MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
Eric Bana as MARTIN ROSE
Rebecca Hall as CLAUDIA SIMMONS-HOWE
Isaac Hempstead-Wright as TOM ROSE
Ciarán Hinds as DEVLIN
Julia Stiles as JOANNA REECE
Jim Broadbent as ATTORNEY GENERAL
Riz Ahmed as NAZRUL SHARMA
Studio: Focus Features
Directed by: John Crowley
BY KEVIN CARR
I’ll be the first to admit that “Closed Circuit” has some serious problems when it comes to script, plot and pacing. On one hand, it’s all over the place with inconsistent drama and misplaced danger. On the other hand, I have seen it twice now, and I can’t help but like it.
The story follows two barristers in London who are involved in prosecuting a terror suspect. However, as they start to uncover more – both what they are permitted and not permitted to know – they learn there is a greater danger at hand.
Check out my full review, including radio coverage, here. I enjoyed the film in the theater, though I felt the weakest part of the story came in the third act. That did not change upon a second viewing, but what I realized was that the third act didn’t matter. The set-up of the film gave a punchy angle to the legal thriller, and not being familiar with U.K. laws and politics, it was interesting to watch it unfold.
I can’t say I was expecting anything great near the end. Instead, the movie plays out like a slick TV movie in two parts. The first episode is quite good, and the second episode never quite delivers on the set-up. Still, as someone relatively removed from this kind of story and not directly affected by it, the lackluster finish is forgivable.
I understand that seems out of place, as I am often highly critical of a great set-up and a terrible denouement. Still, this one works for me.
Sadly, the Blu-ray comes with scant special features. There’s a single bonus feature, which is a featurette called “Secrets Behind the Camera: Closed Circuit.” It’s an okay making-of short, about on the quality level of the second half of the movie. Still, it plays better than “Paranoia,” which is the dullard American version of this type of story.