Rendition

Reese Witherspoon puts on sad eyes and mopes around a lot in this mixed-up message movie about America’s rendition policies, where terrorism suspects can be whisked away to other countries and tortured while the U.S. “observes.” Jake Gyllenhaal plays an American agent who, after seeing a colleague get killed in a terrorist bombing, finds himself observing the torture of an American tourist who allegedly received phone calls from a well-known terrorist figure. Those tortures include the standard American movie torments, like hanging from the ceiling while your muscular, oiled, exotically lit body writhes from electricity jolts; getting put in “the hole”; and having to be naked in front of Jake Gyllenhaal. The film wants to say something, I guess, but it really doesn’t. And as entertainment, it is predictable, too glossy and more than a little bit boring. Meryl Streep delivers what is possibly her worst performance ever as a corrupt politician.

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