Saturday, January 28, 2012


Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling

Arbitrage reminded me a lot of last year's Sundance film Margin Call: a financial thriller with a great cast that probably won't have a great shelf life. It's solid but straightforward, sometimes predictable but always competent. Gere plays a family man financial expert who is on the verge of a giant merger worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The problem is, he's been cooking the books to make sure the deal goes through; he doesn't actually have the money he claims he does. To make matters worse, he's having an affair - and when that takes a turn for the worse, he has to think on his feet to mount a cover-up to avoid losing everything.

The film's New York setting is used beautifully to combat the dreadful truth of everything that's happening, and Tim Roth's supporting performance as a cop investigating the crime is fantastic. Unfortunately, those are the most memorable things you'll find in Arbitrage. It have the feeling of squandering potential, but instead seems content to operate in a limited scope and let the performances do the talking.

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