Parents' Guide to

Traitor

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Uneven political thriller mixes faith, terrorism.

Movie PG-13 2008 113 minutes
Traitor Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

good

good movie wort buying lots of action
age 14+

amazing movie

this was a great movie but their is a lot of bad things there is a scene where they chase a 17 year old boy shove him down stairs and grab him and throw him in train tracks and you hear him get hit theres blood f words suicide bombings brutal prizon beatings and fights great movie but very dark and brutal

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Taut and intriguing -- for the most part, anyway -- Traitor succeeds on a basic level thanks to Cheadle's acting prowess. Rather than playing Horn as a typical action-hero prototype, he creates a character so complicated and conflicted that the movie nearly transcends its flaws. Nearly. But it does have flaws. For starters, it skates over too many details -- how Horn metamorphosed from government soldier to arms trader, how his tangled web got its start. And while it certainly attempts to present a more full-bodied representation of extremists and extremism, the movie relies a little too much on shorthand, even though it willingly takes on a complex subject.

If not for the great acting ensemble, the enterprise would come across as paint-by-numbers. As it is, for a thriller, it feels slack and predictable in places -- as in Horn's encounters with a prison bully and how his response buys him the respect of others, for example. And, at times, it's self-consciously ponderous. But there's no denying the film's timeliness and its laudable efforts at injecting humanity into a hot-button debate. Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who also co-wrote the script, doesn't just rely on dogma and polemics, and for that he deserves some kudos.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 27, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: December 16, 2008
  • Cast: Don Cheadle , Guy Pearce , Jeff Daniels
  • Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
  • Inclusion Information: Black actors
  • Studio: Overture Films
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language.
  • Last updated: February 2, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate