- Starring: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Tom Wilkinson
- Summary: CIA officer Claire Stenwick and MI6 agent Ray Koval have left the world of government intelligence to cash in on the highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure the formula for a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first. For their employers—industry titan Howard Tully and buccaneer CEO Dick Garsik— nothing is out of bounds. But as the stakes rise, the mystery deepens and the tactics get dirtier, the trickiest secret for Claire and Ray is their growing attraction. And as they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their schemes endangered by the only thing they can't cheat their way out of: love. (Universal Pictures)… Expand
- Director: Tony Gilroy
- Genre(s): Thriller, Romance
- More Details and Credits »
10How is this film so misunderstood? It's brilliant.
Duplicity is the flip side of writer/director Gilroy's somber Michael Clayton - a charming, adult corporate-espionage comedy that takes place in the high-stakes world of personal hygiene products.
This is a throwback movie in the style of To Catch a Thief, one that asks you to follow a complex plot without apologizing for it, and one which had me grinning from ear to ear through its entirety. As convoluted as it is, the plot is really inconsequential, as its stars carry the bulk of the charm this film has to offer. Instead of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly we get Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, and the two stars are a perfect fit together, with an easy chemistry and sparkling sexuality that is really the engine that runs Gilroy's ship. It's a blast to see a real adult movie in this day and age that has two romantic leads past the age of 40. Roberts is still beautiful and sexy, and her age just enhances the natural intelligence she always exuded. This is her best, most fun performance since Erin Brokovich. And as much as I love Daniel Craig in the role, we all know Clive Owen was born to play James Bond. In this film, he's delightfully roguish and sexy, but seemingly always a step or two behind Roberts' character. And George Clooney better look out if he wants to keep the title of "Best-looking Leading Man in a Suit."
This is the kind of movie that has agents passing secret information back and forth, others trying to lose tails, and even more eavesdropping on private conversations with hi-tech gadgets. Owens and Roberts are never quite sure of one another even while they're falling in love, and the main running joke through the movie is that they don't trust one another at all - and keep testing the other to prove their loyalty - or duplicity.
It co-stars Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti as the rival CEOs, and features a great two-scene performance by the very likable and funny Carrie Preston as a hapless travel agent who is taken in by Owens' charms. Tony Gilroy has become one of my favorite film makers of the last few years. He was an A-list screenwriter for quite awhile, with credits that include Dolores Claiborne, Armageddon, Proof of Life and the Jason Bourne movies. As a director he's done Michael Clayton and now Duplicity, and is obviously a hell of a talent. Like in his previous film, Gilroy jumps back and forth with the timeline until we're thoroughly, happily confused. And in a film that has double-crosses upon double-crosses, he throws a final triple-cross at us that we certainly do not see coming and throws the genres' conventions for a loop! Duplicity is a great film, period.… Expand
AveryC.8This film lacks both action and emotional vulnerability; however, it has intelligence, charisma, charm, a good bit of wit, and narrative ingenuity. It's my favorite film of 2009, so far. I class it with films like 'Charade' and 'North by Northwest' more than with, say, The Bourne films or the Ocean's films (I'm a fan of all the movies I just listed). Owen and Roberts sparkle, and so the supporting cast is terrific. The movie is *about* cleverness and charm, so, to enjoy it, you sort of have to be into gloss and repartee. In other words, you have to like art that's a little bit artificial. It's not a work of visual symbolism. It's very american, and it require that you enjoy watching people who are sexier and more clever than you are. [This reviewer is thirty-nine, male, straight, upper middle class, has a Ph.D. in English, and loves the NFL and NBA.]… Expand
tomc7This film has flaws, but it also has a lot of charm. It is not confusing. If you were confused by it, then either you're dumb or you simply have no attention span. It's no more complicated than most any suspense film by Hitchcock. If you can follow Hitchcock you can follow this. If you like Owen, Roberts, and any Cary Grant character who's a little gruff, you'll like this.… Expand
DaleM2This movie lacks anything to hold a viewer's interest. The acting is flat, the view of the business world is contrived and wholly imaginary, the characters lack either depth or charm, and the story is convoluted and artificial. I am surprised at how many professional reviewers found so many positive things about this movie. Makes me think that professional reviewers are on the take at times.… Expand