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'Deception'

A colorless accountant (Ewan McGregor) finds his dreary life upended when he accidentally picks up a cellphone belonging to a casual acquaintance. Said acquaintance, a suave, worldly businessman, (Hugh Jackman) seems to be a member of a sex club for the rich and unattainable, and as the accountant soon discovers, a call on that cellphone asking "Are you free tonight" will lead to anonymous, no-strings encounters with stunning (and stunningly successful) women.

"Intimacy without intricacy" is how one such dazzler (Charlotte Rampling) puts it, and for a while the accountant is like a kid in a candy store. But when he falls for one of the women he meets (Michelle Williams), intimacy suddenly begets intricacy — with a vengeance.

Screenwriter Mark Bomback's plot tricks up what initially seems a fairly simple melodrama with double- and triple-crosses, which becomes increasingly preposterous after an involving start. When sex (and mystery) gives way to a multimillion-dollar heist (and explanations), the whole thing just gets silly. Sexy fun for a while, though.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.