Review: ‘Duplicity’

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Ram Man:

Tony Gilroy has brought us some of the best action films in the past few years (Bourne Trilogy, Armageddon) . Gilroy has re-team Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in a   sassy corporate espionage who-done-it, ‘Duplicity’. Duplicity has an “Oceans” feel from the opening credits and delivers an entertaining story that will have you guessing the outcome right up to the closing credits.

Clive Owen and Julia Roberts play  Ray Kovac and Claire Stenwick,   spies that share a steamy past. The two hooked up on an assignment in Dubai where Claire slept with Ray, drugged him and stole some government secrets and then disappeared. The crazy couple then bump back into each other years later and decide to quit the spy business and go into business for themselves so they can retire to a life of luxury in Italy. They need to make one last big score to build the needed capital to retire. Ray and Claire enter the private sector of corporate espionage. Claire is a mole working for Howard Tully (Tom Wilkerson), a CEO of a personnel care company that is developing the next big skin creme. His competition Richard Garsith (Paul Giamatti), an over zealous CEO that will beg borrow and yes…steal to get ahead in the business. He has planted Claire in Tully’s company to steal the formula to the big secret product that they are about to unveil to the stockholders. The only thing is Ray and Claire plan to steal the formula for themselves and sell it to an overseas company for about $40 million.

I’m not going to give away any more of the twists and turns of the is film. Let me just say Duplicity has more layers than an onion and you won’t know what is happening until just before the house lights come on. There is a noticeable lack of any action. Duplicity is a sort of ‘Man from Uncle’ meets ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ type film. Duplicity keeps you entertained with witty banter between Owen and Roberts and an outstanding performance by Giamatti. If you are looking for Mission Impossible , Duplicity is not for you. But if you want an interesting romantic spy drama that will make you think then go check out duplicity and see if you can figure out who is conning who and why?

‘Duplicity’ [PG-13] opens today in theaters everywhere.

[Overall: 3.75 stars out of 5]

Hall of Fame NFL Fan and Movie critic on the Smash Morning Show on MY103.3 FM. I am also a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Assoc. I am a fan of all movie types but I especially enjoy comicbook based films.


  1. allikat

    March 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    The chemistry between Clive and Julia was amazing! It is actually kind of rare to see that nowadays. And I agree 100%-witty and fast-paced banter-yes. Action-not so much. So worth seeing though. I had fun.

  2. Poppapete

    March 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    This is an EXCELLENT “Thriller” without any blood and guts “action”. It’s fast paced, flitting back and forth in time, and world travel helps build the intrigue till you’re REALLY wondering, “HOW is this going to end?”
    FAR more captivating than the trailers led ME to think…;<)

  3. andry

    May 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    sJpVn9 comment2 ,

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