Los Angeles Times - 08/29/2008
"Don Cheadle reaffirms his excellence in a good, terrorism-themed thriller that also features guy Pearce and Jeff Daniels....It tells a good, snakelike story, slithering in some unpredictable directions."
New York Times - 08/29/2008
"[S]omber, absorbing....[TRAITOR] manages an impressive feat of economy....[With an] unassuming style and tightly focused story..."
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."