Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth star in this business thriller following a crooked New York hedge fund magnate whose life starts to implode when an unforeseen, bloody incident threatens to expose him. Now playing nationwide.
An affection for professionally-assembled films about rich New Yorkers may be necessary to really get into this mild thriller, but I was ably carried along by its authentic portrayal of a rarefied world.
Richard Gere is very comfortable as a rich businessman who comes across as the midpoint between Michael Douglas' character from Wall Street and Michael Douglas' character from The Game. Richard Gere seems to irritate some people, so if you're one of those, stay far away from this as he's practically in every shot.
I enjoyed watching his powermonger squirm when the going got tough, and he also convinced in the family scenes. It's a tough ask trying to make a fraudulent hedge fund manager sympathetic these days, but Gere manages to seem genuinely conflicted at times. Susan Sarandon is fantastic as his wife, but she should've been in it more.
Newly-minted indie queen Brit Marling (Another Earth and Sound of My Voice) proves herself very much at home among the heavyweights as their daughter. And Whit Stillman fans will get a kick out of seeing Chris Eigeman as Gere's right hand man, although he too is underutilised.
Plus there's a weirdly appropriate cameo from Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter as a fellow captain of industry.
There isn't much in Arbitrage we haven't seen before, but it contains the kind of conventions that are fun to revisit with a skilled director and a game cast.