True story. I was interviewing for a job -- not one having anything to do with law enforcement or national security -- and got this question: If a ticking time-bomb was about to go off in the middle of a major city, and you had the terrorist who planted the bomb in your custody, would I torture him to learn its location, and thus save the lives of many thousands?

Um. As I recall, I said something mealy-mouthed -- and did not get the job.

The "ticking time-bomb" scenario is a fascinating ideological litmus test, perhaps even more so for the fact that it would never happen so cleanly in real life. In the movies, of course, anything is possible. The new trailer for Gregor Jordan's Unthinkable -- embedded below -- is intriguing because it looks like it just might take this hypothetical as the serious moral and ethical dilemma that it is. The story is dead-on: a terrorist plants three nuclear bombs in three different major cities, and (somehow) winds up in the undisclosed custody of some FBI agents, including a typically bad-ass Samuel L. Jackson ("The only miscalculation in your plan... was me.") and an oddly harried-looking Carrie-Anne Moss. The dude ain't talking. Will they torture him to save countless lives? Would you?

The obvious point of comparison here is 24 -- at one point in the trailer, Samuel L. Jackson even screams "There's no time!," all Jack Bauer-like -- but as much as I used to love that show, it never (to my knowledge -- I gave up after about five seasons) questioned the righteousness of Jack's kneecap-breaking and testicle-electrocuting. This isn't a new issue, but it will be great to have a genre film attack it earnestly.

Watch the trailer for Unthinkable after the jump.