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Rendition Review Critics


Dave White Profile

A complete waste … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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."

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Rendition tackles the concern in a heavy-handed thriller with simplistic characters and manipulative story lines.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Rendition certainly makes the case that torture, whatever name it goes under, is indefensible, yet one can agree with that view entirely and still feel that the movie is just a borderline exploitation of what anyone who reads the papers already knows.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While the ingredients are there to make a tense and compelling post-9/11 thriller, Rendition falls flat.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Over-simplified drama takes hard look at torture.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this heavy drama isn't for kids, even though it stars tween/teen favorites Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal. Not only does it deal with the many complicated political and cultural issues surrounding torture, but the dialogue -- which is focused on policy and intrigue -- will likely bore younger viewers. There's also plenty of violence, including explosions, shooting, and, yes, torture (there are difficult images of the victim's pain and the aggressor's visceral calculations). The torture victim appears naked in a small, dank cell, mostly in shadow. Other scenes show upset victims and negotiators; particularly wrenching is a young wife's anguished pleading that a CIA officer answer questions about her missing husband. Language includes some uses of "f--k" and other minor profanity.

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays the practice of torture. As viewers sort out their own feelings about what he goes through, does it matter whether Anwar is guilty or innocent? How is watching torture different than seeing other types of media violence? Should anti-torture laws ever be sacrificed for security?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Both "terrorists" and U.S. agents use underhanded tactics; parents and children are at odds.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Brutal violence throughout, including torture, as well as explosions in crowded streets. An early scene shows a suicide bombing in North Africa in which a CIA agent dies in Douglas' lap (blood everywhere). Anwar is tortured repeatedly -- he's tied to a chair, beaten, choked, dragged, kicked, and electrified. Photos of martyrs show maimed bodies. In a tense, lengthy scene, Fatima runs to stop Khalid's suicide mission, with pounding percussion and fast cutting. A bombing near the end is catastrophic, killing multiple people and leaving others traumatized and bloody.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Khalid and Fatima kiss a couple of times. Anwar appears naked in several scenes, usually shadowed; his nakedness (which is non-sexual) is a sign of his vulnerability (his body is bloodied and bruised from torture).

  • language false5

    Language: Several uses of "f--k," plus occasional other profanity, like "hell," "son of a bitch," and "goddammit."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Sony TV, Washington Post.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several characters smoke cigarettes and cigars. Douglas drinks hard liquor to show despair; he also goes to a bar where he smokes an opium-like drug from a water pipe. Douglas appears drunk and upset.