[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope: Duplicity

Spy vs. Spy

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

March 24, 2009 -- “Duplicity” is an entertaining film about a tricky romance and an even trickier get-rich-quick scheme played out within the shadowy world of industrial espionage. It is reminiscent of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” but without high-speed chases, explosions and gun battles. This is a sheer battle of wits with smart, capable people on all sides. It is very slick and well-acted by a troupe of pros.

Clive Owen of “Children of Men” plays spy Ray Koval. Julia Roberts of “Pretty Woman” plays a competing spy, Claire Stenwick. Upon their first meeting, Claire, working for the CIA, tricks Ray and steals secrets from him, putting him into a bind with his employer, the British intelligence service. Years later, the two meet again and fall in love, despite their past. The two hit upon a scheme to get rich quick by stealing secrets from two competing companies, one run by Howard Tully (played by Tom Wilkinson of “Michael Clayton”) and the other by his bitter enemy Richard Garsik (Paul Giamatti of “Sideways”). The plan seems to be working, but neither Ray nor Claire can get comfortable. What they are doing is very difficult and risky and they don't entirely trust each other.

The film takes us into the world of industrial espionage with hidden cameras, computer hackers, Trojan horse copy machines, seduction, sexual games, payoffs, betrayals, breaking and entering and a whole host of underhanded techniques. It is a real romp. The tricky relationship between the Ray and Claire, combined with the tricky information heist and the multiple players on both sides make for a complex, but entertaining story. We are never quite sure who is betraying who and whether or not Ray and Claire really love each other. One thing is for sure, and that is almost everyone in this film is enjoying the caper. The ending is perfect. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2009 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)