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When Egyptian-born Anwar (Omar Metwally) is whisked away by the CIA en route to his home to Illinois, his worried wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), goes to Washington, D.C., to raise concern. Meanwhile, in North Africa, Anwar is detained and tortured, under the fretful eye of a greenish CIA agent (Jake Gyllenhaal), who's also tasked with sorting out a terror bombing. Potentially incendiary stuff, but this drama from Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) covers its tough issues in easy-to-digest coatings: One tragedy is less about terrorism than puppy love; Anwar is an ideal citizen (suburban, good dad, highly educated, top earner), and Isabella is privileged enough to have highly placed contacts in Congress. While Rendition suggests that it's an even greater outrage that such an upstanding person should be renditioned, the reality is that those without resources fare worse, and people with less perfect backgrounds are the cases that truly test our justice system. There's a lot of moral relativism -- and tricky questions -- in our actual War on Terror that are distinctly absent from this contrived, uninspired melodrama. Starts Fri., Oct. 19.


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