Based on everything his character is made to endure, it's a safe bet Adrien Brody didn't have a fun time of it in Bulgaria shooting 2015's super-serious Septembers of Shiraz. Pity, then, that his suffering was in service of such an unworthy movie. Set in Tehran in the fall of 1979, some months after the revolution that toppled the Shah's regime and swept Ayatollah Khomeini into power, the film charts the woes of Jewish gemologist Isaac Amin (Brody) and his family -- in particular wife Farnez (Salma Hayek-Pinault) -- when he's detained by the Revolutionary Guards with seemingly little hope he'll emerge from prison alive.
For roughly the first two-thirds of the film, director Wayne Blair alternates scenes of Farnez trying to find out what's become of her husband and Isaac being intimidated by guards in white hoods and interrogated by a masked man (Alon Moni Aboutboul) who has countless questions about his brother's smuggling operation (he deals in contraband alcohol) and his wife's newspaper articles, which the state considers decadent propaganda. Meanwhile, Farnez gets static from unexpected quarters, including their heretofore faithful housekeeper Habibeh (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who has begun parroting certain ideas about what she's entitled to now that her people are in charge. This sense of entitlement is shared by many of her countrymen, in fact, such as the ones who loot the Amins' home and business. With that much anger and resentment swirling around them, especially in the home stretch as they make their bid for freedom, it almost makes you wonder why they didn't leave the country sooner.