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A rouge former us special forces operative i aiding terrorists to carry out acts against the west however its unclear where the mans loyalties lie. Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 12/19/2008 Starring: Don Cheadle Run time: 100 minutes Rating: Pg13 Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
An action film rich with politics, espionage, and complicated characters, Traitor is an engrossing film in which the lines between right and wrong are anything but clear and the threats of terrorism and conspiracy across the globe seem startlingly real. Sadim Horn (Don Cheadle) is a devout Muslim, once trained and employed in engineering and explosives by American Special Forces, who has chosen to settle in Afghanistan. FBI agents Clayton (Guy Pearce) and Archer (Neal McDonough) begin investigating an uncooperative Sadim in an Afghanistan prison because of his connections with terrorist Omar (Saїd Taghmaoui) and, as events unfold, uncover ties between Sadim and several international bombing incidents. As agents Clayton and Archer follow Sadim around the world, Sadim's dedication to his faith becomes abundantly clear, as does his involvement in an international bombing conspiracy. What's less than clear in all the contradictory evidence is the nature of Sadim's role in the conspiracy--specifically, which side he's really fighting for. Traitor is an action-packed, suspenseful film with strong acting talent and a disturbingly real message. Bonus features include audio commentary by director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Cheadle, an "Action!" featurette about the film's stunts and special effects, and a look at the production's exotic filming locations. --Tami Horiuchi
Stills from Traitor (Click for larger image)
Traitor + Digital Copy [Blu-ray]
More from Don Cheadle - Reign Over Me (Widescreen Edition)
More from Anchor Bay - Righteous Kill
- Great acting by Cheadle and Pearce - SPOILER ALERT!
Excellent script, direction, acting and storyline. Don Cheadle as Samir Horn, the "bomb-maker" of a secret terrorist organization is convincing as the "deep cover operative" and Guy Pearce as the relentless FBI agent Roy Clayton on his trail. The last few tension-filled minutes are worth it; and amply demonstrates that superior direction and editing can result in an excellent movie. Great support from Said Taghmaoui as Omar, Samir's "brother-in-arms."
The last couple of minutes got me really tense as I thought Don Cheadle (Samir) was going to get blown away by the "other guards" on the boat (what happened to them when the good guys boarded the ship?).
Anyway, I figured Samir had somehow sabotaged the simultaneous bombings by wiring the explosives incorrectly on all the bombers. Then I saw that they all seemed to have boarded only one type of bus line. Sure, it could've been a nationwide bus service, so I figured he'd set them all to blow up together. Didn't realize that one was enough to take out the entire "crew." Too bad that hapless bus driver had to be sacrificed.
- Traitor - a passionate Don Cheadle movie that should have gotten more attention
You have to wonder if Cheadle is making more and more movies that he has a passion for the message? Thinking Hotel Rwanda and Traitor.
In this movie, you are left to question where he is coming from. To whom is he a traitor to? Is he a traitor at all?
What you get is a sense of the good side of Islam. Cheadle quotes the Quran through the movie, even quoting the opposite views that extremists quote. My favorite: "Mohammed said, 'if you kill one man, you kill all of humanity."" Wow, how powerful.
What I like about this movie juxtaposed against movies like 'Body of Lies' or 'Syriana' is that you see Cheadle and the men who are trying to catch him. Not a lot of back and forth and three story threads at one time. This movie is one straighforward, intense story.
Cheadle is one great actor, he is believable. You like him, even when he is playing the 'enemy.' It is a movie that reflects courage and in this confusing world we live in, gives us a sense of balance that must be sought out as we relate to our fellow man....more info
- Good movie
It was a movie that I wouldn't be ashamed to watch in front of my family. It has some language but not very much. I don't recall hearing any F-words or seeing excessive violence. There were also no sex scenes at all. That really surprised me in a good sort of way.
The story was kind of predictable but still good....more info
- Believed To Be A Traitor, Samir Horn Is Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place (Great Film and Great Release From Anchor Bay)
Indeed, as the tagline for "Traitor" states, the truth is complicated. As the film progresses, it becomes ever more complicated. Soon Samir Horn, the traitor, is unable to tell anyone the truth about who he really is. He is trapped in many prisons, both physical and spiritual, and is being pulled in many directions.
I am reviewing the Anchor Bay release of "Traitor." Normally, I don't watch the DVD's special features; however, "Traitor" was so intriguing that I couldn't resist. The commentary provided by director Jeffrey Nachmanoff (screenwriter of "The Day After Tomorrow") and lead actor Don Cheadle (who portrayed Samir Horn) was outstanding. During many commentaries, the actors and production crew reminisce about past events that have nothing to do with the film. Not so with "Traitor." I soon learned that the Yemen scenes were filmed in beautiful Morocco. Nachmanoff foolhardily didn't get a permit to film in London's subways. Cheadle was clipped by a car while being filmed crossing a street. Many of the Moroccan extras used in the prison scenes couldn't speak English but were fine actors in their own right. Several Muslim actors gave advice on Muslim customs and beliefs that were incorporated into the film. Nachmanoff's younger brother, a lawyer, gave him legal jargon for the film. I also learned that Cheadle and Guy Pearce are very athletic and did a lot of their own stunts. Most importantly, Nachmanoff stated how he wanted to focus on the journey that Samir Horn undertakes rather than the ultimate act of terrorism at the film's finale. Don Cheadle so aptly describes his character as being ". . . Caught between a rock and a hard place."
The commentary was also educational. I learned that Nachmanoff distinguished certain scenes from others by using the bleached bypass process which gives a scene a lighter, bleached-out look. (Personally, I didn't care for this effect.) Some buildings were extended by using CGI. Cranes were used to create unusual overhead camera angles.
In order to give "Traitor" an international flavor, the film was shot in Morocco, London, Toronto, Marseilles, Chicago, and Washington D.C. The viewer will appreciate and learn more about these locales, especially those in Morocco, if they watch the DVD`s special feature: "International Espionage: An In-Depth Look at Traitor's Exotic Locations." (Morocco is gorgeous; I'd love to go there on vacation.) It was interesting to learn that few sets were built. Most scenes were filmed by small crews on location.
The viewer will see Cheadle train for the prison fight scenes in "Action! The Stunts and Special Effects of Traitor." This short feature was exceptionally fun to watch. We learn that Cheadle has a background in fighting. We witness cars and buildings explode. We also learn how the stunt is performed when a young terrorist is thrown off a bridge and onto the train tracks below.
Overall, the features for the Anchor Bay release of "Traitor" are excellent. My only complaints was that there isn't a special feature that provides the deleted scenes. Cheadle and Nachmanoff spoke about them, making me wish I could view them. Also, the print for the names of locations was very small. I had to scoot closer to the television to see them. Same with the subtitles for those speaking in Arabic. You had to look hard and pay close attention because they were small and were soon gone. Also, Anchor Bay's release didn't have a reproduction of the movie poster like so many others have had. However, I am thankful that there are English subtitles for the hearing impaired, like myself, and the film is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Inside the DVD jewel case, there are two $3 coupons that can be used towards the purchases of "Righteous Kill" and "Surfer, Dude." (I have scanned and posted the DVD jacket, the coupons, and the disc.) Also, the trailers included on the disc are for the following features: "Righteous Kill" (looks like an excellent police saga starring Al Pacino and Robert Deniro), "The Visitor" (great drama, which I have already reviewed), "Henry Poole is Here" (looks bizarre but warmhearted), and "Sleepwalking" (another sweet drama I'd like to see.)
As far as the film itself, I have not seen a more emotionally charged story dealing with terrorism since "The Siege." Everyone gave excellent performances, especially Don Cheadle who deserves an Oscar. His facial expressions were incredible. I felt a lot of sympathy for his character, Samir Horn. He is torn between his loyalty towards Islam and loyalty towards his country. Most everyone thinks he's a traitor, including himself. He begins to think that he has betrayed Islam for the innocent lives that have been lost. To make matters worse, he virtually has no one to turn to but Allah. Horn's mom, however, seems to have faith that he is still a good man.
Anchor Bay`s release of "Traitor" is highly recommended viewing for those who enjoy political espionage thrillers. You will be on the edge of your seat for the last fifteen minutes, as I was. My heart was pounding in my chest. The ending was a shocker.
Wa alaikum assalam.
- Struggling With The Gray Areas
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 crucial information on terrorist cells all over the world. When he refuses to help, he is left to rot in a Yemeni prison where he forms a close bond with a fellow Muslim named Omar (Said Taghmaoui).
The pair, along with a number of Omar's cohorts, escape the prison and meet up with the Islamic Brotherhood. From there, the film goes across the globe, allowing the viewer to witness a number of terrorists acts that are headed up by Samir's knowledge of weapons and of the Qu'ran.
Meanwhile, FBI Agent Clayton (Pearce) and his team are trying to find out who is pulling off all of the terrorists bombings. Soon enough Clayton pegs Samir as a prime suspect and the chase is one.
The viewer is forced to question the motives of Samir from the very beginning. Is he truly a terrorist? Perhaps he is just a loyal fanatical Muslim who believes that glory awaits those who strike down the infidel? Maybe he's doing this all to bring down the real bad guys? You'll have to watch the film to find out, since saying too much more will spoil the film.
Cheadle does an excellent job as the mysterious Samir Horn. Guy Pearce is wonderful as the minister's son-turned-lawman, Clayton. Said Taghmaoui is brilliant as the highly intelligent and near-fanatical Muslim believer, Omar. The supporting cast, which features Jeff Daniels, the always reliable and completely underrated Neal McDonough, Alyy Khan, Archie Panjabi and Hassam Ghancy, give solid performances as well.
What I personally found enjoyable about this film is that Islam is dicussed by fanatics, loyalists and outsiders who both fear and respect the faith. Samir's interactions with Omar and Clayton on Islam are brilliant, and show the viewer that there's a whole lot more to Islam than blowing up the infidel and declaring Jihad on everyone.
While the film does run a bit slow at times it is, overall, a tight suspense drama with just enough action to keep it interesting. It is an intelligent film and I highly recommend it to people interested in the subjects of espionage, terrorism and religion. Highly recommended....more info
- Intense character study featuring the always great Don Cheadle
Traitor is not your typical movie that tackles terrorism. There are no bloody shoot `em up action sequences. Instead, it's a deep character study of how religious fanatical beliefs manifest themselves, taking root in radical terrorists groups. The always fantastic and underrated Don Cheadle portrays Samir Horn, an Army Special Forces soldier sent to Pakistan to train Afghan rebels who decided to stay. He's a devoted Muslim (and explosives expert) and a conflicted traitor, but to whom? The movie will keep you guessing until the end.
The movie also features Aussie Guy Pierce as the FBI agent trying to bring him in, who starts to second guess his true motivations, and Jeff Daniels as the shady government agent that might know the truth. The DVD has two extra features- the director's vision for the movie, and interviews with several of the main characters. Overall, the pacing is slow, but builds to a pretty intense conclusion as viewers try to determine just who the traitor is.
- Cheadle's a star!
Don Cheadle gives a wonderful performance as Samir Horn. . . .and that's all I'm going to say, because anything more would ruin the film for you. Yes, it's an "international spy thriller/espionage/war on terror story that spans the globe." Some locations are exotic--Sudan, Yemen, Marseille, also London and Washington. But the movie is more, much more. Afterwards, you may think about the unanswerable question--does the end justify the means? And if you conclude it does, what's the personal price you pay? Cheadle's anguish is plain to see as he wrestles with the question. Guy Pearce is also marvelous as an FBI agent who believes he knows the answer, but never stops thinking. Highly recommended!
This film has a PG-13 rating but I'd be cautious. A teen may find it hard to follow, and it's violent at times. ...more info
- Thought provoking and most definitely flawed
"Traitor" is one of the many movies about the "war on terrorism" that completely tanked at the box office. People just didn't want to watch movies about Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, rendition, torture - any of it. Some of those movies were actually pretty good, some were acceptable/OK, and some were just bad movies. "Traitor" is in the middle. Not a great flick, but definitely worth at least a rental.
The director had to thread the eye of the needle with a story like this. How to depict Muslims and Arabs in all their humanity, from good to bad? This was a tight rope act and it appears, at least to this reviewer, that the director succeeded even if the final product wasn't a stupendous movie. It shows that some people are bad and some are good and they exist on all sides.
Don Cheadle does a superb job as the guy torn apart in the middle, the witness to atrocities and hypocritical extreme ideology on both sides. There is tension throughout the film as viewers have to guess which way he's going to ultimately go and if the side he decides to join will accept him or kill him.
Still, the film falls flat in part to its lack of budget. The final explosion is perhaps the biggest example. Not that big explosions make a great movie! Far from it. It's just that the specifics of the story indicated that this explosion would consist of multiple sources (possible spoiler - I'm trying to be vague) and the one they show is just too tiny for that. That kind of approach is seen in much smaller touches throughout the film. You can tell that they've passed off certain streets as foreign locales when it was probably just Vancouver, Canada. That a big chunk of the film ends up in Nova Scotia (about as non-descript as you can get) says something.
Still, it's worth a rental and could possibly lead to some interesting conversations afterwards. It's definitely food for thought even if it's not a classic....more info
- Blows the Bourne films out of the water
Traitor: well - the Bourne series - for one - has nothing on this film. This film has so many twists and turns - a seemingly conventional beginning with a shocking end. This film action packed - but stands above its counterparts in film through it's inclusion of rich and dynamic relationships and characters; and - by the film's end - you're left really thinking on what the main character was all about. This is a classic thriller - completely underrated. I highly recommend it....more info
I think the seller was prompt with the delivery of the movie and very much a considerable repeat purchase could happen in the future....more info
- Good Suspense
This movie was a good suspenseful film, but I didn't get the point. The chase, the suspense was built really well. But why? What was the director really trying to say? The message passed me by. Was this an inside view of terroism? A double agent? A man reacting to the horrible death of his father and a revenge movie? I just can't find the key, nothing I come up with makes sense, or fits all the pieces together.
This film had a ton of 24 feel to it. Don Cheadle is not Keifer Sutherland, but I had the same kind of feeling from this film as I do watching 24. The production values were very similar. Traitor and 24 have similar editing, and definately the same kind of camera work. This is not bad, just a feeling.
Don Cheadle is outstanding in this role. He is a truly amazing actor, with a huge range of skill.
The film opens in 1970 something where young Samir, (Don Cheadle) witnesses his father blown up in a car bomb. The film them cuts forward to present day and we follow Samir all over the world joining a terrorist group making bombs. The film uses the poor titling technique to tell the viewer where they are in the world. We are always shown some kind of stock view of the city and then cut to a Hollywood set that should look like that country. It's a poor technique that grows old as the film moves forward.
The story is exciting. The chase scenes, gamesmanship back and forth, and the double cross that is double crossed is all intriguing. The central question, who is Samir really aligned with, for which country is he a traitor? When the resolution actually happens, it was no surprise and was somewhat anti-climatic.
The problem with this film was more about, so what? I cared about Samir, would he make it through here, would he escape prison, would he be killed there, would the bomb accidently blow up, etc. But why was this film made? What did we really learn from this?
Rated PG-13, there is a lot of violence. Not much strong language. There is no nudity in this almost 2 hour film.
This isn't a bad film. It isn't great. I just didn't get it, why was it made? What was the point? When a film leaves me confused to that level, well I'm not a huge fan. ...more info
- Typical action flick
This is a typical American action flick in the sense that it features a really smart and tough hero character, in this case Don Cheadle, who is able to outsmart and outfight just about anybody, good guys and bad guys alike. Maybe one reason this film didn't do so well at the box office is because it doesn't have quite as much action as most action movies, for which I give it credit. Also unlike most action movies it doesn't have any super evil villains. There are terrorists, of course, but you see them as people and not just as cardboard bad guys. Then again, a movie portraying Muslims only as evil terrorists and Americans only as good guys would stir things up, wouldn't it?
At the end of the movie there is some preachiness about Muslims being used, misguided, and misled, and there is no serious effort to explore the roots of terrorism. One could just as well examine the motivations of homegrown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh. The end of the movie also sets up the obvious sequel, but perhaps there will be no sequel after all.
Even with its redeeming qualities, Traitor suffers the same flaw as other action films: implausibility. But that doesn't bother fans of action films. The only reason it bothers me is because I'm not a fan of action films. True action fans may want more action and special effects than this film dishes out.
- Entertaining, but too flawed to really be effective
Part spy thriller and part serious look at the roots of terrorism, Traitor is a compelling, if flawed movie. It's a complex tale starring Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Samir Horn, a former US Special Forces operative turned (maybe) jihadi. Guy Pearce (LA Confidential) plays the FBI agent trying to track down Horn and head off a major terrorist attack planned by the group Horn is now a part of. It's a fairly typical, post-9/11, post-Bourne Identity, globetrotting spy movie with all of the plot twists, double agents, and suspense you'd expect from the genre. It's also a bit heavy-handed in terms of political correctness, going out of the way to remind us that despite the actions of nearly every single Muslim character in the film, real Muslims are not terrorists, etc.
Don Cheadle, one of the most underrated leading men in Hollywood, gives another first rate performance as Traitor's troubled protagonist. It's a credit to his acting skills that he makes even a terrorist (or is he?) arouse a degree of sympathy. He seems genuinely guilt-ridden, frustrated, and in over his head. My only complaint is that he seems too American at times, as if the hustling thief from Out of Sight is just under the surface. Pearce, who gave such a memorable performance in LA Confidential, is less impressive, which is due either to the lousy script he was given or the lousy Southern accent he affected for the role.
Despite Cheadle's performance, Traitor never quite makes the jump from "rent it" status to truly memorable movie. Compared to the Bourne movies - an unavoidable comparison - Traitor falls well short of the mark. I appreciate what they were trying to do, but the movie was either too slow or way too fast, and even the ending, which seemed extremely clever at first, is pretty absurd once you have time to really think about it. Traitor is a solid C+ movie that will entertain you for a couple of hours, but doesn't have much to offer beyond that....more info
- A Riveting Terrorism Thriller
This is an action packed show that crisscrosses the globe from Africa to Europe to the United States.
It features Don Cheadle as Samir Horn, an American Muslim who was born in Sudan. His father was murdered by some faction which greatly impacted Samir's life. He was a Special Forces soldier who is now being hunted by the FBI as a terrorist.
FBI Special Agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) is relentlessly pursuing him from one continent to another. Clayton realizes that everything may not be as it seems.
This is a top notch thriller. Cheadle is superb in this role. There is nonstop action that will keep viewers entertained throughout. For anyone who loves an intense movie, this is a great one to get....more info
- If you are a Don Cheadle fan, go ahead and see it. Otherwise...
Don Cheadle is Samir Horn, a man who makes unlikely friends with a Middle-Eastern terrorist group. Does he support their holy mission, in furtherance of the God he shares with them? Or may he be the catalyst to bring this group down...from the inside?
You can no longer count the number of movies about the global threat of Middle Eastern terrorism on one hand. It is a topic that gets headlines around the world, and movie makers must salivate over the screenplays. I have admitted my bias, and maybe that is what made this movie mediocre for me. I thought the Americans were portrayed as ruthless, witless cowboys. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with that viewpoint, but only that I grow tired of it.
Don Cheadle is my saving grace. He is one of the finest actors of this time. He has a seriousness about him that makes everything he says worth hearing. This movie followed him through some very difficult decisions and you feel torn in two directions almost more than he is. He is a talent worth keeping an eye on. He is also the only real highlight in this movie for me. The rest of the movie was just another take on these now-popular, religious Crusades. ...more info
- The truth is complicated
Samir Horn: The truth is complicated
This movie is the brainchild of Steve Martin, who switches comedy for more serious fare as executive producer of this gripping spy thriller that goes behind the scenes of a terrorist organization known as the Islamic Brotherhood.
As intense as he was in Hotel Rwanda, Don Cheadle gives a first-rate performance as Samir Horn, an explosives expert trained by the US Army Special Forces, who becomes deeply involved with the group. Cheadle plays a devout Muslim and his character battles personal conflicts and principles all the way through the movie.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)
1. It all begins with a car bomb
2. Flash forward to an arms deal gone wrong and a one-way ticket to a prison in Yemen.
3. Horn falls in with the people who know how to get out of jail free
4. His new friends are trying to get the monopoly on terror
5. He joins them and starts having a blast, but with serious misgivings, and for good reason.
6. Guy Pearce plays the FBI Special Agent who gets wind of Horn's activities
7. Explosive ending
Samir Horn: You know that the Qu'ran says that if you kill an innocent person it's as if you've killed all mankind?
Amanda Richards, March 3, 2009
- Ambiguous. How far can one go?
Taken as a thriller about terror and the intelligence work that fights it, I would not have hesitated to give the film 5 stars. It works very well within its own definitions. Cheadle is his usual brillant self as a Sudanese American Muslim army sergeant recruited by the CIA to go for a terror network leader by way of finding his way into the organization. He does it well and gets near the target, when he becomes a target himself for the FBI who have identified him as a top terrorist.
Cheadle's Shamir is a serious man. He is a devout Muslim. Working for the US against other Muslims is hard for him. Carrying out the terror network's assignments in order to rise in the ranks is also hard for him. He has doubts about right and wrong. In the end he confirms his taking the side where he started his adventure and becomes a 'hero', which leaves him with a bitter taste.
I find the movie far superior to the recent 'Body of Lies' (Crowe and Di Caprio) about a similar subject, because it is far more authentic and consistent. It is a good thriller, but in the end one can not forget that there are questions of credibility here that are not explicitly discussed by the film. How does the hero start his career in the US forces against his religious friends? With all his thoughtfulness about right and wrong one would have liked to understand what makes him tick. He is constantly quoting the Koran, and one wonders how he justifies his position. He never says, at least not convincingly. The Koran says that killing innocents is wrong? Maybe somewhere in an isolated spot, but more convincingly it supports the terror leader's position. Statistically the outrages far outnumber the nice places.
Taken as a whole, the movie advocates a soft approach to the conflict of scripture interpretation. That is maybe reasonable, but not intellectually pleasing....more info
- Strong acting keeps this movie above average
Ably written and directed, this kind of movie could be terrible in lesser hands. But it's pretty darn good, in large part due to the very strong performance by Don Cheadle as a terrorist/double-agent, and also Said Taghmaoui as his fellow terrorist/friend. Shockingly, this was written by Steve Martin (yes, the comedian!)...more info
Well acted drama that will keep you guessing what will happen next. Throughout the movie we learn about the life of a devout Muslim Sudanese/American man that seems to have a conflicted past. We know his father was killed by a terrorist and he had some military training. We think he may have worked for the CIA. The question is what is he up to now and who is he really working for presently? He seems to be helping a terrorist group plan a major offensive against the United States. This is an excellent thriller well worth at least a rental and probable a buy because of the story, acting, and quality of the production. Excellent quality DVD with some extras. If you enjoyed this catch "Spy Game".
CA Luster...more info
- Excellent Movie
You can't go wrong with the truth in this movie! It's exactly whats going on in the world and is definitely a must see!...more info
good momentum throughout this film. kept you hooked on the story. didn't know what was actually going on till the end....more info
- Top Five of 2008!
Awesome thriller. Why this didn't do better, I'll never know. The camera work is great, somewhere between "Babel" and "Munich". Don Cheadle proves he's an actor of substance. The twists and turns are wild and bring a many surprises along the way. The story itself is set in many different places around the globe. (actually the only 'unreal' thing seemed to be the prison in Yemen; way too clean!). Supporting actor Jeff Daniels also does an impressive job. My father and husband also enjoyed this DVD and put it in their top faves of the year. I say take a gander, you'll love it! ...more info