Danny Rosett

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Traitor Review


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Can a thriller really be a thriller without thrills? Better yet, can an international spy story really succeed by purposefully getting us to sympathize with the enemy? That's the double edged sword being wielded by Jeffrey Nachmanoff with his new film Traitor. Even the title offers yet another bit of bifurcation -- on the one hand we have a deeply religious man (Don Cheadle) working with terrorists to blow up Americans. On the other, we see how he uses his faith as a means of undermining the group's most violent objectives. Of course, this doesn't make the tale interesting or exciting. Sometimes, just being different doesn't save you from being dull.

Samir Horn (Cheadle) was 12 when his cleric father was killed by a car bomb. After years struggling with Islam, he becomes an explosives expert, working within a radical faction. When FBI agents Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) and Max Archer (Neal McDonough) storm their headquarters in Yemen, Samir and his cohorts are jailed. Soon, he is befriended by Omar (Said Taghmaoui) who recruits him to join his latest mission. Under the guidance of leaders Fareed (Aly Khan) and Nathir (Raad Rawi), Samir will construct 50 bombs, each one destined for a trip on a U.S. cross-country bus come Thanksgiving. As a man of conscience (and secrets), involvement in such a plot will test every fiber of his being -- and his loyalties.

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Can a thriller really be a thriller without thrills? Better yet, can an international spy...

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