User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 71
  2. Negative: 9 out of 71
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  1. SM
    Aug 9, 2008
    10
    AWESOME!!! One of the few movies in which every actor/actress did his/her BEST. Music tracks were perfect. And after all, the story was fairly close to the truth.
  2. JohnathanC.
    Nov 15, 2007
    9
    Speaks of the truth... Daring.
  3. Maurice
    Oct 18, 2007
    10
    Excellent political thriller.
  4. JudyT
    Oct 19, 2007
    5
    Could have been better if they had focused on the victims' story and not so many other distractions. Too bad only one American got the opportunity to redeem himself.
  5. RogerC.
    Oct 20, 2007
    10
    Very moving and extremely important!
  6. ApocalypseBrown
    Oct 20, 2007
    8
    Not the best film ever, but a very interesting concept of America savage tactics against the so-called 'war on terror', on largely innocent people. Witherspoon has really matured into a fine actor, pity Jake G has gone backwards since Donnie Darko. Very engaging watch for the most part, maybe Hollywood can sense the people are tired of false propaganda!
  7. HelenaJ.
    Feb 6, 2008
    10
    Extremely disturbing and important movie! Though reality outdoes the fiction as usual this was strong enough!
  8. ZeeM
    Mar 20, 2008
    9
    An Incredibly Strong Movie, Heart Pounding and keeps you in your seat for the whole movie, I had to go to the washroom at the theatre about 10 minutes into the movie but I stayed and watched glued to my seat knowing what will happen next.
  9. TomB.
    May 5, 2008
    5
    I didn't mind it until the director had to butcher all conventions for the sake of "surprising" the viewer. If the plot isn't difficult to understand, don't arbitrarily make it more contrived.
  10. AibarA.
    Jul 1, 2008
    10
    True...everything felt so true..n at some level it probably was...Many lives have been destroyed by this process of extraordinary rendition...the misuse of the law has made many innocent suffer...Brilliant piece of work...outstanding acting.
  11. JimS.
    Sep 21, 2008
    10
    Nothing wrong with it... did what it wanted to do adequately, and it was a good point making exercise. Would like to know their sources for the plot.
  12. JackR.
    Nov 14, 2007
    1
    Boring and slow moving.
  13. ChadS.
    Nov 24, 2007
    4
    Narrative pyrotechnics upstages the story being told. Keep it simple, keep it linear. Serious subject matter deserves a serious movie, and "Rendition", what initially begins as a poor man's "Babel"(which is to say, not bad), quickly degenerates into post-modern film techniques that ill-serves the material. Revisiting the initial terroristic blast shows an appalling lack of maturity Narrative pyrotechnics upstages the story being told. Keep it simple, keep it linear. Serious subject matter deserves a serious movie, and "Rendition", what initially begins as a poor man's "Babel"(which is to say, not bad), quickly degenerates into post-modern film techniques that ill-serves the material. Revisiting the initial terroristic blast shows an appalling lack of maturity since the ka-boom redeux adds nothing to the film's primary storyline. We're impressed by the clever narrative structure. In a film about America's treatment of Islamic detainees, the screenwriter's familiarity with Quentin Tarrantino movies shouldn't be foregrounded in favor of its supposed rhetoric. "Rendition" failed to persuade me that it believes "torture", in the hands of the good guys, the Americans, is indeed torture. The filmmaker would rather entertain us. Anwar's innocence or guilt is beside the point. Nobody deserves to be tortured. "Rendition" fails to make this point crystal clear when Anwar(Omar Metwally) is allowed to return home. Expand
  14. JeffS.
    Oct 15, 2007
    2
    A movie of one-dimensional stock characters staring into space (usually upwards while in bed) worrying about 'big bad' American political procedure in a nameless Muslim nation. Absolute garbage featuring career low performances for most of the usually stunning cast.
  15. Enrique
    Oct 17, 2007
    10
    Brilliant political thriller about another inconvenient truth that middle American have chosen not to believe.
  16. Kurt
    Oct 18, 2007
    9
    I really enjoyed, don't see what all the dissing is about.
  17. RexPayne
    Oct 18, 2007
    10
    I am not a big fan of movie critics. For the most part, I feel they are biased and use their clout to sulley even the best movies, etc. Theirs is a power trip and shouldn't be paid heed to. See the movie and judge for yourself.
  18. LouisS.
    Oct 19, 2007
    1
    I would give this a 0 for balance and a 5 for propaganda. The acting is a 2. These are some very poor performances from good actors. I'm not sure what happened but this is pretty dull for a so called thriller. it does great disservive to a complicated issue. Its like paying money to watch an anti 24.
  19. JohnD.
    Oct 23, 2007
    10
    Great movie.
  20. kieron
    Oct 28, 2007
    6
    Never really got going...given the subject matter could have been so much better
  21. joelr
    Dec 8, 2008
    8
    Good movie. slow paced, but sometimes you have to do that to build a story. i'd guess that this movie was hated by bush apologists, but hey, that 8 years of torture is almost over.
  22. RobertI.
    Feb 10, 2008
    8
    A nail-biter, though not from questions about the plot, but from the recognition of a world we only partially know.
  23. JayH.
    Feb 14, 2008
    7
    Well made thriller but not completely convincing. Good performance from Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal is miscast but he tries. Compelling and always watchable.
  24. MelancholicAlcoholic
    Apr 26, 2008
    7
    Throughout the movie I was thinking, it's nice that they give the torturer a background, but it's kinda not central to a movie called "Rendition" supposedly about how little effective torture is. Then, at the end, you see why, and frankly I'm a bit disgusted and outraged. I mean, nice story technique, but couldn't that've been saved for a movie with more Throughout the movie I was thinking, it's nice that they give the torturer a background, but it's kinda not central to a movie called "Rendition" supposedly about how little effective torture is. Then, at the end, you see why, and frankly I'm a bit disgusted and outraged. I mean, nice story technique, but couldn't that've been saved for a movie with more entertainment? It's the wrong sort of complexity for a movie of this kind. A film with a message (no matter how much it is ridiculed today) should be thought provoking and leave us with either some sort of dilemma, or demonstrate how bad the CIA & co fcuked things up. I completely agree with Chad S. We should've seen a movie about how easy it is for the CIA to abuse its power, or how easily they let themselves be fooled. Instead we get some Quinten Tarantino rip off!! The CIA & USA has fcuked up big time with rendition and they should be held responsible To me, this was a movie about someone (Corrine Whithman) doing a really bad job, and not wanting to admit it. Just because her grandkids were having a great old time in London and got threatened, she let a completely innocent man be tortured? Based on the flimsiest of evidence? This man cellphone couldn't have been used to piggyback the terrorist info on? A severe case of underestimating the enemy. Its amazing that with all the availability of high powered rifles in the usa, no-one has taken out one of these. Expand
  25. SamS.
    May 4, 2008
    9
    I can only think most of the reviewers saw a different film. Not much that is hard to believe - Washington cynicism, flagrantly illegal detention, torture, - does the ends justify the means? This stuff happens only worse insofar as these detentions are for months not the week depicted in the movie. Brutal thought it was it did display both sides of the debate, but ultimately the I can only think most of the reviewers saw a different film. Not much that is hard to believe - Washington cynicism, flagrantly illegal detention, torture, - does the ends justify the means? This stuff happens only worse insofar as these detentions are for months not the week depicted in the movie. Brutal thought it was it did display both sides of the debate, but ultimately the corrupting and corrosive nature of excessive power are unmistakable. The movie is well acted, atmospheric,and tense. One might argue there is a twist that is unnecessarily clever, but it does increase the tension. Reese Witherspoon is the least convincing element, somewhat unidimensional, but the movie has a lot to get through. This is a movie about a complex problem, which it necessarily oversimplifies, but still a topic that shames every American. A good movie. Expand
  26. Paul
    Nov 13, 2007
    9
    Personally I thought the performances were all pretty strong. The subject matter is uncomfortable and thought provoking. The issues are one sided at times (and certainly lacking subtlety) but it raises important questions to which there are probably no satisfactory answers.
  27. NatB
    Oct 16, 2007
    8
    This movie makes up for its holes with great acting and an interesting directing style.
  28. DesmondP.
    Nov 6, 2007
    9
    The only flaw I found in this movie was a less than satisfactory ending. Those who attack it are mostly revealing their political views.
  29. RobertA.
    Oct 22, 2007
    7
    Good but could have been much better.
  30. [Anonymous]
    Oct 22, 2007
    0
    This is a disappointment to say the least...its odd propaganda that seems sort of puzzling at what they were thinking by this.
  31. IsaacW.
    Oct 26, 2007
    9
    I rate this movie based upon its entertainment value, not its alignment with my political views. I don't watch movies to be politically educated. You can agree or disagree with the theme of the movie without it commanding your sense of its entertainment value. Rogert (Ebert), I mostly agree with your very positive view.
  32. Nancy
    Oct 26, 2007
    6
    Given the star strength of this movie I was disappointed in this film, although I thought its intentions were good (albeit heavyhanded). The low-key performances did not supply any real intensity to respond to (unlike, for example, Breach), a thought which occurred to me as I was watching Peter Saarsgard's performance. He made me aware of that sensation as he seemed to project a Given the star strength of this movie I was disappointed in this film, although I thought its intentions were good (albeit heavyhanded). The low-key performances did not supply any real intensity to respond to (unlike, for example, Breach), a thought which occurred to me as I was watching Peter Saarsgard's performance. He made me aware of that sensation as he seemed to project a sense of real regret in his inability to really help (that and some degree of self preservation). Most of the other actors seemed to be only 1/2 inhabiting their characters, though I don't think that the husband, Omar Metwally, really got to show off his acting chops. Frankly, I think I would have been more interested in watching a movie about the family of the torturer, his daughter (without the explosive aspect) and sister. Expand
  33. MandyC
    Oct 26, 2007
    10
    Excellent movie. Disturbing subject matter, quite political. Is it balanced politically. No. But torture tactics and defense of political agendas that endorse them aren't balanced either. This movie raises awareness. Thank God!
  34. Chrisb.
    Oct 27, 2007
    0
    This could not be worse...such a terrible story line with a lack of action or emotion, the use of music to set the mood wasn't even good. i have never wanted to walk out of a film before at the cinema ...this was the first time i did!
  35. DoctorProctor
    Oct 27, 2007
    7
    Cop out ending... but well acted & directed. Fast-paced enough to hold your interest. Worth a look.
  36. elkenb
    Oct 27, 2007
    8
    2/3 of a great movie. 1/3 dumb subplot. would have liked to see more aftermath.
  37. JohnV
    Dec 28, 2008
    1
    One of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. Painful performances by Witherspoon and Streep. I dont know who is worse or more unconvincing Peter S. or Jake G. Jake G's character is totally undeveloped and unconvincing. Peter S's character is laughable. Walks right up to a CIA chief at a cocktail party and threatens her. Hes an adviser to a Senator! And she discusses it One of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. Painful performances by Witherspoon and Streep. I dont know who is worse or more unconvincing Peter S. or Jake G. Jake G's character is totally undeveloped and unconvincing. Peter S's character is laughable. Walks right up to a CIA chief at a cocktail party and threatens her. Hes an adviser to a Senator! And she discusses it with him. Give me a F-ing break. Subject matter deserves a more serious movie. Total crap. Expand
  38. FGB
    Feb 24, 2008
    7
    Its not a classic but bring a great subject to the foreground.
  39. Feb 3, 2011
    7
    Pretty hard to watch Rendition is one of those movies which glue u up to the chair and u cannot find specific reason for it. It is very slow, and movie time-line is messed up, but all together its good and convincing movie....
  40. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    This is the story of the aftermath of a terrorist bombing. Rendition shows what happens behind the scenes of tragedy from six different sides and it's a pretty compelling story. I love how unique and eye opening this film is, however they really dumb it down for you. This should be the kind of movie that makes you think, but instead they kind of explain everything in detail to you fromThis is the story of the aftermath of a terrorist bombing. Rendition shows what happens behind the scenes of tragedy from six different sides and it's a pretty compelling story. I love how unique and eye opening this film is, however they really dumb it down for you. This should be the kind of movie that makes you think, but instead they kind of explain everything in detail to you from beginning to end. The film was very realistic and clear, that is until the ending. They took this intense, believable, behind the scenes film, and gave it an impossible ending which honestly wound up ruining the whole thing for me. Expand
  41. Aug 28, 2014
    7
    A powerful, political thriller made even more convincing with it's well-teamed cast. The subject matter is contemporary and interesting. Rendition is above these mixed reviews.
  42. Sep 20, 2013
    5
    It is a politically relevant movie that is all surface and no depth. Mildly entertaining. Weird casting choices and there was nothing flattering about the directional decisions.
  43. Nov 11, 2012
    6
    Why did I watch it?
    I remember thinking that this film looked worth watching when it came out at the cinema. I was interested in the concept of extraordinary rendition and how it could happen. Anyway, five years later I finally got around to watching it.
    What's it all about? As the title suggests, its all about the controversial CIA practice of moving terror suspects to countries
    Why did I watch it?
    I remember thinking that this film looked worth watching when it came out at the cinema. I was interested in the concept of extraordinary rendition and how it could happen. Anyway, five years later I finally got around to watching it.

    What's it all about?
    As the title suggests, its all about the controversial CIA practice of moving terror suspects to countries other than the US for interrogation purposes. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a CIA analyst caught up in the rendition of an Egyptian American chemical engineer (same profession as me!) Anwar to a North African country and the hands of the local police chief. At the same time Reese Witherspoon plays the suspects wife, desperately trying to track down her husbands whereabouts after he seemingly disappears during a flight home. Meryl Streep turns up as Gyllenhaal's boss.

    Should you watch it?
    Inevitably Rendition poses some questions about the justification of rendition and its breaching of human rights. The film doesn't really answer them either way, especially considering the ambiguous ending. If the screenplay was intending to make a specific point I think I missed it, although if it was being delivered by Gyllenhaal that is hardly surprising. His character is tepid, and that's being kind and seems pretty nonplussed with everything from the off so it was difficult to notice any change in his character after witnessing rendition first hand.
    At the other end, Witherspoon fares slightly better with her performance as the desperate wife. Screeching aside, it was beneficial to see the impact of rendition and difficulties in finding information from the point of view of the family.
    To give the screenplay some credit, the intertwining stories of the rendition and the local terrorist cell does create some tension which moves the film along.

    A fairly run of the mill political thriller with some intriguing plot-lines.
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Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    60
    Disappointingly dull given the explosive subject matter, this at least attempts to get a message into the mainstream. An extra star for effort rather than execution.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    By underplaying the melodrama in the presumed hope of seeming subtle when Kelley Sane’s script is so baldly melodramatic, the “Tsotsi” helmer drains the life out of an obviously explosive subject.
  3. The jumping around is as deft as a hippo in a tutu, and the director, Gavin Hood, never finds a rhythm.