In terms of story, this thriller about the criminal dealings of an international bank is baffling, but in terms of tension – pure, cinematic suspense – the picture is a knockout. Credit director Tom Tykwer, who whips high intensity out of nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. Tykwer uses a dazzling array of tight close-ups, ominous establishing shots and imposing architecture to wind up his movie, then send it spinning like a top. He even had a hand in the softly insistent techno score, which is a fittingly faceless, inhuman way to nudge the movie along. Clive Owen stars as Louis Salinger, an Interpol agent who has been fruitlessly investigating the bank for years. Naomi Watts is the United States district attorney trying to assist him. (Mercifully, they aren’t asked to shoulder an unlikely romance). Realizing that a bank is something of an amorphous villain, Tykwer uses architecture to give the entity a physical presence. Its headquarters is a sleek glass expanse positioned on what appears to be a man-made peninsula – a modern fortress, complete with moat. Salinger, meanwhile, is often framed as a lone, insignificant figure amidst towering, oppressive buildings. It’s as if even the skyline is conspiring against him.