When we commit acts of terror in the name of fighting terrorism, have we in fact become as bad as the bad guys we're supposed to be fighting? That's the question director Gavin Hood addresses in Rendition, which tackles the controversial practice of "extraordinary rendition," whereby suspected terrorists can be whisked off to other countries where "enhanced interrogation techniques" (electrocution, beating, and the ever-popular simulated drowning) are considered acceptable, so as to glean information from the suspected terrorist that might end up thwarting plots and saving countless lives.
The basic premise of Rendition: Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is an Egyptian citizen with a green card who's been living and working in the United States since he was 14 years old. He has a lovely American wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), a cute little six-year-old kid, and a baby on the way. He coaches his son's soccer team. He's a chemical engineer with a $200K salary and a nice house in the suburbs of Chicago. He could be you or me or someone we know. And one day, on his way home from a business trip to South Africa, Anwar is taken aside by security at the airport and secreted away for questioning about his alleged involvement with a terrorist whose cell phone number has been traced making phone calls to Anwar's cell phone. How does Anwar explain this? Unfortunately for him, he can't.