Share “Movie review: 'Arbitrage'”

Movie review: 'Arbitrage'

Richard Gere comes roaring back with one of his finest performances in director Nicholas Jarecki's feature debut, “Arbitrage.”
BY GEORGE LANG Modified: September 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm •  Published: September 14, 2012

Jarecki, who also wrote the script, is previously known for “The Outsider,” a documentary on renegade director James Toback, and the screenplay for the disjointed and utterly laughable Bret Easton Ellis adaptation, “The Informers.” But with “Arbitrage,” Jarecki takes a huge creative leap, building tension and rising stakes as the notes for Robert's life of lies come due. He has created a complex lead character, an amoral backstabber who, for all his malfeasance, can still gain the viewers' partial, guarded sympathy, no matter how much they might resist.

When given the chance, Gere can go all the way playing dark characters with complex interiors, and this is his best such performance since 2006's “The Hoax.” He is in about 95 percent of the scenes, and he convinces at every turn. “Arbitrage” is a zeitgeist movie populated with the kind of people whose power grabs imperiled the world's financial markets four years ago. It would be easy to just make Miller a broadly drawn villain, but Jarecki and Gere make this scoundrel utterly human, and “Arbitrage” is so much more effective as a result.

George Lang