Tony Gilroy has lived the screenwriter's dream: after 15 years of cranking out scripts (for movies like Armageddon, The Devil's Advocate, and the Bourne trilogy), he got the chance to direct his own work and nabbed Oscar nominations for best director and screenwriter with Michael Clayton. In his second feature as writer-director he wisely sticks to the corporate espionage so icily portrayed in the earlier movie, but this time no one's bothered by it; in place of the gravitas George Clooney brought to Clayton, there's a cute adversarial romance between Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, corporate-security professionals for rival companies. With its one-liners and welter of double-crosses, it should settle on the video shelf between Intolerable Cruelty and Mr & Mrs. Smith. Paul Giamatti contributes an over-the-top performance as one of the dueling CEOs; Tom Wilkinson phones it in as the other. PG-13, 125 min.
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