Traitor

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The war on terror inspires works of earnest mediocrity: from ‘Rendition’ to ‘The Kingdom’, Hollywood’s efforts have resulted in clumsy, downbeat thrillers awash with over-saturated colour and wailing pseudo-ethnic music.

If ‘Traitor’ is a cut above, it’s largely thanks to Don Cheadle, whose weighty, likeable but ambiguous turn anchors an overly complicated story. Cheadle is an American arms dealer imprisoned in Yemen, who rediscovers his Muslim roots and joins the jihad only to find himself shipped to train suicide attackers in the US. The first half is dark and compelling – it draws us into the world of the terrorist and displays a courageous ethical and narrative complexity.

But, once the pieces fall into place, it loses momentum, meandering towards a contrived climax in which all ambiguity is swept aside and the forces of righteous democracy prove reassuringly triumphant.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday March 27 2009
Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Screenwriter: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Cast: Archie Panjabi
Guy Pearce
Jeff Daniels
Saïd Taghmaoui
Don Cheadle
Aly Khan
Neal McDonough

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|6
1 person listening
Andy S

Not bad...not amazingly gripping but Cheadle is very good, and Guy Pearce excellent as ever, if underused. Loads of locations and lots to think about, but the finale was contrived and lacked satisfaction. Good, but not great.

Andy S

Not bad...not amazingly gripping but Cheadle is very good, and Guy Pearce excellent as ever, if underused. Loads of locations and lots to think about, but the finale was contrived and lacked satisfaction. Good, but not great.