Rendition
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Rendition

4.4 5
Director: Gavin Hood

Cast: Gavin Hood, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Alan Arkin

     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
In the fall of 2007, while famously shunning movies about the Middle East and the war on terror, American audiences missed at least one really bracing and original work. Gavin Hood's Rendition may bear a surface resemblance to the home-and-abroad political wranglings of Syriana, but it's actually a better companion piece to Taxi to the Dark Side, shedding light on tactics that came to dominate political debate on the definition of torture. But Hood's structurally tantalizing film is more than just a scolding case study of a possible enemy combatant (Omar Metwally) who gets imprisoned without due process. At least as interesting is the crusade for information by his exceedingly pregnant wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), as she negotiates the slippery political infrastructure of Washington, including a senatorial aide and former boyfriend (Peter Sarsgaard) who weighs Isabella's righteous cause against his own career prospects. The moral shades of gray of the Washington figures (who include Alan Arkin and Meryl Streep) are echoed in their Middle Eastern counterparts, who see justice and righteousness through their own prism. Political dramas with multiple storylines often stumble over their own ambitions, but Kelley Sane's script stays upright. She maintains focus on a handful of central characters as well as a plot that's ultimately simple, despite some brilliant narrative surprises it would be a shame to spoil. Films like these rely on the storylines meshing in a cathartic way, and Rendition hits a home run in that respect. Among a host of strong performances, Jake Gyllenhaal stands out for his rattled intelligence agent walking through a ghost of an existence. Rendition may be a more conventional piece of filmmaking than Tsotsi, Hood's striking 2005 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, but it confirms Hood's status as an exceptionally talented craftsman -- one who deserved a theatrical audience.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/19/2008
UPC:
0794043112928
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
42,498

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Outlawed" documentary; "Intersections" The Making of Rendition" documentary; 5 deleted scenes including an alternate ending; Director commentary

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jake Gyllenhaal Douglas Freeman
Reese Witherspoon Isabella El-Ibrahimi
Alan Arkin Senator Hawkins
Peter Sarsgaard Alan Smith
Omar Metwally Anwar El-Ibrahimi
Yigal Naor Abasi Fawal
Moa Khouas Khalid
Zineb Oukach Fatima
Meryl Streep Corrinne Whitman
Igal Naor Actor

Technical Credits
Gavin Hood Director
Dion Beebe Cinematographer
Kate Dowd Casting
Kathleen Driscoll-Mohler Casting
Toby Emmerich Executive Producer
Megan Gill Editor
Keith Goldberg Executive Producer
Steve Golin Producer
Paul Hepker Score Composer
David Kanter Executive Producer
Mark Kilian Score Composer
Francine Maisler Casting
Mark Martin Co-producer
Edward Milstein Executive Producer
Keith Redman Executive Producer
Barry Robison Production Designer
Kelley Sane Screenwriter
Paul Schwake Executive Producer
Michael Sugar Executive Producer
Bill Todman Executive Producer
Marcus Viscidi Producer
Michael Wilkinson Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rendition
1. Calling Home [2:26]
2. Rude Awakening [7:29]
3. Authorized [7:11]
4. Filling In [5:57]
5. Evidence [10:21]
6. God Is Great [6:23]
7. The First Round [9:10]
8. Had to Ask [7:44]
9. Getting Answers [8:22]
10. Sleep Well [3:36]
11. They Took Omar [4:55]
12. Back Off [5:34]
13. Information [5:30]
14. A Saying [7:42]
15. You Have My Name! [2:14]
16. Discovery/Release [7:42]
17. Rendition [3:34]
18. Amends [3:20]
19. Back Home [4:42]
20. Credits [8:11]

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Rendition 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
RENDITION accomplishes a lot in presenting a story that is tough to watch, tougher to believe, and for all that is a tremendously involving and electrifying movie. It is definitely a message film but that message is delivered by a smart script, a compassionate director, and a dream cast. But first the word rendition: according to the dictionary, "In law, rendition is a "surrender" or "handing over" of persons or property, particularly from one jurisdiction to another. For criminal suspects, extradition is the most common type of rendition. Rendition can also be seen as the act of handing over, after the request for extradition has taken place." For many this may not be news, but for those who are not privy to our Intelligence games, the concept is a terrifying one. For this film Kelley Sane has provided director Gavin Hood with a script that examines the horrors of rendition and in doing so the two have created a story we simply cannot ignore. Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is an Egyptian-born American working in South Africa as the film begins: his very pregnant wife Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) awaits his return home but when Anwar doesn't appear at the airport, the enigma begins. Anwar has been taken prisoner in Egypt where he is tortured and interrogated for information by the cruel Abasi Fawal (Yigal Naor) while a reluctant CIA investigator Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) stands by, the two attempting to extract secrets to be provided to the USA: behind the scenes in Washington DC the extraordinary rendition is piloted by Intelligence expert Corrine Whitman (Meryl Streep). Isabella attempts to uncover the truth of her missing husband's whereabouts and involves an old friend (Peter Sarsgaard) to help her. Nothing goes well, not in the US or in Egypt, where the interrogator Abasi discovers the evil that is brewing within his own family. It is Isabella's persistence, Anwar's endurance, and the ultimate heroism of Douglas Freeman that allow the resolution to the nightmare. The cast is uniformly strong, the grim realities of the torture chambers are almost unbearable to watch, and the in-our-face discovery of how our Intelligence system works (especially since 911) is terrifying. Added to the DVD is a short film about two men who talk about personal experiences with 'rendition'. It is a kick in the gut and demands action from the viewer to become an activist in preventing the continuation of these tactics. Grady Harp
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