Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: When an Egyptian-born chemical engineer disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington, his American wife desperately tries to track him down. Meanwhile, a CIA analyst at a secret detention facility outside the U.S. is forced to question his assignment as he becomes party to the man's unorthodox interrogation. (New Line Cinema) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    Rendition is valuable and rare. As I wrote from Toronto: "It is a movie about the theory and practice of two things: torture and personal responsibility. And it is wise about what is right, and what is wrong."
  2. A rarity – a political film that delivers its timely message with a cinematic punch and no undue speechifying.
  3. The movie Rendition asks, admittedly in a one-sided way, whether the ends justify these means.
  4. 50
    If these new, allegedly topical movies are to make us feel anything -- to move us toward any action or even just toward any fresh realization -- they need to at least seem alive on the screen, instead of just courting our polite, measured applause.
  5. 50
    None of the actors is able to do much with their characters, because they are all playing game pieces on a schematic board. Rendition has passion to spare, but it is saddled with a story designed exclusively to drive home the filmmakers' message.
  6. 50
    The film's disappointingly black-and-white approach robs characters and situations of badly needed ambiguity.
  7. 42
    Overheated claptrap that takes an issue of vital national importance and turns it into an inept cartoon that emboldens the worst instincts in our national character.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 43
  2. Negative: 6 out of 43
  1. Aug 28, 2014
    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. Expand
  2. Feb 3, 2011
    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.... Collapse
  3. Feb 22, 2013
    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 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
  4. Nov 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 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.
  5. Sep 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. Expand

See all 43 User Reviews