Closed Circuit (R)

Suspense/Thriller 96 August 28, 2013
By Stephanie Zacharek
There's a fine line between restrained and drab, and Closed Circuit falls just on the wrong side of it. Even though the film is set in modern-day London and produced by the same people who brought us Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it's curiously lacking in urgency. Eric Bana plays Martin Rose, a lawyer who's assigned, at the last minute, to defend Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto), a possible terrorist accused of playing a role in a deadly explosion in a London market. The case is hardly straightforward to begin with, but, as it turns out, the government has some classified evidence that it plans to use to prosecute Erdogan, info so secret that neither Erdogan nor his defense team is allowed to see it. So the attorney general-- officiously jovial, as played by Jim Broadbent-- appoints a special advocate, Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), who is allowed to see the evidence but must not disclose its contents to the defendant or his lawyers. The hitch: Claudia and Martin used to be lovers, and the affair didn’t end well. The plot leans heavily on paranoia, and it's all supposed to make us question our assumptions about terrorism and the eagerness of world governments to find scapegoats. There's just no pulse to the story-- it feels like a dutiful exercise. As a leading man, or as anything, really, Bana is handsome only in a flavorless way. His brows are earnest, his chin finely chiseled, but so little personality comes through, I always find myself wanting to add an "l" to the end of his name.
John Crowley Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Riz Ahmed, Lee Asquith-Coe, Santi Scinelli, Kenneth Cranham, James Doherty Steven Knight Tim Bevan, Chris Clark, Eric Fellner Focus Features


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