Director: Tony Gilroy

Out to create lighter fare after his Oscar-lauded helming debut Michael Clayton, writer/director Tony Gilroy is determined to put some smarts into the world of double crosses and double martinis. But as his characters jet around the world and the story plays tricks with the calendar, Gilroy ends up with a tasty-looking confection that is as hard to unravel as a Rubik’s Cube.

This spy vs. spy romance begins with the 2003 meet-cute and sexy set-up in Dubai of agents Claire (Julia Roberts), formerly of the CIA, and Ray (Clive Owen), formerly of Britain’s MI6. Both are now corporate sleuths.

Naturally, Claire and Ray are in opposing boardrooms, while often in the same bedroom. Actors Roberts and Owen, last teamed as the fractious couple in Closer five years ago, still have chemistry — the sparks evident then still burn.

Duplicity illustrates the proposition that you can love someone despite not fully trusting them. Don’t try to predict the ending, or demand a straight path to it.

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