ARBITRAGE

No longer the superstar he once was, Richard Gere has been quietly logging a series of exceptional performances in underperforming but worthy films such as the semi-factual THE HOAX, the also semi-factual weeper HACHI: A DOG’S TALE, and now this kindve-sortve reworking of UNFAITHFUL set against the background of a Madoff-style operator and the tightening noose he faces from crimes both financial and personal. Filled with good performances (and one clunker), the thriller’s highlight is the cat-and-mouse interplay between Gere and his detective nemesis, Tim Roth. Their juicy back-and-forth plays out in ways predicted by the tycoon’s lawyer (Stuart Margolin, looking more like Bob Hoskins every day), who tells him that no matter how hard he tries to tie up any loose ends, there will always be complications he never thought to anticipate. Along the way, Gere incriminates the hapless African-American youth who has saved his skin, opens the eyes for good of his seemingly oblivious wife (tough cookie Susan Sarandon), and betrays the love and trust of his daughter, Brit Marling. It’s Marling who’s the clunker here, whiny and unconvincing, all the more noticeable because everyone else is so good. Footnote for masochists: be sure to stay through the credits for the laughably bad Björk song, “I See Who You Are”; you’ll want to strangle her with her swan dress before it ends. — Jeff Schultz

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