Film Capsule: Arbitrage

Arbitrage is one of the top 10 movies of the year … and that certainly is saying something, considering we’re just now easing into Oscar season and The Master hasn’t even hit theaters yet.

Despite that, I’ll say it again: Arbitrage is one of the top 10 movies of the year, anchored by an ageless Richard Gere, who delivers what is undoubtedly one of the best performances of his career. Brit Marling is equally impressive as the moral conscience of the film, and Tim Roth rounds out the main ensemble as a swarmy-yet-effective NYPD detective who’ll do just about anything to get his man.

Arbitrage is strongly hinged upon the age-old premise that money was, is, and always will be the primary root of all evil. What separates this film from a rash of similar fare is just how deviantly well-crafted Nicholas Jarecki’s modern screenplay really is.

Whereas the majority of post-downturn dramas focus squarely on the billion-dollar devil in dark shoes, Arbritage takes the metaphor a step further, boldly suggesting we’re all somehow complicit in the same high-stakes con game … every major (and minor) player quite literally angling to stuff his or her hand in the next person’s pocket.

The prevailing takeaway: Rote capitalism is what really makes this world go round.

The most fascinating aspect: Just how stunningly difficult Arbitrage makes it to dispute Jarecki’s logic. 

(Arbitrage arrives in theaters nationwide this coming Friday.)