Movies

Arbitrage

Release Date 01 Mar 2013 TBA

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  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
  • Critic rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

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Genre: Drama | Suspense | Thriller

Richard Gere (Pretty Woman, Chicago) gives a stunning, career-best performance in Nicholas Jarecki’s ARBITRAGE, a role that this month saw him nominated in the Best Actor category at the 2013 Golden Globes. Academy Award winning Susan Sarandon (The Lovely Bones, Dead Man Walking) also stars in this tense and gripping story of desperation in the face of financial and family ruin. Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs), Brit Marling (Another Earth), Laetitia Casta (The Island) and Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees) complete the stellar cast. When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Gere), he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. However, behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to conceal an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote (Casta) whilst racing to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before his fraudulent dealings are revealed. When a tragic accident complicates things further, attracting the unwanted attention of tenacious NYPD detective Michael Bryer (Roth), Miller finds himself battling not just for his reputation but also his life. As the net tightens around him, Miller realises that the suspicions of not just the police but also his loyal wife (Sarandon) and heir-apparent (Marling) have been aroused. With time running out, can Miller find a way out without destroying his own life and those around him?

Cast:
Richard Gere | Susan Sarandon | Tim Roth | Brit Marling | Laetitia Casta | Nate Parker

Writers:
Nicholas Jarecki

Producers:

Directors:
Nicholas Jarecki

  • Critic rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

Movies.ie Critic Review

ARBITRAGE (USA/15A/107mins)
Directed by Nicholas Jarecki. Starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Nate Parker, Laetitia Casta, Stuart Margolin, Chris Eigeman.
THE PLOT: Money’s too tight to mention for billionaire investor Robert Miller (Gere) – and so, he’s had to borrow $400million to cover his recent losses as he tries and sells his business. And time is running out, a problem that is somewhat accelerated in stress terms when a late night drive leaves Robert with one dead French mistress in his passenger seat. Keen to keep all this from not only his wife (Sarandon) and daughter (Marling) but also the cops (led here by a constantly slouching Roth), Robert spends one very nerve-racking weekend trying to find lies to cover his lies…
THE VERDICT: On paper, it’s hard to get excited about a Richard Gere thriller. Mainly because it’s old kinda-reliable Richard Gere. It comes as something of a pleasant surprise then to find that Arbitrage is actually pretty darn good, being a timely and informed drama that takes us behind the velvet curtain of high finance. Bernie Madoff would seem like the obvious inspiration here, but Gere has said they were thinking more of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who manage to lose $9billion of other people’s money before being rumbled.
Jarecki – making his debut feature – knows both the filmmaking and the financial world, coming from a family steeped in both, and he’s put all that knowledge to good use here. A major hit in the US, where it broke the record for a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release, Arbitrage is actually a pretty safe bet. 
RATING: 3/5
Review by Paul Byrne

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  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

User Reviews

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.

    nkWhiteStar

    First to review is "Arbitrage" starring Richard Gere as a life-long businessman who has managed to succeed at the top of the pyramid with the mindset that everything is about five things - M, O, N, E, and Y. He has a great family and kids, and is on the brink of sealing a deal on a company merger with the help of his daughter, that will see them all doing very well indeed. But, Robert Miller is not without his dirty secrets both in and outside his office, which includes a young lover named Julie (Laetitia Casta) who Robert supports by aiding her art project. After a vocal argument they both go for a late night drive where Robert falls asleep at the wheel, leading to the car losing control and leaving them both in a horrific crash. Robert walks away injured, but Julie is killed. The effect of this possibly ruining his family life, relations with his wife, and the breakdown of the impending business deal, leaves him no choice but to flee the scene and attempt to cover his tracks. His slip from greatness thus begins, as the walls surrounding him start to close in slowly, but relentlessly... These types of business-thriller films have been a reasonably common trend for the past while, one of the most interesting for me being "The Ides of March", where it becomes a fierce battle of wits and power. The same can be said for here, but Robert is a much more conflicted character who does anything within his means to make the mess go away. Bribery, back-handed deals, it is all an option for someone that will not even think of letting the merger slip from his grasp. Initially this has you struggling to side with him or even want to see him win... rather; you are just intrigued all the time in seeing where things will end and who will have the axe fall upon them. Richard Gere has a difficult task of supporting the majority of this film and selling this difficult role, but he does it extremely well. His delivery of the script and genuine range of emotions sucks you completely in to the hell hole this character finds himself in. He has incredible strong will, determination, and an almost obsessive ideology of power that you totally buy into. The detective Bryer (Tim Roth) who is leading the investigation into Julie's death, is as slimy and devious as a cop can get, honestly I found him highly amusing to watch at the start as all his mannerisms are very exaggerated. But he does become someone you like to hate which works right for this film, even if he is a bit mad. Visually, the movie doesn't do anything spectacular, but is professionally captured and edited together. The pace makes the mystery enjoyable to ponder over and see unfold, while the camerawork keeps your attention on what is being said, rather than unnecessary light effects or whatever else. There's not too much difficulty to following things, but it does drop a few twists here and there that shake the flow up nicely. If I was to complain about anything here, it would be that it is a very, very slow burner. This film is a war of words and positions in power above everything else, so you need to give it quite a bit before things start fitting the pieces together. I also wished it had a bit more of a personal signature as well, outside of Richard Gere things sometimes feel like you have seen them before in another movie. Not essentially uninspired, but missing that... certain something. That said, I did like the time seeing this film, although maybe a second viewing would have me understand it better and appreciate it more for that. It's good for a film to have that trait to bring you back, but right now I'll give it a (7/10). It is worth having a look at if political / business dramas are your thing, and to see Gere's great performance that definitely brings the entire film up a notch or two.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    hegothelips

    This is a gleaming movie about a man with his back to the wall, facing disgrace on several fronts and the possibility of exchanging his Armani suit for prison garb. Can he get off the hook? And what price will he and others have to pay? Like the much less good Broken City, it's a cynical tale about the sweet smell of corruption in the city that never sleeps.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.

    mart

    Financial crime can be difficult to follow and dull to relate ... But Nicholas Jarecki keeps the paper stuff straightforward and the action interesting by bolting it on to a more conventional thriller plot.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    emer

    Arbritage is a classy, interesting and gloriously entertaining look at American greed. People are prepared to do anything for increased power and more money and that is the central theme underlying this tantalizing script. Richard Gere is as charismatic today as he was many moons ago in Pretty Woman and in Chicago and is the perfect choice to play the suave “Robert Miller” in this excellent financial thriller. On the surface he is elegant, placid, dry and not easily ruffled but Robert is a real slimy sleazebag breaking all the rules – both in his career and his personal life. He is secretly cooking the books at his hedge fund and sleeping around with a demanding French mistress. Even after a tragic accident which was his own doing, he is not a bit apologetic. Funnily enough, despite the fact that there is nothing nice about Robert, we feel kind of sorry for him and we even want him to get away with all his misdemeanours. At the same time, we are delighted watching him squirm as he gets lost in the tangled web he weaves. The whole story is reminiscent of the Madoff case and the evils of too much power and money. The cast is excellent with Susan Sarandon the long suffering wife, Brit Marling as his daughter and accountant and Tim Roth as the NYPD detective who is dying to stick the rich guy in jail. This genre isn’t new, we’ve seen Wall Street, The Company Men and Margin Call but nonetheless this movie stands out as one of the best I’ve seen so far this year. In fairness, the performance of Gere is what makes this film so outstanding and it was interesting to read that many critics feel he is one of the most underrated actors in America. Hi is in top form here and lets us see the complex inside workings of a mind which is deeply flawed and deceitful and is eventually forced to question how many more lies he can tell. Despite the name, this is neither a dull nor a predictable movie and you’re on the edge of your seat throughout. The plot moves along nicely and the screenplay is superb. I would definitely recommend this movie, I found the performance of Gere marvellous and the story is both gripping and fascinating. 4 stars from me!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.

    filmbuff2011

    Director Nicholas Jarecki is just 25, but his debut feature Arbitrage has all the confidence of an older filmmaker. Perhaps he's an Orson Welles in the making... There's certainly a touch of Shakespeare to this drama/thriller set in corporate Manhattan. Hedge fund expert Robert Miller (Richard Gere) has it all - a beautiful wife (Susan Sarandon) and daughter (Brit Marling), a successful business empire and a mistress on the side. On the brink of a vital but delicate merger, Miller finds himself suspected of involuntary manslaughter. A suspicious cop (Tim Roth) comes sniffing and applies leverage to a potential snitch... Featuring a sterling, Golden Globe-nominated performance from Gere, this is a taut film that asks key questions about morality and the legacy that parents leave for their children. Should Miller choose to protect his empire or his family? That's certainly hinted at in the somewhat abrupt ending, but for the most part this is an intelligent, grown-up, thought-provoking film. Don't let the obscure-sounding title put you off - this is a quality debut that shows great promise for Jarecki's future. Recommended.