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Stars: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Maggie Q, Charlotte Rampling, Natasha Henstridge, Lynn Cohen

Director: Marcel Langenegger

Langenegger, making his feature film debut, is credited with saying Mark Bomback’s screenplay “reminded me of Hitchcock”. You can see why. Plenty of twists, plenty of implausibility and an implicit belief that audiences will happily go along for the thrill ride and save their reservations about the storyline until well after the end credits.

When suave attorney Jackman (also doubling as a producer) somewhat improbably bonds with nerdy accountant McGregor, McGregor lives life fully for the first time after being introduced to the List, a club whose members enjoy high-class sex - ‘intimacy without intricacy’ – and without payment. "I'm a sucker for bashful boys" purrs Wall Street financier Rampling as she settles down for a night of no-strings-attached sex. All goes swingingly until McGregor becomes obsessed with mysterious sex partner Williams and is sucked into a dangerous web of mystery, intrigue and murder…

Because Deception is aimed at multiplex audiences, some of the twists are predictable (another Hitchcockian aspect) but nonetheless Langenegger keeps you watching, applying a smooth, satisfying sheen to the proceedings and racking up exemplary suspense as the plot twists writhe on screen.

It’s not ‘Art’, of course, nor does it pretend to be. What it is is a slick, entertaining not necessarily memorable commercial thriller. It's glossily presented and enjoyably performed, even if McGregor’s attempt at an American accent sometimes verges uncomfortably on the unintentionally hilarious.

Alan Frank

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Entertainment Film Distributors. Colour.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Apr 2008