Things that click about "Arbitrage": the take-no-prisoners grit of writer-director Nicholas Jarecki's defiantly come-hither script; the cinematography which gives the film's mostly nighttime New York setting a still-grinning eternal sunshine; a silver and stoic Richard Gere as patriarch to a blowout cast of cold souls (Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, "Another Earth's" Britt Marling.) To topple the empire is to cut off the head. It's just the transparency of Roth's Wall Street detective and a flabby middle that weighs it down. I know, I know -- but doesn't it to us all?
Still it's important to take "Arbitrage" as a whole, dynamic and intense beginning, end, and all, if for the sake of Jarecki's visual style. It weaves, bends, and melts every arc together, Jarecki often stacking scenes and dialogue on top of each other, or just the same staging his actors to fit inside a single shot. Watch one of many scenes of Gere's conflicted hedge-fund Hitler Robert Miller in an office or on a park bench, talking that turns to shouting with another person. Like the rest of the movie, his rhythm shares being troubling and reassuring -- Miller's badness may reach for the bone, but it only grazes it because of a deceptive science.