Directed by Tony Gilroy
Two corporate spies with a romantic history carry out a con.
Duplicity is “as good as it gets these days” in Hollywood, said Todd McCarthy in Variety. Masquerading as “escapist fare fronted by beautiful stars,” writer-director Tony Gilroy’s “sharp-minded” film turns out to be an “intricately plotted puzzler.” Julia Roberts and Clive Owen play onetime government agents who pick up an old feud in the world of corporate espionage. The “verbal boxing matches that draw blood and end in kisses” are reminiscent at times of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Gilroy has a genius for dialogue and for upending expectations. Though Duplicity comes across as a “jet-set spy thriller,” the only real physical action comes in a hilarious opening scene in which rival CEOs, played by Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti, come to ineffectual blows on an airport tarmac. Gilroy has given us “an instant classic,” said Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. He especially deserves kudos for coaxing Roberts out of semi-retirement. From frame one, it’s clear that “the camera still loves her, and she seems to be having a blast.” Audiences will too.