Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix
) plays Agent Brody an operative for the FBI counter-terrorist detail; when a home-grown nuclear scientist, Steven Arthur Younger (Michael Sheen) releases a video stating explicitly that there are three nuclear bombs in three separate cities throughout the U.S. the military police wheel in their black-ops interrogator (H - Samuel L. Jackson - Cleaner
) to extract the location of the bombs regardless of the methods required to reach the answers.
Agent Brody struggles with her morals, battling with the need for information and the procedures inflicted upon Younger. The film really makes you think about when is it OK to use inhumane methods of interrogation if it has a greater good. Using legal loopholes to avoid the Geneva convention is very much what happens in Guantanamo Bay today.
This film is fairly weighty in it's scope and does have some decent subject matter to make you think. However, the near-entirety of the film is shot in a single room (either the 'torture' container or in the viewing room outside of the container) and is very dark and sterile as a result. Carrie-Anne Moss is rather wooden in her moral struggle and Jackson plays his usual hopped-up maniac role, neither of them really amaze in any respect. This is effectively a feature length 24 episode, even involving the CTU of the FBI - however it is a lot more plausible and relies less on hyperboly to instill drama.
As an aside, Jackson delivers quite possibly the most hilariously stupid line I have heard in a film for a long time: "I work alone...with an assistant, and one other to fill-in when I get tired" - So you don't really work alone at all do you 'H'?? Tragic writing!!
This is a good film but it's bland milleu and slow pace might lose your attention, definitely one for the thinkers!