Tight and absorbing thriller starring Richard Gere Discuss this article

Intelligently engaging the zeitgeist without sacrificing suspense, Arbitrage arrives as one of the year’s most undervalued assets. Not only is it an absorbing, tightly paced thriller, it’s also a better movie version of The Bonfire of the Vanities than Brian De Palma’s film. The parallels are strong enough that Tom Wolfe could sue: Richard Gere plays Robert Miller, a Wall Street big shot whose universe-mastery has slipped. The financier has just days to sell his company before a friend withdraws a multi-million-dollar loan. Soon a car accident on a late-night drive with his mistress (Laetitia Casta) ensures that if Miller doesn’t go to jail for fraud, he might do time for manslaughter.

Gere, giving one of his most charismatic yet layered performances yet, invites simultaneous awe and revulsion as the character buys or bargains his way out of Dodge, making unconvincing excuses to a detective (Roth) who’s clearly on to him. If the movie, directed by Nicholas Jarecki (brother of filmmakers Eugene and Andrew), lacks Bonfire’s scope and equal-opportunity contempt, it has a more complex take on finance, depicted as a culture of endemic backslapping and elaborate charlatanism. The movie is also opening this week’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

By Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 107
  • Released: Thu, 11 Oct
  • Classification: PG15
  • Language: English
  • Director: Nicholas Jarecki
  • Stars: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Laetitia Casta, Nate Parker

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter



Explore by

Our favourite features