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Arbitrage Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Greed is good all over again. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Despite an abrupt ending and the worst title of the year, Arbitrage manages to leverage real tension from its veteran stars in one of Hollywood's first pedigreed films of the fall.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    "Just One More Chance," Billie Holiday implores on the soundtrack. The nice paradox of Arbitrage is that we're interested to see whether Robert gets one, even though he's the villain-in-chief of a suspense thriller whose plot turns on generalized scurrilousness. That's a tribute to Mr. Jarecki's smart writing, and to the take-no-prisoners performance of Mr. Gere.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    Nothing about the plot is novel, but the film easily maintains a low simmer that picks up in the final act, as Miller has to fight to keep his sinking ship staffed.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The film doesn't turn its issues into a glorified essay, but it does use them to give the audience a vital emotional workout.

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  • See all Arbitrage reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 17+

Intelligent, grown-up thriller has some violence, drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Arbitrage -- a grown-up thriller set in the world of high finance -- will likely be of more interest to parents than to most teens. There's one major violent scene (a car crash with a dead body and blood), as well as some threatening and arguing. Language is fairly strong, with about a dozen uses of "f--k" and a few uses of the "N" word. The main character (played by Richard Gere) has an extramarital affair and is seen kissing and having implied sex with his mistress. The mistress is shown snorting cocaine at one point. Adult characters drink scotch and wine at social gatherings; some characters smoke cigarettes.

  • Families can talk about Arbitrage's violent events. Which feels more intense -- the car crash sequence or the scenes in which Detective Bryer confronts the main character? Why?
  • Is Robert Miller right to hide his activities and problems from his family? Could they have helped? Should families tell each other everything?
  • Are there any role models in this movie? Why would we root for Robert Miller when he's made so many bad choices?
  • What does this movie have to say about the current financial crisis?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: A character learns that lying to his family -- even while trying to protect them -- ends up costing him a great deal more than if he had told the truth. This lesson comes late in the story, but it does come.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The main character is interesting; he does some abominable things, but when he keeps information from his family, he does so to protect them and to keep from hurting them. Overall, he earns viewers' sympathy, and he does seem to realize that what he's doing is wrong; it's just too late for him to turn back. The movie also has some strong female characters, specifically the main character's daughter, Brooke.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: This isn't a violent movie, but there's one shocking scene with a car crash, a dead body, and blood; it's an event that changes the main character's life. Otherwise, the movie has many scenes of arguing and threatening, especially in the scenes involving the main character and a relentless police detective.

  • sex false3

    Sex: The main character is cheating on his wife, and viewers see kissing and implied sex between him and his mistress.

  • language false4

    Language: Several uses of "f--k," plus the "N" word, "a--hole," and "goddamn."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Several Zappos boxes are shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A secondary character snorts cocaine in one scene; she may or may not be a habitual user. Adult characters drink wine and/or scotch at parties or at dinner. Secondary characters are shown smoking cigarettes.