The War Within

A Pakistani engineer in Paris (cowriter Ayad Akhtar) is kidnapped by the CIA, turned over to Pakistani interrogators, and tortured at length. This intelligent, well-made drama deliberately keeps us in the dark about the engineer’s involvement in fundamentalist terror before the torture but leaves no doubt that the experience further radicalizes him. Arriving in New Jersey with a cover story about having driven a cab in Canada, he lodges with an old friend and his family, all the while preparing a suicide bombing for Grand Central Station. A few plot details strain credibility, but the characters (particularly the friend’s sister and little boy) are persuasively depicted. Joseph Castelo (American Saint) directed and cowrote the script. 90 min. (JR)

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