Simply put, if you agree with the Bush Administration's policy concerning how it handles what it deems as terror 'threats', AVOID THIS FILM. I probably just saved $10 for a ticket or a waste of a Netflix rental.
As for the rest of us...
"Rendition" is not a film about a specific true story, but is a statement about the reality that exists in the world today. It is not a secret that the US operates off-shore prisons where, some claim, that our Constitution does not play any role. What actually goes on in them and how they are operated is where the issue becomes especially murky.
While there are several human struggles in this film, the most glaring is not about people at all. It concerns our Constitutional rights vs. current US policy. The human example of this comes in a moving scene involving Meryl Streep (defender of policy) and Peter Sarsgaard (a Senator's aid who believes that a man's Constitutional rights have been taken from him) go face-to-face in a verbal, threat-based conversation.
The film also shows us how someone could be tortured to the point where they may lose the will to tell the truth in an effort to avoid the continued agony that comes because of it. As a viewer, you watch what this man goes through and ask yourself, "Would I have a breaking point as well? Would telling them what they want to hear just be easier than repeatedly being subjected to unbearable harm?"
I don't believe that one should watch this film and take it as gospel on the subjects that it presents to us. What it should do is encourage us to take a moment to think about and/or read about what is going on right now and consider if our current policy is justified, immoral or something else.
As a film, it is extremely well acted. This has to be my favorite cast since "Little Miss Sunshine". In a completely different role than he had in that film, Alan Arkin shines once again in a limited role as does Meryl Streep. Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard all give outstanding performances as well. Much lesser known actors, Omar Metwally and Igal Naor, arguably outshine their more famous castmates and may have delivered the finest performances in this movie.
"Rendition" is a powerful, engaging and thought-provoking film that attempts to shine a light on a subject that gets very little media attention. It attempts to be a wake-up call to its audience and tries to show how easily we could lose the rights that we simply take for granted. "Rendition" also presents its case that we cannot win the hearts and minds of those who hate us by using torture practices that not only ruin any chance future peace, but will only infuriate and embolden extremists.
In my opinion, it would be pretty difficult to check your political views at the door when seeing "Rendition" and view it objectively. While the film's story is fictional, it is shaped and constrained by reality and your current view of today's world & US policies will directly affect how you personally view the story in this movie.