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on 1 November 2014
I wasn't bored by "Arbitrage," and it is strongly cast and well-paced. Richard Gere is very credible as Robert Miller, a high-flying trader who is in a tight spot since his investment in a Russian copper mine failed to live up to expectations. He has had to borrow some tens of millions of dollars under the table, so to speak, and has had to do some fancy accounting to make his operation seem healthy enough to be sold at a price that will enable him to pay the lender AND make a healthy killing. Now, at the beginning, the lender wants his money and the buyer whom Miller thought would rescue him is stalling. So . . . it's a matter of holding one off and encouraging the other, while running an audit that covers up the weak spots in his accounting. Complicating matters further -- he wants to keep all this not only from the SEC but from his daughter, who is the Chief Investment Officer of his company, AND he's carrying on an affair with a young artist whose work he has encouraged, initially, it seems, as an investment.

We come to realize that all his decisions pose risks, but not only for him. His wife and daughter will suffer if his personal and financial dealings become known, and when he flees the scene of a car crash in which a person is killed, he drags in to help him the son of an old friend who then is put at risk too. When detectives start snooping around because of the crash's suspicious circumstances -- and all this before any financial deal is consummated -- then the heat is on, and the plot becomes a question of whether Miller can keep one step ahead of all the things that threaten to bring him down. Tim Roth is a dogged detective, Britt Marling is Miller's daughter, and Susan Sarandon his wife. All do a good job.

Nothing that I've said above constitutes a spoiler. What follows relates to tone and theme more than plot. There's a difference between saying, "Everyone is corrupt" and saying, "Hey, nobody's perfect." If you say the first, you make moody, noir films that are as long on atmosphere as on plot. If you say the second, you make a movie like "Arbitrage" -- fast paced, suspenseful, and leaving us little option but to cheer for some folks who are, after all, doing bad things (and NOT often for good reasons!). The movie doesn't help them earn our sympathy or support, although the situations keep us engaged. Is that a criticism? I'm not sure -- I just thought the movie needed to be a bit darker. For all that -- there's much to enjoy.
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on 9 August 2013
Anyone who has read any of my earlier reviews of Richard Gere movies would see that I'm not his greatest fan. But my goodness, he is excellent in this tale of greed, dishonesty and deceit.

He plays Robert Miller, a financier with a previous highly successful hedge fund history who makes a bad investment decision that is in desperate need of a business merger to hide. Along the way he gets involved in a manslaughter case that seriously complicates the entire mess he's in.

Gere is just excellent as the Gordon Gecko character who comes across as both a vulnerable victim and an utterly ruthless and calculating cad at the same time. Hats off to him.

It's a terrific film with a good story line, fine acting (especially from Susan Sarandon), a great score from the ever reliable Cliff Martinez, and the whole thing works a treat.

And let's not forget a sterling performance from Tim Roth with his entirely credible subtle Bronx accent.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 November 2015
Richard Gere gives a masterful performance as wealthy and successful Machiavellian hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller, whose fall from grace is fascinating to watch in this almost Shakespearean drama of hubris before the fall. Within the ruthless New York business world Miller is a smooth operator but his confident façade belies two Achilles heels and when he is involved in a fatal accident his seemingly perfect world begins to unravel before our eyes. Tim Roth’s Detective Colombo-esque police detective smells blood as he hunts his prey, pressurising a vulnerable young black man who Miller has involved in his web of deception, and Miller has to use all his guile and contacts to try and escape justice. Despite being an absorbing psychological thriller this is essentially a morality tale where choices are made and we are left to ponder whether we would have acted in any other way. There is sound support from Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling and Nate Parker as the intelligent and confident screenplay allows us a glimpse into a world of high finance and dubious ethics.
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on 9 August 2014
Robert Miller is a successful financial businessman with a loving wife and a smart daughter ready to take over the family business. Professional secrets involving illegal fraudulent activities start coming out at the same time that Robert's personal secrets take a turn for the worse and threaten to derail everything he has achieved.

Well directed throughout, moves at a good pace and good strong perfomance by Richard Gere with a good supporting cast, with a simple but gripping tale of greed, dishonesty and deceit, that keeps you watching til the very end.

Overall a good solid thriller and would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Richard Gere. Enjoy!
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on 10 November 2013
Arbitrage (2012) Written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki

Arbitrage is interesting on several levels; first it's a word most of us will need to look-up; second, even when we've looked it up we'll need to run the meaning through our heads several times before we get it; finally, the concept's link to this film's plot is, like the movie itself, multi-layered and far from straight-forward.

Arbitrage as creative project is fascinating too because it's the first movie of writer-director Nicholas Jarecki, still only 35! It did exceedingly well at the box office, offers us a stand out performance from a resurgent Richard Gere and does that thing that the best stories always do, ends with us wanting so much more.

So, as Cat in Red Dwarf would say at the outset of Arbitrage; What is it?

Aribtrage is taking advantage of a perceived price difference between two or markets. In the movie Richard Gere's character, Robert Miller, manages a hedge fund and is about to sell it for a profit. He's been book-cooking behind-the-scenes however, giving the fund a much healthier balance on paper than it has in reality. As the date of the deal approaches the wheels start to fall of Miller's retirement plan. He's been involved in a long-standing affair and late one night he crashes his car whilst distracted and his mistress is killed. Gere's character doesn't report the accident, it'll complicate his deal, but walks away

and calls in a favour from the son of a driver who used to work for him. Miller returns home injured and climbs into bed with his wife at four am and she suspects something's amiss. Enter Tim Roth, always a show-steeler, as a grizzled cop who quickly works out that Robert Miller was driving the car that ended up burning out with his dead girlfriend's body inside. As the net closes around Gere's character the tension ratchets up as his daughter discovers his book-cooking and confronts her father.

A series of unforeseen twists and turns keeps Gere's character out of jail, the evidence gathered by the police isn't quite what it seems and just when it seems all is going to be well for him, Robert Miller's wife discovers the affair and looks ready to exact revenge as she has information about his return late home after the car crash.

Gere says his character in the movie is based loosely on Bill Clinton and we're certainly left with the impression at the end that despite his serious peccadilloes he's managed to get away with things. An intelligent, demanding thriller with only one minor explosion in it, a cerebral experience and a very accomplished piece of movie-making which caused my jaw to drop when I discovered it was Jarecki's first time as writer-director (hear him talking about the film here). He's certainly a rising star. Richard Gere's performance is excellent, he is charming, suave and b-b-b-bad to the bone.

**** Four stars (not five because the ending doesn't give us just quite enough for satisfaction, but perhaps Jarecki is just leaving us hungry for his next project.)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 July 2013
This film comes off the back of The Double where Richard Gere played another not overly likable, yet powerful & driven character. Here in Arbitrage he plays Robert Miller, a successful hedge fund manager(i.e give him your money & he will try to get you more in return for a percentage himself) who is at the top of his game & idolized among his peers. However a recent investment backfired & now he must sell his company before anyone finds out that he lost investors money & borrowed money to plug the gap. However things go bad to worse for Robert, as he is implicated in manslaughter after his mistress is killed, and without a deal done it could finish his reputation & company off. Can he juggle all his problems around to keep out of jail & come out unscathed ?

Overall Arbitrage is nice little thriller that relies on the engaging story & character development, rather then action. Watching Richard Gere (Pretty Woman) playing out this cool exterior while trying his best to cover up his dirty secrets was nothing short of brilliant. Going from cool & collected, to smug, calculating & intelligent. As the film went on & when all the cards were on the table of what Robert Miller was up against, it kept you on tender hooks to see whether this house of cards was going to crumble at any moment, as the people around him began to suspect, could the police prove what happened or could he rely on people to back him up ? You were never sure what the outcome was going to be & at times you couldn't help but love & hate Richard Gere's character, as we are awash with feelings of anger at some things he does & then joy when he figures out a loophole due to the nature of it.

The film is really owned by Richard Gere's performance, but the support cast of Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise) as the long suffering wife, Tim Roth (Planet of the Apes) as the police detective determined to nail his guy, Brit Marling (Another Earth) as the nieve daughter brought down to earth with shocking realizations, Nate Parker (Great Debaters) caught between a rock & a hard place, were all great. As well as experienced support in Stuart Margolin (Kelly's Heroes ) & Reg E. Cathey (The Wire) adding gravitas to the wise heads who offer knowledge on the law side of things.

In conclusion, if you like a film which can keep you on tender hooks with it's story, and not need mile a minute action. Then this smart, enjoyable slow paced thriller will suit. Recommended.
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on 14 August 2013
It is probably the best role for a long time that Richard Gere has undertaken, he is very, very good in it, as is Susan Sarandon. However, the ending is poor and ruins the 75% excellence of the rest of the movie. It could have been a top notch film, anyway its great for a rainy Saturday afternoon, and the Pretty Woman star is certainly watchable.
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on 10 August 2013
Watched this last night. We were tired but.... kept us fully and totally awake throughout as it was such a good film. Here and there it was a little difficult to follow and dialogue was sometimes unclear but, the basic movie and plot etc were excellent and, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon were excellent..! Great movie.
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Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is, on the face of it, a very lucky man: a man who has everything; successful business empire, reputation as a philanthropist, loving family and beautiful young mistress. As the movie opens we see him returning to the bosom of his family as they gather in the patriarchal mansion to celebrate his 60th birthday.

But, naturally, all is not how it seems. In the smoke and mirrors world of hedge fund management shady doings are quite often the order of the day and Miller's world is in imminent danger of implosion. In the aftermath of the global financial meltdown his company is in trouble: desperate for a lifeline he enters into a potentially life-saving investment, which, for political reasons, fails to deliver. He's out of pocket to the tune of 400 million dollars and resorts to `cooking the books' at his shareholders' expense and behind the back of his chief investment officer, who happens to be his daughter. Before he's found out he takes out a short term loan for said amount from a friend.

The answer, he thinks, is to off-load his company before his shenanigans come to light and he finds a buyer for the right price. However, for some reason, the buyer is stalling and his loan is due for repayment. He decides to take refuge in (probably literally) his beautiful young mistress (Laetitia Casta) and the pair drive her car to one of his houses. On the way tragedy strikes and misery is piled upon misery. The car hits a road-side barrier and overturns.

Failing to report the accident he limps away and is driven off by an acquaintance he calls from a phone booth in a nearby petrol station. The police arrive, primarily in the person of NYPD detective, Michael Bryer (Tim Roth) and begin to think that something is not quite right! Bryer soon starts making two and two equal five and doggedly pursues the clues until they, surprizingly quickly, lead to Miller's door.

This is a very sharply observed film with a brilliantly nuanced, mature performance from Gere who, thankfully, seems to have jettisoned the early mannered ticks from his acting toolbox and handles transitions from smug insouciance to crippling paralysis with consummate ease. He's very well supported, as might be expected, by Susan Sarandon, in what amounts to little more than a cameo, who plays his knowing wife; prepared to look the other way so long as her charitable concerns are funded, and Tim Roth, heavily influenced; it appears, by the Detective Columbo school of acting.

What basically, then, barely amounts to any evolution from Edward Lewis (Pretty Woman) to Robert Miller in character context, amounts to revolution in terms of Gere's acting quality, especially when compared with the relatively recent paltry offerings such as, for example, the truly awful Nights in Iolanthe!
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on 5 February 2014
Truly excellent,gripping,thriller,which demonstrates just how quickly things can go wrong,even "at the top",because of a,stupid infatuation which leads to a tragic accident,and the subsequent attempt to cover it up. The resulting "train smash' in Gere's personal life,and the realisation that his doting,complaisant wife -Susan Sarandon-and daughter, are really tigers in their own right,is so traumatic,that I found myself shifting around in my chair,and looking sideways at my wife,to see her reaction to it! This movie is a salutary lesson for all "successful and irresistible",businessmen,who want to have it all.or think they've got it all,and the way in which developing circumstanes drive him into a corner,where survival is the only thing that's left,is terrifying!
I won't reveal the ending and spoil it for anybody. Personally,I thought it was perfect,and realistic too,but I reckon there will be dialogue and controversy over it in many lounges or living rooms,on a wet sunday afternoon,once the family has seen it,and the nightmare is over!
Highly Recommended
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