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Stars: Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Said Taghmaoui, Jeff Daniels, Neal McDonough, Archie Panjabi, Alyy Khan, Lorena Gale, Scali Delpeyrat, Tom Barnett, Simon Reynolds

Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Genuinely suspenseful in parts, this topical thriller harnesses a strong storyline to a timely if familiar subject - Islamic suicide bombers unleashed against the West.

Yemeni-born extremist Samir Horn (Cheadle) who, when he was 12, witnessed his father being blown up in his car, was raised in the United States, and now travels the world, principally the Middle East, selling Semtex and showing terrorists how to operate bombs.

When he's captured in a raid and thrown in a Yemeni prison, two CIA agents (Pearce, McDonough, who pursue him throughout the film) are unable to get him to talk despite a promise to return him to America if he does. Escaping, with the help of a new-found friend, Ahmed (Taghmaoui), Samir is soon involved with a big Islamic terrorist ring who first bomb the US embassy in Nice, then plan to plant 50 suicide bombers on board long-distance buses across America.

The skilful screenplay casts just enough doubt about Samir's activities to keep you guessing as to whether he might be playing a deep double game and, whether hero or villain, Cheadle remains sympathetic enough as the main protagonist for you be glued to his fortunes throughout. Supporting acting is pretty competent without exactly catching the eye.

David Quinlan

Canada/UK/USA 2008. UK Distributor: Momentum. Technicolor.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 23 Mar 2009