Traitor - Don Cheadle
TRAITOR is writer/director Jeffrey Nachmanoff's powerful rumination on post-9/11 foreign affairs wrapped up into a taut contemporary spy thriller. Balancing the film's sometimes conflicted ideological heft is Don Cheadle, who turns in a smartly even-keeled performance as Samir Horn, a Sudanese-born, Chicago-raised former U.S. Army Special Forces operative. The action begins with a jarring prologue set in Sudan in 1978, where the young Samir witnesses the murder of his father by car bombing. Jumping swiftly to present day Yemen, Samir, in a dramatically ironic twist, is revealed as a mercenary selling explosives to Muslim extremists. But what is never completely clear throughout TRAITOR's numerous plot-twists is just where Horn's allegiances truly lie: is he an American spy infiltrating a Jihadist plot or a devout Muslim who has traded his sympathies with the West? When an arms sale runs afoul, Samir is jailed in a Yemeni prison where he befriends Omar (Said Taghmaoui), a ringleader of a terrorist organization that is being watched by the F.B.I. A bold prison break is hatched and the pair begins collaborating on a series of bombings throughout Europe. As Samir becomes embroiled in ever-escalating terror plots, it becomes clear that he is duplicitously playing both sides at growing danger to himself and the lives of innocent people. Cut with a breathless, war reportage-styled pace, TRAITOR is an action-packed, suspense-filled thriller whose seemingly equivocal ideological veneer can be summed up as: 'In war, there are no winners'.