The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
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After a terrorist bombing kills an American envoy in a foreign country. An investigation leads to an Egyptian who has been living in the United States for years and who is married to an American. He is apprehended when he's on his way home. The U.S. sends him to the country where the incident occurs for interrogation which includes torture. An American CIA operative observes the interrogation and is at odds whether to keep it going or to stop it. In the meantime, the man's wife raises hell to find him despite being pregnant but the person behind this refuses to help or give her any information. Written by
Alan Smith, working on Capitol Hill, refers to "my guy at INS." The INS ceased to exist in 2003 with the creation of the US Department of Homeland Security Citizen Immigration Services. However, it is common for older career law enforcement and others who have regularly had contact with INS over the years to refer to CIS and ICE by the former acronym (INS). See more »
In all the years you've been doing this, how often can you say that we've produced truly legitimate intelligence? Once? Twice? Ten times? Give me a statistic; give me a number. Give me a pie chart, I love pie charts. Anything, anything that outweighs the fact that if you torture one person you create ten, a hundred, a thousand new enemies.
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Rendition fails to really nail the issue - it chooses instead to show its colours too distinctly.
And what we get instead is a decent political thriller, but one that is difficult to assess in terms of its attempted aim - after all, here we are dealing with what must be one of the emotive issues known to man - can torture ever be justified? Is the utilitarian rule of the possible gains worth the literal breaking of a possibly innocent man? Is he a terrorist, isn't he a terrorist?
This is a very important topic, and a very complex one, that is treated as though it were a film about lobbying on the one hand, showing Washington and the Beltway as a ground for piranhas to make or break their careers, and on the other, in Egypt, a battle for the sanity of all involved there.
Yes, it makes a good thriller; but, and it's a big but, it lacks the true depth of thought, rather than action, that will address the issue, rather than (God forbid) entertain an audience.
Excellent performances from all involved - really. Good steady hand at the helm - but what it lacks is complexity - it seems complex initially but unravels the further down the rabbit warren we go.
I came away uneasy, but not as uneasy as I should have, and non-plussed by the sleight of hand tricks that should have revealed real ambivalence, real moral dilemma, real grey areas, whereras instead I was left with black and white.
Not the film it wants to be, it is a good political thriller, but it is not as effective a piece of cinema as it could have been.
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