Fall 2007: A Season of Political Thrillers

With fall approaching I think it’s time to look ahead at what you can be excited for in terms of film and this fall it’s political thrillers. Three big political thrillers are coming out this fall and they’re coming out in an order that parallels my level of excitement from least excited to most excited.

First we have The Kingdom, which comes out on the 28th of September. The Kingdom was written by Matthew Carnahan and directed by Peter Berg (Collateral) and stars Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman (questionable in this kind of a film, but I could be wrong) and Chris Cooper.


Plot Summary:

“When a terrorist bomb detonates inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an international incident is ignited. While diplomats slowly debate equations of territorialism, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) quickly assembles an elite team (Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman) and negotiates a secret five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the madman behind the bombing. Upon landing in the desert kingdom, however, Fleury and his team discover Saudi authorities suspicious and unwelcoming of American interlopers into what they consider a local matter. Hamstrung by protocol-and with the clock ticking on their five days-the FBI agents find their expertise worthless without the trust of their Saudi counterparts, who want to locate the terrorist in their homeland on their own terms. Fleury’s crew finds a like-minded partner in Saudi Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum), who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene and the workings of an extremist cell bent on further destruction. With these unlikely allies sharing a propulsive commitment to crack the case, the team is led to the killer’s front door in a blistering do-or-die confrontation. Now in a fight for their own lives, strangers united by one mission won’t stop until justice is found in The Kingdom.”


Next, we have Rendition coming out on the 19th of October. Rendition was written by Kelley Sane and directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) and stars Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Alan Arkin and Meryl Streep.


Plot Summary:

“When Egyptian born terrorism suspect, Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwalley) disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington DC, his American wife, Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) travels to Washington to try and learn the reason for his disappearance. Meanwhile, at a secret detention facility somewhere outside the US, CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) is forced to question his assignment in an attempt to save thousands as he becomes a party to the unorthodox interrogation of El-Ibrahim.”


Finally, Lions for Lambs opens November 9th. Lions for Lambs was also written by Carnahan and was directed by Robert Redford (enough said) and stars Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep (that puts her at two political thrillers).


Plot Summary:

“Lions for Lambs begins after two determined students at a West Coast University, Arian (Derek Luke) and Ernest (Michael Pena), follow the inspiration of their idealistic professor, Dr. Malley (Robert Redford), and attempt to do something important with their lives. But when the two make the bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan, Malley is both moved and distraught. Now, as Arian and Ernest fight for survival in the field, they become the string that binds together two disparate stories on opposite sides of America. In California, an anguished Dr. Malley attempts to reach a privileged but disaffected student (Andrew Garfield) who is the very opposite of Arian and Ernest. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. the charismatic Presidential hopeful, Senator Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise), is about to give a bombshell story to a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep) that may affect Arian and Ernest’s fates. ”



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