As with most any other genre, pitching a thriller seems to go that much more swimmingly once one finds an ideal blockbuster reference point with which to do half of the leg work. It's 'Die Hard meets this', 'Speed on a that', and, when in doubt, just say the damn thing is 'Hitchcockian'.

Post-2001, the likes of TV's '24' and 'Sleeper Cell', and film's Jason Bourne franchise, have tapped into both our political climate and pop culture zeitgeist, into a globe-trotting, gun-toting fear of the here and there and always now. Jeffrey Nachmanoff's Traitor feels like the first film that has itself been directly spawned in the wake of those successes, as opposed to merely being bolstered by it, and while it may overtake, say, Vantage Point in terms of plausible plotting and worldly knowledge, it remains a film that is good enough to grasp the bar and yet not quite enough to raise it.

categories Reviews, Cinematical