Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 17+
Intelligent, grown-up thriller has some violence, drugs.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Arbitrage -- a grown-up thriller set in the world of high finance -- will likely be of more interest to parents than to most teens. There's one major violent scene (a car crash with a dead body and blood), as well as some threatening and arguing. Language is fairly strong, with about a dozen uses of "f--k" and a few uses of the "N" word. The main character (played by Richard Gere) has an extramarital affair and is seen kissing and having implied sex with his mistress. The mistress is shown snorting cocaine at one point. Adult characters drink scotch and wine at social gatherings; some characters smoke cigarettes.
- Families can talk about Arbitrage's violent events. Which feels more intense -- the car crash sequence or the scenes in which Detective Bryer confronts the main character? Why?
- Is Robert Miller right to hide his activities and problems from his family? Could they have helped? Should families tell each other everything?
- Are there any role models in this movie? Why would we root for Robert Miller when he's made so many bad choices?
- What does this movie have to say about the current financial crisis?
The good stuff
Positive messages: A character learns that lying to his family -- even while trying to protect them -- ends up costing him a great deal more than if he had told the truth. This lesson comes late in the story, but it does come.
Positive role models: The main character is interesting; he does some abominable things, but when he keeps information from his family, he does so to protect them and to keep from hurting them. Overall, he earns viewers' sympathy, and he does seem to realize that what he's doing is wrong; it's just too late for him to turn back. The movie also has some strong female characters, specifically the main character's daughter, Brooke.
What to watch for
Violence: This isn't a violent movie, but there's one shocking scene with a car crash, a dead body, and blood; it's an event that changes the main character's life. Otherwise, the movie has many scenes of arguing and threatening, especially in the scenes involving the main character and a relentless police detective.
Sexy stuff: The main character is cheating on his wife, and viewers see kissing and implied sex between him and his mistress.
Language: Several uses of "f--k," plus the "N" word, "a--hole," and "goddamn."
Consumerism: Several Zappos boxes are shown.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A secondary character snorts cocaine in one scene; she may or may not be a habitual user. Adult characters drink wine and/or scotch at parties or at dinner. Secondary characters are shown smoking cigarettes.