Smart and intriguing new film hits theaters


‘TRAITOR’ – 8/10

Starring: Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Jeff Daniels

Plot: With a large-scale terrorist attack on the U.S. imminent, FBI agent Roy Clayton (Pearce) doesn’t have much time to find the leaders of the terrorist organization. When all evidence seems to lead back to a mysterious rouge officer Samir (Cheadle), things start to get sketchy, and the cat and mouse games ensue as Samir continues to battle himself as to what is good, what’s evil, and how far he is willing to go to succeed.

The Good: By far the best part of the movie is the story line, which was written by Steve Martin (Yes, that Steve Martin). The story features great twists and moral conflicts that make the viewer think and question the main character’s actions. At the end, all is explained, but the conclusion leaves you a little perplexed on how you are suppose to feel. Martin didn’t depict the “bad guys” as “bad,” instead he told both sides of the story, and showed both sides in a dark light as well as a light of goodness.

The action sequences were filmed in a shaky “Cloverfield” style, which allows a more intense and closer feel to the action. This style isn’t used much, but when it is used correctly it becomes a very effective way to make the action seem more real.

Don Cheadle did a great job portraying a conflicted Muslim whose inter-cell spy activity is unknown to all. He is able to illustrate the character’s conflicts between choosing the right side to be on, and trying everything in his power to follow his religion’s teaching, and still manage finish his job.

The Bad: There are few things unlikable about this film. In other spy movies like “The Bourne Identity” or the James Bond series that supplies action throughout the entire film, “Traitor” went through a slow period that was used to set up the ending.

Another part of the movie that became semi-obnoxious was the fade-outs from one scene to the other. Switching up the transitions would have been better.

The Low-Down: “Traitor” is a smart, well-written and intriguing movie that deserves to be watched.

It has a twisting story line that enthralls the audience for the full hour and 50 minutes and keeps the audience guessing until the final seconds of the film and beyond.