while superstars clive owen and julia roberts prove capable sparring partners in central dance of lust and mistrust, pic is all about setup. and writer/director tony gilroy (michael clayton) knows a thing or three about Smart dramatic tension. wordless slo-mo clash of titans paul giamatti and tom wilkinson serves as perfect prologue--epic feel, hilarious, brilliant. script continues cracking along briskly, cleverly flashing back & forth to reveal depth of complex cons and twists, well played. lets itself down mightily in endgame, however, when all comes revealed a la perry mason mysteries: smug victors gather around to retrace their steps of genius for apparently less intelligent audience. plus, all that fancy footwork and our heroes come up short? where's the payoff for Us?