Rendition | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Rendition

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Occasionally a movie's subject outweighs any aesthetic flaws, as it does in this unsettling thriller about the extraordinary rendition of terror suspects. During a business trip, an Egyptian immigrant to the U.S. (Omar Metwally) is fingered by the State Department for a terror attack and disappeared to North Africa, where he's tortured under the supervision of a conflicted CIA analyst (Jake Gyllanhaal); meanwhile the victim's American wife (Reese Witherspoon) begs an old boyfriend (Peter Sarsgaard), now a Senate aide, to help find her husband. Screenwriter Kelley Sane and director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) should have stopped there, but they've added one more story line, about a young Muslim seduced by jihad, that's poorly integrated and culminates in some flashy narrative sleight-of-hand. Two out of three ain't bad. With Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin. R, 122 min. a Century 12 and CineArts 6, Cicero ShowPlace 14, Crown Glen 10, Crown Village 18, Elk Grove, Ford City, Gardens 1-6, Lincoln Village, Marcus Addison, Melrose Park, Norridge, River East 21, Streets of Woodfield, Webster Place, York, Yorktown. --J.R. Jones

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