37 user 49 critic

Civic Duty (2006)

2:10 | Trailer
Angry and depressed over losing his job, Terry Allen begins to suspect his new, Middle Eastern neighbor is at the center of a terrorist conspiracy. Obsessed about revealing the man's true identity, he takes matters into his own hands.


Jeff Renfroe


Andrew Joiner
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Krause ... Terry Allen
Kari Matchett ... Marla Allen
Richard Schiff ... FBI Agent Tom Hilary
Kal Naga ... Gabe Hassan (as Khaled Abol Naga)
Ian Tracey ... Lieutenant Randall Lloyd
Vanesa Tomasino ... Bank Teller
Laurie Murdoch ... Loan Officer
Michael Roberds ... Post Office Clerk
Agam Darshi ... Nurse
Mark Brandon ... Night Anchor Bret Anderson
Brenda Crichlow ... Day Anchor Tricia Wise (as Brenda M. Crichlow)
Val Cole Val Cole ... Morning Anchor Susan Harwood
Mark Docherty Mark Docherty ... News Reporter Chad Winslow
Michael St. John Smith ... Legal Analyst
P. Lynn Johnson ... Govenor Bradley


Shortly after landing a job, Terry Allen is laid off, starts looking for another circa post September 11, 2001 media frenzy and paranoia with President George W. Bush stating that grief has turned to anger, anger to resolution, and that there are thousands of terrorists in over 60 countries ready to strike. With increasing reports of identity theft, the involvement of wealthy & educated foreigners in terrorist activities, Terry starts suspecting his new neighbor, a middle-easterner, who he stereotypes as 'raghead', 'camel jockey', and 'sand nigger'. His wife, Marla, does not share in his bigotry, but he believes that she has turned her attention from rock-stars to Jihadists. While looking for employment, as well as a loan to purchase a house, he also contacts the Federal Bureau of Investigation as he feels he has sufficient evidence that his new neighbor is structuring money, experimenting with chemicals, and associating with other middle-easterners for devious reasons. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The War On Terror Just Came Home See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some threatening situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The cast has strong ties to Aaron Sorkin's television projects: Peter Krause starred as anchor Casey McCall in Sports Night (1998), Richard Schiff was communications director Toby Ziegler on The West Wing (1999), and Kari Matchett did a five-episode run on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006) as attorney Mary Tate. See more »


In the hostage situation, Hassan has been cut on the scar under his left eye, but it goes from bloody to not bloody to bloody again in subsequent shots. His hands are tied so he could not have wiped it clean. See more »


Bank Teller: Did you know sir, in the future you can also use the ATM machine just outside the front doors and avoid the waiting in line for a teller?
Terry Allen: Yes I did, thank you.
Bank Teller: I love our customers prefer that option actually.
Terry Allen: Really? Do you know what ATM stands for ? Automatic Teller Machine. So when you say ATM machine, what you're actually saying is automatic teller machine machine. Now either you're just being ignorantly redundant or you really want to emphasize that machine part. In which case you're not ...
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User Reviews

Intriguing premise that loses its way
15 July 2008 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

"Civic Duty" is like "Rear Window" for the post-9/11 age. Terry Allen is a recently laid-off accountant who, thanks in large part to an ubiquitous, sensation-seeking news media, has become increasingly obsessed with the "terrorist threat" plaguing the Western world. When a young Middle Eastern man moves into an apartment across the way, Terry immediately goes into surveillance mode, spying on his every move, following him around town, breaking into his home, and even reporting him to what Terry quickly learns, much to his dismay, is a decidedly uninterested and unconcerned FBI. Soon, his life and marriage are falling apart as he plunges ever deeper into his paranoia-driven madness.

"Civic Duty" starts off as a reasonably compelling psychological thriller, but the longer the movie goes on the more far-fetched and heavy-handed it becomes. Peter Krause, who was so subtle and effective as the star of "Six Feet Under," is forced to go so over-the-top in his performance here that we begin to fear he'll burst a blood vessel long before the movie is over. The underlining doesn't stop there, however, for Jeff Renfroe"s direction is filled with any number of hokey touches, including panning wildly or having the camera do virtual somersaults anytime anything even remotely sinister or suspenseful is about to take place.

The movie first points out how the media, obsessed with profits and ratings, finds it necessary to bombard us with a steady stream of potential terror threats, both real and manufactured, on an around-the-clock basis - and then questions what kind of effect such sensory overload might have on an already unstable personality. And, beyond that, might the media and the political class it serves be turning all of us, to some degree or another, into raging paranoiacs, ready to pry into our neighbors' private business in the cause of national security? Unfortunately, this provocative theme gets buried under a truckload of paranoid-thriller clichés.

Kari Matchett, Khaled Abol Naga and Richard Schiff ("The West Wing") do well in their various roles, but the movie, well intentioned though it is, falls far short of its potential.

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UK | USA | Canada


English | Arabic

Release Date:

11 September 2008 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Dever Cívico See more »


Box Office


$3,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$54,902, 6 May 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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