Mira Nair is so effective and important as a chronicler of the South Asian experience in America (Mississippi Masala, The Namesake) that one hates to see her wasting her time on stuff like Vanity Fair and Amelia. This sure-handed adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's international best seller shows Nair at her best, tracing the slow radicalization of a young, brilliant Pakistani (Riz Amed) who wins a prestigious corporate-raider job in the U.S. but becomes a target of prejudice and racial profiling after the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. The flashback structure is key to the movie's suspense, encouraging a game of did-he-or-didn’t-he as the young man, questioned by a journalist (Liev Schreiber) about a recent terrorist kidnapping, recounts the story of his shifting loyalties. Kate Hudson is miscast as the hero's anguished girlfriend, but Kiefer Sutherland is icily effective as his demanding corporate mentor.
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