MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -4

Richard Gere, Susan Sarnadon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Nate Parker, Laetitia Casta. Suspense/drama. Written & directed by Nick Jarecki.

FILMSYNOPSIS: When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke, Miller's also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote. Just as he's about to unload his troubled empire, an unexpected tragedy forces him to juggle family, business, and crime with the aid of Jimmy Grant, a face from Miller's past. One wrong turn ignites the suspicions of NYPD Detective Michael Bryer, who will stop at nothing in his pursuits. Running on borrowed time, Miller is forced to confront the limits of even his own moral duplicity. Will he make it out before the bubble bursts?

PREVIEW REVIEW: One of the best morality tales since the first Wall Street, Arbitrage grabs you by the gut and doesn’t let go. To me, this is A far more intense, far more relevant experience than anything you’ll have with a caped-crusader adventure. The film demonstrates how one lie leads to another, until deception becomes justified in one’s mind. It reminds us that the seeking of money and status can blind us toward the lasting things of our spiritual nature. It’s an intelligent, eloquent suspense thriller.

There are some who believe that if they have the most when they die, they win. But win what? Here we see the noose Miller has created for himself out of greed, deception and ego not only strangle his soul, but devalue all that he treasures.

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36.

Sadly, this film is full of foul verbiage (a total of 80 obscenities and 6 profanities). Had the writer and director intended to make a statement about the film’s main character’s character by including this irreverent language, then it could be argued that its inclusion was a use of language. But, everyone in the film is free with the f-word or the uttering of Christ’s name as if it were a mere expletive solely designed to relieve frustration. This causes the stark and draconian language to lose its biting edge. It doesn’t indicate the darkness of one man’s soul, but merely bespeaks of the numbing down of our culture and our society.

What a shame, as everything else is in the production is so well done, from the incisive script and tight direction, to the award-worthy performance by the film’s star.

Now, if it sounds like I’m attempting to get you to support this film because I mention its qualities as well as its foibles, please remember that I don’t try to get you to go to any movie. I do feel it is my job to be fair and balanced (if I may borrow the Fox Network’s catch-phrase). I’m not out to attack Hollywood, nor to tell you what you should or shouldn’t see. While I offer my opinion (I am a critic after all), the ultimate intent is to inform. There is a book, a bestseller, one that does tell you what you should or shouldn’t put in your mind. Hmmm, what book could I be referring to?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Roadside Attractions

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: More than 80 obscenities, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Six profane uses of God’s name or Christ’s.

Violence: A disturbing car crash that leaves a victim dead, her head nearly severed; another in the car is injured. Some blood is seen after the car accident.

Sex: It is revealed that the lead is an adulterer.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: A woman uses cocaine and many characters drink heavily.

Other: None

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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