A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
Shortly after landing a job, Terry Allen is laid off, starts looking for another circa post September 11, 2001 media frenzy and paranoia with President George W. Bush stating that grief has turned to anger, anger to resolution, and that there are thousands of terrorists in over 60 countries ready to strike. With increasing reports of identity theft, the involvement of wealthy & educated foreigners in terrorist activities, Terry starts suspecting his new neighbor, a middle-easterner, who he stereotypes as 'raghead', 'camel jockey', and 'sand nigger'. His wife, Marla, does not share in his bigotry, but he believes that she has turned her attention from rock-stars to Jihadists. While looking for employment, as well as a loan to purchase a house, he also contacts the Federal Bureau of Investigation as he feels he has sufficient evidence that his new neighbor is structuring money, experimenting with chemicals, and associating with other middle-easterners for devious reasons. Written by
The cast has strong ties to Aaron Sorkin's television projects: Peter Krause starred as anchor Casey McCall in _"Sports Night" (1998)_, Richard Schiff was communications director Toby Ziegler on _"The West Wing" (1999)_, and Kari Matchett did a five-episode run on _"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (2006)_ as attorney Mary Tate. See more »
In the hostage situation, Hassan has been cut on the scar under his left eye, but it goes from bloody to not bloody to bloody again in subsequent shots. His hands are tied so he could not have wiped it clean. See more »
This movie was one hell of a roller-coaster ride! I caught the final Tribeca Film Festival screening on the Upper West Side. People were waiting outside on the waiting list line for hours, offering three times the amount for tickets. It was crazy. I planned ahead and although tempted to make a quick buck and sell my tix I went in (my wife loves Peter Krause).
The movie is a slow gradual buildup and like an old fashioned roller-coaster, you feel an undercurrent of tension building as the plot builds and builds as you ascend into world of Terry Allen (Krause) and than... JUST LIKE THAT.. you are dropped for the ride of a lifetime with twists and turns, loops that all comes to an immediate stop.
Peter Krause delivers the performance of a lifetime. If you thought he could sell coffins, you'll become addicted to his knockout performance compounded by the paranoia we all felt after 9/11. You actually feel like you are in his head throughout the entire movie. This boy has acting chops.
Richard Schiff was flawless in his portrayal of the FBI agent who is over-extended with phone call after phone call of "the terrorist next door" situations which is a drain on his once "dignified" job.
Khaled Abol Naga was a tremendous surprise. In the Q&A following the movie, I was surprised to learn English was his second language. His look, delivery of his dialouge and looks he gives Peter Krause's character throughout the movie earn our sympathy and never lets you off your guard as to "is he or isn't he" the terrorist next door.
An excellent movie with the perfect cast that had the potential to collapse in the last scene. But it didn't' let down (a masterful manipulation that I will not spoil for you).
The roller-coaster came to a stop and like a little boy I wanted to run outside get on line again and go for another spin.
But, it was the last screening...
A great film!
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