Implausible, mature thriller about a sex club.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie focuses on anonymous sexual gratification, money motivated blackmail, and murder. The male leads are involved in a sex club called the List, which pairs male and female executives for steamy encounters in high-class hotels. There is a date-rape scene and a shot showing a woman with her throat cut.
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What's the Story?
Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor star as cat and mouse in this stylized thriller about an accountant who is befriended by a mysterious, powerful stranger. After mistakenly switching cell phones, the naive Jonathon (McGregor) finds himself seduced by Wyatt's (Jackman) involvement in a sex club called the List, as he takes calls on Wyatt's phone. When a female caller asks if he is free that night Jonathon steps into a world where beautiful, professional women and handsome men engage in one-night trysts without strings. Jonathon soon falls for a girl named "S" (Michelle Williams) and becomes irrevocably embroiled in Wyatt's larger scheme of blackmail and murder.
Is It Any Good?
Though it's shot in a slick, glamorous manner and features some real star power, DECEPTION is riddled with spoken cliches and implausible plot twists. Not only is the sex club an unlikely fantasy, where women are as hungry for sex and willing to engage in "intimacy without intricacy," but Jonathon's naivete is very hard to swallow. Perhaps it's McGregor's Scottish brogue sneaking through his Flatbush inflection that makes the character a bit of a joke. Or his nerdy character's unlikely romance with the stunning "S."
There are some lovely shots of New York City, and Michelle Williams does a great job. But the plot is rather predictable, and the ending is not surprising. If only the actors had been given more to work with -- and the women hadn't been portrayed as sex-starved automatons.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about lust and greed. What drives Wyatt to befriend Jonathon? Why does Jonathon accept the phone calls on Wyatt's phone? When does the desire for money overtake compassion? Is this movie realistic? Why or why not?
- In theaters: April 25, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: September 23, 2008
- Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams
- Director: Marcel Langenegger
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 108 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, language, brief violence and some drug use.
- Last updated: November 2, 2022
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