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A good Political Thriller, Yet Slow Throughout...

  • May 26, 2009
  • by
Traitor is one of those films that is nothing like how the trailer makes it out to be.  In some cases, this is a really bad thing and in others, like Traitor, a good thing.  Don Cheadle gives a great performance in the movie as does Guy Pierce who for some reason I always get mixed up with Ethan Hawke.  Traitors biggest problem is that it never picks up; from start to finish the film acts like one giant climax.

When the FBI leads an investigation into an Islam terrorist cell, most of the clues found by detectives Roy Clayton (Pierce) and Max Archer (Neal McDonough) lead back to former army special forces operative Samir Horn (Cheadle).  For the FBI, the clock is ticking as a huge attack is being planned, while Samir must continue to stay deep under cover in the terrorist cell, even taking lived if necessary.

Like I said above, from the beginning of the film, the story really stays in one ongoing climax, showing Samir traveling from country to country, taking part in terrorist activities and recruiting new members, all the while undermining the terrorist hierarchy.  I sat through this film waiting for it to pick up at points that is should have, but it never happened.  Sure it was still an entertaining film that had explosions and good acting, as well as a good story, but it just stayed flat the whole time.  I started to watch the film last night around 11:30 and I can stay up pretty late, but despite the good acting and story, Traitor could not hold my attention long enough, and I saved the rest for this morning.  The last half of the film had the same effect on me, except without me wanting to go to bed.

As stated above, Traitor does have a great story which is complimented by its great cast.  Despite the fact that they don't have many scenes together, I thought that Guy Peirce and Don Cheadle shared some great scenes together.  A lot of that was the fact that both of the characters had religious roots and despite the fact that they are "enemies", they share some common ground.  Don Cheadle is also wonderful in this film as a stand alone character.  He does this by really convincing the audience that he believes in his Islam faith and is so torn between the undercover work he is doing which involves taking lives and watching these terrorists go against everything Islam stands for.  Cheadle is one of those actors who can make any movie look good in my opinion.

If you enjoy a good political thriller, this is pretty standard.  It's a lot better then let's say Syriana, but nowhere near as good as...Babel.  Definitely a rental and luckily if you have Starz ONDemand, its free.  Traitor is also a must see for any fan of Don Cheadle.  3/5.     
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Don Cheadle stars as former U.S. Special Ops Officer Samir Horn and Guy Pearce plays the FBI agent hot on his trail in Traitor. The film opens with Horn as a child in Sudan learning his Muslim faith from his father. Then we see Horn witness his father's death via a car bomb.     Hurtle forward into modern times and we find Samir trying to cut a deal with Muslim terrorists. He is captured in a raid in Yemen and soon finds himself offered assistance by the FBI in return for …
review by . December 21, 2008
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review by . June 03, 2009
Premise: Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) and Neal McDonough (did not catch the character's name) are FBI agents who are investigating several suicide bombings around the world. Their main suspect, Samir Horn (Don Cheadle)- an American citizen, seems to be clearly connected to the extremist group claiming responsibility for the bombings. As Samir masterfully evades the agents, Clayton comes to realize that everything is not as it seems and evidence is not as clear-cut as he first believed it to be. (I don't …
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About the reviewer
Julian Brown ()
Ranked #34
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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About this movie


Traitor is a 2008 American spy thriller film, based on an idea by Steve Martin who is also an executive producer. Written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, the film stars Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce.

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Movies, Drama Movies, Thriller Movies, Islam, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Neal Mcdonough, Guy Pearce Movies


Genre: Drama, Thriller
Release Date: 27 August 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Steve Martin
Runtime: 114 min
Studio: Overture Films
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