Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Friday, January 15, 2010


As far as caper movies go this one hums along fairly smoothly until the end when it tries to be too clever for its own good.  In trying to pull off one last double-cross (or is it triple or maybe even quadruple-cross) it attempts a surprise ending like an M. Night Shyamalan film that seems nearly as implausible.

The story begins in 2003 in Dubai, where MI-6 agent Ray (Clive Own) meets CIA agent Claire (Julia Roberts).  They wind up in bed together, where Claire proceeds to drug Ray and steal some valuable intelligence from him.  Fast forward five years to where Ray and Claire are brought together again.  Only this time they're working for rival corporations--or so it seems.  In reality they're working for the same company only Claire is a mole in the corporation run by Howard Tully (Tom Wilkerson) while really working for a company run by Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti) to get the inside dirt on a major product announcement.

This isn't the first time Ray and Claire have met before, as the film demonstrates in several flashbacks.  They're looking to pull one over on their employers and make a fat wad of cash so they can retire somewhere--together.  It seems they fell in love after the Dubai tryst because as fellow spies they're the only ones who can understand each other.

Anyway, I'm not going to spoil any of the big twists and turns for you.  I will say that the biggest twist at the end is so disappointing because it either requires the villain to be clairvoyant or our heroes to be complete idiots.  This would only work if it had been demonstrated early on that the villain was a genius or the heroes were idiots.  Really as I said writer/director Tony Gilroy gets too clever for his good by piling on one twist too many.

Other than that, I was shocked to find out Julia Roberts was nominated for a Golden Globe for this movie.  She acts like such a frigid bitch throughout the movie that I have no idea why Clive Owen (or anyone else) would want to sleep with her.  I'd be afraid she'd eat me afterward.  Owen has much more warmth and charisma and yet he doesn't get a nomination.  Maybe the people in charge couldn't think of another actress.

At any rate, it's not a terrible movie but I found it disappointing.  You'd be better off turning it off at the 105-minute mark or so.

That is all.

My score:  60/100 (2.5 stars)
Metacritic score:  69/100 (2.5 stars)

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