Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!



Latest Home Video

Aug 25, 2009

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Julia Roberts

Clive Owen

Tom Wilkinson

Tony Gilroy


2009 Universal Pictures

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Duplicity.

Read Review

Reviewed by

Overall C+
Run Time126

Making the Grades

In his ancient script The Art of War, the legendary Chinese figure Sun Tzu wrote, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles.” He also wrote, “All warfare is based on deception.”

Since the penning of this famous manuscript in 6th century BC, military leaders, political campaigners, sports teams, business strategists and even reality television contestants have been known to peruse this text in search of winning tactics.

Ray Koval (Clive Owen) and Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) also seem to be familiar with the concepts. Working as secret agents for the U.S. and Russian governments, the two spies meet at the American Consulate in Dubai where Claire undresses Ray (in more than one respect) and leaves the drugged and drowsy MI6 agent looking for a way to explain the loss of some important confidential codes.

Years later in New York, the pair crosses paths again. Both have moved on from their government jobs and are employed by rival, multi-national corporations. However when Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson), one company’s CEO, hints at an impending breakthrough at his lab just days before his competitor (Paul Giamatti) is scheduled to address his own shareholders at their annual meeting, the two corporate spies see a way to line their pockets by joining forces. Working from within their respective companies, they plan to abscond with the discovery and sell it to the highest bidder.

The problem is these skilled emissaries have been trained to trust no one and that proves to be a problem in forming a lasting alliance. Meeting under clandestine conditions, the couple enjoys intimacy (which viewers see very little of) but either begin or end their liaison with one or both of them “testing” the other. Considering their highly suspicious natures, it’s hard to believe their plan or partnership works as well as it does.

Following the ins and outs of their scheme also proves to be difficult as Ray and Claire change their allegiances and their minds with surprising regularity. In addition, the plot skips around the time continuum in a sporadic fashion that makes it almost impossible to keep up unless you’re paying very close attention. Still for adult viewers who are willing to work at watching these endless twists, the film offers some entertaining and clever moments. Unfortunately, in the meantime, a glut of scatological slang, profanities and crude terms for sex are repeatedly used.

Given the highly competitive nature of these corporate enterprises, those caught up in the duplicitous activities portrayed in this film might be wise to follow some other, more modern advice that says, “The best defense is a good offense.”

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Duplicity.

Why is it so important to these executives to be the first or best at something? Do you agree with their methods of achieving that success? How long lasting is this kind of victory?

Considering their lack of trust and past betrayals, what do you think are the chances of Ray and Claire having a successful relationship? How important do you think trust is for a couple?

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG Coarse Language
AB PG Coarse Language.
MB PG Language May Offend.
ON PG Mature Theme, Language May Offend.

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Duplicity...

Release Date: 25 August 2009

Duplicity comes to the home video market in two versions:

Duplicity on DVD is presented in widescreen, with audio tracks Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish). Subtitles are provided in English, SDH, French and Spanish.

Also offered is an audio commentary with Writer/Director Tony Gilroy and Editor/Co-Producer John Gilroy.

Duplicity on Blu-ray Disc comes with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English) and DTS 5.1 Surround (French and Spanish). Subtitles are available in English, SDH, French and Spanish.

Bonus materials include:

- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Tony Gilroy and Editor/Co-Producer John

- My Scenes

- Gilroy

- Interactive Features: BD Live - Download Center

Add Your Comments

Commenting is restricted to members only.
Please log in below or, if you're not yet a member, please register.

Forgot password? | register

Please note: So we can maintain a website with content appropriate for all ages, we moderate all comments and will edit profanities, slanderous remarks and other inappropriate language. For these reasons, your comments will not appear immediately.

There are currently no comments on this review. Be sure to add yours with the form below.

You May Be Interested...

Also On The Web