by the unorthodox methods used by the man's captors, and quickly begins to reevaluate his assignment. This film left me shaken.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2011
    I had heard mixed things about Rendition. When I finally gave it a shot, I didn't understand why people where a bit negative towards the film. The film is a well crafted thriller and is one of the better genre films to come out in quite some time. The cast here are well assembled and they each deliver good performances. The story of the film is very engaging, thrilling and intricate. Rendition is a solid film and works as political thriller. The story, I felt was very strong and well developed. I very much enjoy these types of films that blend espionage, action and thrills into one film. Rendition is a solid thriller that delivers edge of you seat entertainment, and the cast make this film much better than it is. Especially with lead actresses such as Meryl Strep and Reese Witherspoon. Rendition's plot is engaging, and I thoroughly enjoyed this film. This is a brilliant film that was well conceived. Director Gavin Hood crafts a solid film and Rendition is better than what most people may think. This is a well made film with good performances and a great plot. If you're looking for a good thriller, Rendition is that film. The film is worth watching, and has enough thrills to keep you engaged. Rendition is a good film that doesn't deserve the flack it has received. This is a good film that will appeal to viewers looking for a solid thriller.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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