Arbitrage Information

Arbitrage is a 2012 American drama film directed by Nicholas Jarecki and starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, and Brit Marling. Filming began in April 2011 in New York City. It opened in U.S. theaters in September 2012.


Sixty-year-old magnate Robert Miller manages a hedge fund with his daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) and is about to sell it for a handsome profit. However, unbeknownst to his daughter and most of his other employees, he has cooked his company's books in order to cover an investment loss and avoid being arrested for fraud. One night, while driving with his mistress Julie Cote (Laetitia Casta), he begins to doze off and crashes; Julie is killed. An injured Miller leaves the scene and decides to cover up his involvement to prevent the public, his wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon), and the prospective buyer James Mayfield (Graydon Carter) from discovering the truth.

Miller calls Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a twenty-three-year-old man from Harlem with a criminal record whom he helped get off the street in the past, and whose father had been Miller's driver for many years. After being driven home by Grant, Miller drags his injured body into bed at 4:30 am, arousing suspicion in his wife. The next day, he is questioned by police detective Bryer (Tim Roth). Bryer is keen on arresting Miller for manslaughter and begins to put the pieces together. Brooke discovers the financial irregularities, realizes that she could be implicated and confronts her father.

Jimmy is arrested and placed before a grand jury but still refuses to admit to helping Miller. Miller once again contemplates turning himself in. Even though Jimmy is about to go to prison, Miller tells Jimmy that investors are depending on him and that waiting for the sale to close before coming forward would serve the greater good. Eventually the sale is closed but Miller finds a way to avoid being charged. He proves that Detective Bryer fabricated evidence. The case against Jimmy is dismissed and the detective is ordered not to go near him. Miller's wife, thinking the police investigation is still on-going, tries to blackmail him with a separation agreement getting rid of his wealth. When Robert Miller refuses to sign, his wife says that she will tell the police that he got into bed at 4:30 am, bruised and bloody.

In the final scene, Miller addresses a banquet honoring him for his successful business, with his wife at his side and his daughter introducing him to the audience. It is kept deliberately ambiguous whether he gave in to his wife's blackmail or she had backed off; in any case, his financial and personal misdeeds were clearly kept out of the public gaze.



Critical response

The film was praised by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a "certified fresh" score of 87% based on reviews from 148 critics with the consensus, "Arbitrage is both a tense thriller and a penetrating character study, elevated by the strength of a typically assured performance from Richard Gere." At Metacritic it received a weighted average rating of 73% based on reviews from 33 critics. Many critics pointed out Gere's "conflicted performance" as a "career-best", and cited the screenplay, ensemble acting, and direction as high quality.


Gere was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor " Motion Picture Drama at the 70th Golden Globe Awards for his performance in Arbitrage.

Box office

, the film had grossed over $49,719,574 in first-cycle sales to date (with $37,000,000 in ticket sales at the global box office, and a VOD North American gross over $12 million). The film also outperformed financially in several areas: it set a record as the highest grossing "day-and-date" release of all time, meaning it outperformed all other films released simultaneously in theaters and "on-demand". It also opened to a per screen average in the US in excess of $10,000, making it one of the highest per-screen average films of the year. It was the top film in Israel two weeks running and #3 in Spain two weeks running, nearing a Spanish theatrical gross of $5,000,000 USD. It broke independent box office records in many other countries including Australia, the UAE, and Switzerland.

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