Trader Games

A botched Wall Street thriller that invests little in its characters.

Greed is far from good in “Trader Games,” a botched Wall Street thriller that invests little in its characters while indebting itself to a plot that constantly strains for credibility. Starring Gilles Lellouche (“Little White Lies”) as a New York-based broker who contrives a scheme to beat the market and make a pretty billion, helmer Fabrice Genestal’s multinational production (whose co-financing looks more complex than a credit default swap) is an implausible mishmash of high-risk, coke-snorting testosterone finding its comeuppance at the hands of fierce competition and pathos overload. Following a weak Gallic release, this stock’s forecast is dim.

When he isn’t skydiving for thrills, French trader Erwon (Lellouche) is concocting, along with a sexy meteorologist (Vahina Giocante), an investment model linking market trends to climate change. Despite all economic logic, the plan works — that is, until Erwon goes Gordon Gekko and decides he’s the next master of the universe. Unfortunately, little is actually mastered in this poorly written and haphazardly crafted suspenser, which seems to hop to different locations merely to fulfill tax-shelter requirements. As a tough hedge-fund manager, Michael Madsen has seen better days.

Trader Games


  • Production: A UGC Distribution release of a Cine Nomine, Caramel Films, Versus Prod., La RTBF (Television Belge) production, in association with Carrimages 5, with participation of Canal Plus, CineCinema, Centre National de la Cinematographie, Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication, Telefilm Canada. (International sales: TF1 Intl., France.) Produced by Pierre Forette, Thierry Wong, Andre Rouleau, Jacques-Henri, Olivier Bronckart. Directed by Fabrice Genestal. Screenplay, Genestal, Paul Besson, in collaboration with Agnes Caffin, Olivier Chapuis, Arnaud Delanade, Thomas Philippon.
  • Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Pascal Rabaud; editor, Catherine Schwartz; music, Benoit Cahrest, Frederic Vercheval; art director, Louis-Rene Landry; costume designer, Nicoletta Massone. Reviewed at L'Entrepot 1, Paris, Oct 8, 2010. Running time: 83 MIN.
  • With: With: Gilles Lellouche, Vahina Giocante, Charles Berling, Michael Madsen, Lisa Ray, Joffrey Verbruggen, Jason Blicker, Ivan Fox, Graham Cuthbertson, Franck Fontaine, Sam Stone, Lori Graham. (French, English dialogue)