"What would a murder investigation look like on Mars?" (Screenwriter Matt Carnahan used that sentence to describe the movie that he wrote which made it on the big screen.)
The Kingdom is a 2007 film directed by Peter Berg and starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, with Kyle Chandler, Jeremy Piven and Ali Suliman.
The film is fictional, but inspired by bombings at the Riyadh compound on May 12, 2003 and the Khobar Barracks housing complex on June 26, 1996, in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The story follows a team of FBI agents.
Is the film worth sitting through in the comfort of your own home (interspersed with commercials to pay for it)? Not really.
It's a formula film that takes jabs at Saudi sensibilities on gender, on many of their citizen's opinions about the United States, etc. Just because they're stereotypes doesn't make them untrue. It's just that this sort of movie always revolves around those issues.
Jamie Foxx is not credible playing a government agent to those who understand where his heart is. He's ok playing an informant, or as Ray Charles, but he doesn't cut it in a law enforcement role. His acting isn't bad - it's just that his personal life abuts his role, and not in a good way.
Radical Wahhabism, the sect of Islam that al Qaeda identifies with finds a nexus within the borders of our Saudi Allies. (read the wikipedia account to see how the Saudis distance themselves from that association). The movie could have taken a more risky and possibly more artistic perspective by including some of the genuinely politically incorrect facts that made the actual investigation interesting.
There is a duality to the Saudi government. Some of them support terrorism and others genuinely oppose it. The Kingdom danced around the issue.