Rated 3.0

Don Cheadle plays a Muslim American undercover U.S. military operative deep into war-on-terror territory in the Middle East, possibly at the center of a murderous international conspiracy, and on the run from terrorists and Feds alike. His supporting players include Saïd Taghmaoui as a sympathetic jihadist, Guy Pearce and Neal McDonough as stock FBI dudes and Jeff Daniels as a shady CIA lifer. Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s script, from a story by Steve Martin (yes, him), has a clever, debatably surprising twist at the end, but seems overall like little more than a theoretical exercise for setting that up. For all the talking they do about themselves and reading aloud of dossiers and so on, the characters register only faintly—less like the multidimensional people Nachmanoff pretends them to be than like placeholders in a topically gimmicky political thriller. Cheadle commands the screen while you finish your popcorn.