New Line Cinema | Release Date: October 19, 2007
7.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 72 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
50
Mixed:
13
Negative:
9
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5
JudyTOct 19, 2007
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.
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5
TomB.May 5, 2008
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.
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4
ChadS.Nov 24, 2007
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 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
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6
kieronOct 28, 2007
Never really got going...given the subject matter could have been so much better
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6
NancyOct 26, 2007
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), 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
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5
Trev29Sep 20, 2013
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.
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6
A_NorthernerNov 11, 2012
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
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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