Deception (2008) **1/2*

Rated: R
Runtime: 1hr 48min
Director: Marcel Langenegger
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor
Genre: Drama
Language: English

A Dark Thriller With Many Twists and Turns

In a Nutshell


Straight as an Arrow

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear

Who's That?

Few Main Characters

Naughty Words


Naked people




It would be easy to dismiss “Deception” as contrived and unlikely. But as followers of the recent news know all too well, sex clubs, illegal international business dealings, and criminal intrigue are all part of the everyday scene.

Mystery, violence and suspense are also part of that package, all of which find a place in a movie that brings an unworldly accountant (Ewan McGregor) into the path of a charismatic lawyer, played by Hugh Jackman. Jackman introduces a lonely, hard-working McGregor to the world that he always wanted to know but was too timid to experience, starting with bars and strip clubs. Soon, very attractive but anonymous women begin to enter his world in a way he could never have expected.

While Jackman is on a business trip to London, McGregor finds himself getting calls from female sex-club members with a simple invitation to meet that night in a high-priced hotel. No strings attached, or as one woman puts it, “Intimacy without intricacy.” A surprised McGregor is man enough to take advantage of his invitations, as the nudity that abounds in parts of the movie will attest. But McGregor’s character reverts to its true, rather wimpish nature when a woman who really catches his heart, known to him only as “S” (Michelle Williams), enters his life and he is unable to express his true feelings.

The beautiful blonde Williams will appear, disappear and reappear as the film evolves into a world of kidnapping, murder and high-dollar theft, moving from the dark underbelly of New York to the bright streets of Madrid. Her character brings romance to a movie that is full of bitter twists and turns, some a little predictable but others unexpected.

All the actors play their parts well, from the suave Jackman, to the hesitant McGregor, to the attractive Williams, with McGregor getting most of the screen time. That’s not to say, however, that the New York accents of Jackman, an Australian, and McGregor, a Scot, don’t tend to slip from time to time.

But an appearance by Charlotte Rampling as a well-mannered, yet sometimes seminude sex club member, more than makes up for any slip of that kind.

The pace of the move does lag in parts, but the overall effect (not least the exciting yet smooth cinematography of Dante Spinotti) is engrossing.

“Deception” is a psychological thriller full of night-time scenes in New York and daytime scenes in Madrid that is engaging through most of its 1 hour, 48 minutes.

The movie is a first-timer for the director Marcel Langenegger, who made his name with award-winning commercials. He does an excellent job of bringing a talented group of actors through a twisting tale full of suspense and skullduggery.

A lifelong journalist, Terence Neilan started his career in his home country, England, and then moved to New York in 1970. After a couple of years as an editor at The New York Post, he moved to The New York Times, where he worked as an editor and Website reporter for 29 years, retiring in 2005.


Giuseppe said on December 3, 2012


ha ha ha. that is awesome.41%, huh? I bteetr start writing a wedding march then. I’m thinking it will sound like a mix between the Imperial March from Star Wars and Michael Buble and Holly Palmer’s version of Down With Love. That should be appropriate. Anywho I wonder what my percentage of marrying Ewan is probably not too good. I hear he isn’t into Estonians. Alas [exasperated sigh]eric

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