Story

Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and Ray Koval (Clive Owen) were government spies when they first met in Dubai. She worked for the CIA and he for MI6. Within moments of this meeting, they ended up in bed. She then drugged him and made off with the top-secret documents in his possession.

Having had several secret trysts since then, they now work for rival companies whose bosses are determined to destroy the other’s company. Ray’s boss, Richard ‘Dick’ Garisk (Paul Giamatti), has even hired a team of corporate espionage experts. They are trying to steal the latest product ideas from Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson), Claire’s boss. Claire is an integral member of Tully’s counter-intelligence team, keeping secret products safe. There is one product so secret that no one on the team even knows what it is they are protecting.

To complicate matters, Claire and Ray have secretly teamed up. They are not only working for their respective companies but also for themselves, trying to steal corporate secrets for their own financial gain. Everything appears to be going exactly to plan, except for one thing. Aside from the secret product, there is something else that they don’t know. That is whether they can trust each other.

Themes

Corporate sabotage; greed

Violence

This movie contains some violence. For example:

  • Tully and Garisk verbally attack one another. Then they hit, punch, grab and throw each other around a deserted airstrip. Their colleagues look on in astonishment.
  • One of Claire’s co-workers is suspected of spying. He is caught by security and handcuffed to a portable screen in one of the offices. He smashes things around while trying to free himself, until the screen and equipment crash around him.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example, some children might be confused or made anxious by the scenes in which Claire is attempting to copy an extremely sensitive document without getting caught. The suspense and intensity of the music could concern some young children.

From 8-13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Sexual references

This movie contains some sexual references. For example:

  • Ray tells Claire that she spends so much time with her legs in the air that it’s no wonder she can’t remember him.
  • On more than one occasion, Ray accuses Claire of ‘drugging him, seducing him and screwing him’.
  • Claire holds up a g-string and asks Ray who he has been sleeping with. When he swears he has been faithful, she says that perhaps she had better put it back on. When she realises that Ray is really upset, she cosies up to him, asks him if he is turned on and indicates that she has only 55 minutes to make it up to him.
  • A travel agent is brought to Claire for questioning. It turns out that she and Ray have had sex. She tells Claire that ‘It doesn’t matter what you do to me because it was worth it. It was so incredibly worth it’.
  • Some of the guys call Ray ‘the biggest swinging dick I’ve ever seen’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie contains some use of substances. For example:

  • Claire drugs Ray in order to find the secret documents that she is after.
  • Claire talks about people ‘doing ecstasy’.
  • There is repeated use of alcohol throughout the movie.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • The movie opens with Ray seducing Claire. They end up in bed together.
  • There are close-ups of Claire’s cleavage.
  • After having sex, Claire leaves an apparently naked Ray sleeping in the bed (only his torso is completely exposed).
  • Ray answers a hotel door wearing nothing but a towel.
  • Ray and Claire meet up in Italy and spend three days in a hotel room in bed. They are both shown topless. Ray kisses and licks Claire’s back while they lounge between the sheets. When Claire gets up, the side view of her bare breasts are exposed as are her buttocks.
  • There are photos of Ray and a travel agent in her office after hours. From the waist up, she is wearing only a bra.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

This movie contains frequent mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Duplicity is a movie best suited to adults or older teens. It features witty dialogue and incorporates several unexpected plot twists.

The main message from this movie is that all is fair in love and war. Values in this movie that you might wish to reinforce with your children include loyalty, problem-solving skills and optimism.

This movie could also give you the opportunity to discuss with your children the following attitudes and behaviours and their real-life consequences:

  • deceitfulness
  • the effects of sabotaging or humiliating others
  • the implications of taking things from others instead of working for what you want
  • the risks people will take for money.