Richard Gere turns in another underrated performance in Arbitrage, a thriller that is good until it loses steam in the waning minutes.
About a hedge fund magnate who finds himself under increasingly desperate circumstances due to questionable accounting practices and an affair that spirals out of control, Arbitrage is understated in its approach but tense nonetheless. It harkens back to thrillers from the early 90's, where the emphasis is less on action and actions and more on character interactions and their decisions.
Gere carries the movie in a way that only Gere can. He is made for these kind of movies, playing a man who means well but has let circumstances escape his grasp. In this regard, Arbitrage isn't a challenge for him as he has played this part before. His performance isn't groundbreaking, but I'm a firm believer that if you're good at playing a certain kind of role, keep doing it as long as the end result represents quality.
The supporting cast, which includes Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling and Tim Roth, also does a good job. Marling once again stands out; I expect that she is going to break out in a big way at some point in the near future.
Arbitrage maintains a fast pace and increases in complexity as the story progresses, but it suffers from a lackluster and forgettable ending. The best comparison to Arbitrage is Wall Street, but while I still remember how Bud Fox managed to save himself and take down Gordon Gekko in one fell swoop, I don't really recall what happens in Arbitrage - even though I just watched it a few days prior to writing this review.
Arbitrage is a well done movie featuring yet another underappreciated performance by Richard Gere, but its lack of a killer ending keeps it from being a killer thriller.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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