Traitor
R
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +1

Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Neal McDonough, Jeff Daniels. Written & directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When straight arrow FBI agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) heads up the investigation into a dangerous international conspiracy, all clues seem to lead back to former U.S. Special Operations officer Samir Horn (Don Cheadle). A mysterious figure with a web of connections to suspect organizations, Horn has a knack for emerging on the scene just as a major operation goes down. The inter-agency task force looking into the case meets with Carter (Jeff Daniels), a veteran CIA contractor who seemingly has his own agenda, and Max Archer (Neal McDonough), a fellow FBI agent. The task force links Horn to a bombing in Nice and a raid in London, but a tangle of contradictory evidence emerges, forcing Clayton to question whether his quarry is a MAN WITHOUT LOYALTIESor something far more complicated. Obsessed with discovering the truth, Clayton tracks Horn across the globe as the elusive ex-soldier burrows deeper and deeper into a world of shadows and intrigue.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This is a griping political thriller, perhaps more unnerving than most in its genre because it deals with the inevitability of terrorist strikes to come. Packed with action, it is also absorbing storytelling. And Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce remind those of us who respect the art of acting that there are still members of SAG who take their craft seriously. That may be too harsh. I suspect many newcomers would awe us if given the right material. It always comes back to that, doesnt it a good script. Story is still the greatest special effect, though you wouldnt know it from this past summers array of blockbusters. Name me a summer hit where gizmos, CGI or masked marvels werent the draws for moviegoers?

Here, the filmmakers must also be applauded for their willingness to portray Muslim fanaticism. I suspect there will be those who cry racism because the terrorists in this film are actually portrayed as Muslims. This racism card doesnt hold water, however, because the religion of Islam is presented with respect and there are Muslim characters who do the right thing.

Not exactly profound, perhaps, but the film is more than the usual desultory chase actioneer. Writer/director Jeffrey Nachmanoff keeps his film energized, thought-provoking and unsettling. He also delivers a Hitchcockian twister of an ending that got an enthusiastic response from the screening audience.

My only objection is the hand-held steady cam that weaves and bobs throughout. Im convinced that the tripod-free camera is no longer meant to generate tension, but used as a modish visceral style. Evidently, like MTV-video editing and Rap music, the sensory-pummeling unsecured camera is with us for the duration.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Overture Films

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Around ten obscenities, mostly the s-word.
Profanity: I caught no misuse of Gods name.
Violence: We see several jolting explosions and some heartless terroristic activity; there are a couple of graphic beatings and several killings. Blood: Not much.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Brief drinking, showing terrorist Muslims attempting to fit in with Western culture in order to go unnoticed.
Other: There is respect shown for both Islam and Christianity.
Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and Adults

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