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Not the Thriller expected, but not bad
bob-rutzel-18 February 2014
Martin Rose (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall) are assigned to a case to defend Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Mochitto) who is accused of bombing a London market killing 120 plus. Because this case involves classified information Martin and Claudia cannot interact together or they will lose their licenses. Martin is the Defense Lawyer. Claudia is the Defendant's Advocate. Martin will defend in Open Court and Claudia will defend in Closed Session where classified information will be presented. In time, both learn that a government cover-up may be in play. Uh oh! What to do? What to do?

Not sure though if the Advocate person is only assigned when classified info is in play. No matter. It is what it is.

Well, of course, you know that Martin and Claudia will somehow interact and this will cause them to be most careful. Oh, they were lovers a while back. See?

This will not be the thriller you may have expected. No, it's a comfortable ride and the pacing is just right. Some things happen but nothing to put you on the edge of your seat. It's not that kind of thriller, but it is watchable. See?

I enjoyed this but the ending is really weak. Bummer. (5/10)

Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Yes.
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Missed somethings
rartioli_2121 December 2014
Conspiracy theories. Espionage. Terrorist acts. All this is present in the film Closed Circuit. What are not present are depth in theories developed by the characters and explanations of crucial details of the film.

Starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, the film shows us a little of the British judicial system. This is perhaps one of the biggest flaws of the script. The lack of explanation of how this system works and how it is structured, does not allow us to get into the story, just accept what is shown.

About the actors, Eric Bana is what to be expected for those who have seen his films. In contrast, Rebecca Hall shows the same talent seen in The Prestige (2006) and The Town (2010). Jim Broadbent gives us another opportunity to see his gift, even in fast appearances during a 90-minute film.

The film wants to leave the place where it started, however the lack of surprising elements in the script makes everything back to the beginning. This is the same path that follows the protagonist throughout the story.
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You're so sly, but so am I
onewhoseesme31 August 2013
It was a bit difficult getting up the motivation to do a write up for this one, as it does not inspire. But it is very believable, with a realistic feel in script and action. Both sharp and taut throughout, this is meant to be more intellectually stimulating than adrenaline releasing. A movie that makes you think. I found the tone and atmosphere, at least in part, to be comparable to Roman Polanski's recent effort in The Ghost Writer.

There seems to be a resurgence in recent years in both the practice of and appreciation for the well honed tension that Hitchcock was famous for. This has some of that. It seems that making what most would call a good movie was not the aim here, as much as having something to say, and wanting it said well. Which it was. What was said bothers you a bit, after.

If you combined elements of the legal drama in Syriana, the syntax of a big brother government in Enemy of the State, along with the perfect pace and proper tension in The Ghost Writer, you'll have an idea of the movie. Perhaps that's what he was aiming at. It isn't as good as any of those films. But definitely worth seeing if you want something more cerebral.

Without giving anything away, it seems they were very clever in an almost feigned attempt at a happy ending. A bit of psychological warfare I think. You'll have to see it to know what I'm talking about. Much too lite for such a serious threat. But then, that was probably the intention. It kind of helps drive it home and makes it stick to you. Some complained about it being too short. I do want my money's worth, but I don't think the time affected the quality of the movie.
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A middle of the road thriller that slowly grows on you
eddie_baggins15 October 2014
With the waft of a BBC movie and with some pretty shoddy production values, Boy A (a film you have to track down that features an early stunning turn from Spider-Man himself Andrew Garfield) director John Crowley's 2013 thriller Closed Circuit starts off in a very mundane way and while not translating into anything more than a well-paced if highly unbelievable thriller it marks itself off as an enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes of your life with a story that will grow on you as the red herrings and mysteries pile up.

Closed Circuit is a certainly a strange name for a movie that really has nothing to do with surveillance, instead Crowley's film focuses on the tensions and discoveries made between Eric Bana's gruff (and very un-British sounding) arrogant lawyer Martin Rose and one time lover Claudia Simmons-Howe played by the always threatening to break out of b grade status Rebecca Hall. These people are not overly likable and the film lacks a figure that can up the feel of the piece as a whole even though it's nice to see fine character actors Ciaran Hinds, Jim Broadbent and a man possibly bound for future stardom in the form of the always great Riz Ahmed get some nice supporting roles. With a lack of real interest for the films body of people it is up to the plot boiler story to carry it through.

As previously mentioned Closed Circuit's story is not really too concerned with being overly believable, in one particular instance it is insinuated that a large government agency such as Mi5 can't hack computers but by and by the story succeeds at grabbing your attention and making you keen enough to see how it all transpires. At the heart of the story is a very intriguing and relatively possible scenario of agency meddling gone wrong and the idea of terrorist attacks on a city like London remain frighteningly possible which gives the film a feeling of current time relevance.

Lacking an acting spark that would have really made Closed Circuit more the sum of its parts, in saying that the film does still remain to be a solid and at times surprising thriller. Ending off proceedings in a manner that shows us just what could have been with this story, Closed Circuit is forgettable yet not regrettable and for topical thrillers that is a refreshing twist.

3 Bran Stark's out of 5

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Intense, suspenseful but most importantly of all, it leaves you thinking.
among-the-wildflowers2 September 2013
After seeing this film you'll find even the low ratings it's received on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes to be strangely suspicious. It just leaves you questioning all of the things you really need to be question right now, especially with the current trial of the recent Boston Bombings. The whole movie actually holds an eerie resemblance to the whole case and does put certain ideas out there. Which is exactly where they need to be. Out here, with us, in the public. But in the end it's JUST movie, right? I see it as more of a message. It was brilliant and exactly what the world needs right now. Not only was the message perfect, but the movie was suspenseful and intense and so far the reviews don't seem to match up to the movie I saw... What's going on here, did we actually see the same movie!? I guess perception is what determines that one.
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How do you mess up a good hand?
Rob-O-Cop24 December 2013
Well watch this film to find out. Good actors, great locations, beautiful cinematography, what's left? oh, script and direction. Actually it's not that simple, It's hard to figure out just what is bad about this film. The pacing is out, it comes across as kinda boring, making out the sinister in the mundane and then turning down the heat. The all powerful unstoppable MI5 apparently has only a handful of operatives. The same people seem to be on 24 our call to do cliché henchmen work. Organisations that are all knowing and powerful seem to trip over their feet in the next scene. The ending (don't fight it, it's bigger than the both of us and in the end it is for the public good) was a decent point to make, but oh what a crappy way of making it. This film ended up being confused instead of exciting and intriguing. What a waste of good resources.
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Trust no one - especially the legal system
gradyharp11 January 2014
Writer Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things, Redemption) has turned out another tense thriller that is all the more poignant because of the state of affairs with all countries win their subterfuge of crossing lines with the various branches of 'justice' and investigation now made more visible post Edward Snowden's lifting of the veil of secrecy that has for so long confused the public as to how the governments actually function in the struggle with terrorism. This one of course focuses on Britain's multi-phased departments both in criminal work and judicial response. If for no other reason this film is worth watching to see just how occult those sorts of dealings are an how in essence our individual privacy is a dinosaur. A high-profile terrorism case involving an alleged Turkish terrorist Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto) who sets off a major bomb in central London, killing scores of people unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall) on divisive sides of the defense team - testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy. The cast of characters on both sides of the Turkish terrorist plot are polished and conniving and include Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Anne-Marie Duff, Julia Stiles (the sole American in the mêlée), Riz Ahmed, Kenneth Cranham, to name a few excellent performances. The use of multiple screens throughout the film not only enhances the plot but also laces a magnifying glass on the techniques of the security measures that affect us all. This is a fast moving, tense, credible movie that carries far more importance than the story it tells. Well worth watching, especially in view of the increasing exposure of understanding terrorism thanks to the presence of television series such as Homeland, Person of Interest, Strike Back et al.

Grady Harp
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A good sign
lettersfromearth31 August 2013
This movie should cast a dubious eye on those patriots who always believe all that our governments tell us.It is very encouraging that this movie even got made.Viewers have come a long way from the 70's and earlier when the rah-rah fawning sycophant factor was a much greater percentage of the public than it is now.We've got a long way to go,but it looks like were are catching on.Hooray.Go see this one.It points out what we are up against.The acting is quite good;especially Bana and Broadbent.The closed circuit TV's are an interesting analogy to explain the understandable paranoia of the people in charge.They should be paranoid.If enough people figure out what's really going on;all the cameras in the world won't save them.
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Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country is doing in secret; then, again, you may not want to know
inkblot113 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Martin (Eric Bana) is out rowing on the Thames when he gets a call. An attorney, he has just been asked to defend a Middle Eastern terrorist accused of masterminding a truck bomb that killed 120 people in the heart of London. Most unfortunately, the previous defense attorney has committed suicide. Its a very sticky case, obviously, and working with Martin will be a special court advocate for the defendant, too, Claudia (Rebecca Hall). Ah, but here's the rub. Martin and Claudia were an item some years ago and if the Attorney General (Jim Broadbent) knew of this, it would be the end of Martin's and Claudia's careers, for they have both sworn in court that there is nothing in their pasts which would compromise the case. Curiously, at the funeral of the deceased attorney, Martin gets a calling card from the New York Times, to which he does not respond. All too soon, things get even stickier. Claudia comes back to her office to find that secret service has entered in with a duplicate key, assigning an agent to her case, as he tells her. She promptly has the locks changed. Then, in the course of interviewing his client, Martin soon discovers that everything is not as it seems. The man's name might not even be his, along with other, more serious falsehoods. How can Martin be expected to defend a man who might be a fall guy for the British secret service? Will he and Claudia's lives be at risk as they dig for the truth? As I sat down to watch this film, a trailer for another one came on the screen: The Fifth Estate. It deals with, it seems, the case of Julian Assange. What a harbinger for the doings in Closed Circuit! This is because the movie's theme is, even in an open democracy, our governments cannot disclose every secret thing. National Security, the top officials proclaim, must be protected, even to the point of covering up tragic mistakes or ill-conceived operatives. Naturally, the prevalence of hidden cameras everywhere will aid the government in its actions. If anyone gets in the way of this "protection", there will be sacrificial lambs. As the chosen "sheep", Bana and Hall are truly great, while Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds, Julia Stiles, and all of the supporting cast are equally fine. Especially spooky is Anne-Marie Duff as a senior government agent The London setting is glorious, as its beauty is self evident, and the use of shots from the closed circuits are mixed in well. Costumes and photography are stunning, too, while the script and marvelous tantilizers. With its weighty matters being able to be defended and condemned at the same time, tongues will wag after any showing. So, get it on the conversation and see it soon.
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did the British government have anything to do with the low rating?
bcheng932 March 2014
i just want to say that i only took a peek at the first few lines of the first review on the first page and that was it...and i have to say that i have to agree with the reviewer and as a matter of fact, that was the first thought that occurred to me. this movie is a lot like the movie " ghost writer ", so if you liked aforementioned movie...which i did, then you will probably, most likely enjoy this movie also. did the British government have anything to do with the low rating? this movie was so much more juicier then the " ghost writer "...i mean come on man this is first rate movie making with a bunch of "A" list actors and actresses who were up to the task. there is nothing that i dislike about this movie except for its running time, which is too short for a good thriller like this. this movie literally had me eyes glued to the screen it was so juicy. i like a movie with a lot of twists and tension thru-out the movie and the ending to me was kind of unexpected. Kudos to all involved for coming out with such an entertaining movie.
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A flawed movie that deals with an important theme.
PWNYCNY1 September 2013
Closed Circuit is a good, although unexceptional, suspense movie. The movie has a strong start but a weak finale, and somewhere in the middle looses stream and starts plodding along to its inevitable conclusion. The story itself tests the limits of plausibility and features principal characters who have little warmth and fail to generate much empathy. The question of government duplicity is treated in an unimaginative manner and fails to generate any sense of concern or outrage. Yet the movie does entertain by generating a certain level of tension, albeit watered down. The question of cover up sustains the story and adds an element of tension. Yet there are no heroes which makes the ending anticlimactic. That certain scenes are set at a football game is unoriginal. Further, the alleged victim of a miscarriage of justice is hardly worthy of empathy and the same goes for his family, especially the fourteen year old son who belongs in juvenile detention. The acting is cheesy, the cinematography unspectacular, the story twists and turns predictable and the movie theme muddled. Yet, this movie should be watched because it dramatizes what happens when the truth is suppressed and transparency is discarded in favor of secrecy.
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Just google dc madam... Warning: Spoilers
...and you shall see that her story and the movie have many similarities. After the dc madam announced on a national radio show that she planned to reveal bombshells regarding exactly which senior politicians and government officials that have patronized her Washington D.C. based brothel in an upcoming trial and repeatedly saying that she would not commit suicide, they hung her a few days later(ahem, i meant she hung herself). Just another typical case of the government taking out the garbage in order to maintain the status quo.

This is a most excellent thriller, and one that is very realistic in depicting the way things are nowadays. People are suicided(ahem, I mean commit suicide)in order to maintain the status quo for the powers behind the governments. It makes me angry because I'm a very righteous person, and I don't believe the powers that be should have the power to kill anyone that are against them who are for freedom and greater transparency. But now they got devices that can make you have a heart attack and can be operated remotely from long distance. So what can you do? How do you fight against that?

This thriller is full of intrigue and the sober realities of the current police/control states that we now live in. I don't know when, but I'm sure another modern day French Revolution is highly likely and what do you know? History repeats itself.

Look for a hair raising performance by Anne-Marie Duff as the "civil servant".
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Exciting thriller that makes us wonder...
manuela goren20 August 2013
With good performances and good chemistry from Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, "Closed Circuit" is an exciting legal thriller that makes you wonder whether there may be something about those conspiracy theories that we have all heard since 9/11. Beautifully crafted, the film will keep you on the edge of your seat and inform you about the British legal system. If, toward the end, it turns a bit into the realm of make believe, it is all done in a way where the protagonists never seem so far fetched in their actions that all of a sudden the film turns into Mission Impossible. Everyone knows that this IS possible and it's what makes the film good.
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Disappointing, but it will always have London.
jdesando28 August 2013
"From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not this but that the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few." John Updike

Thrillers involving international heavy weights like the super British spy agency, MI5, are durable, reeking of intrigue and inscrutability. Such is the case of Closed Circuit with its terrorism incident killing scores of civilians and a subsequent trial at Old Bailey, where Martin Rose (Eric Bana) has been appointed defense counsel for accused spy, Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto). Many questions are unanswered before the trial, not the least of the answers sealed in documentation not even the accused may see.

The plot has intelligent qualities; the execution not so. Martin's colleague, Claudia (Rebecca Hall), is a special advocate for the defense—only she may see the secret information. Unfortunately they had an affair, a fact that may compromise their case. One of the main players in the investigation is a young boy, a plot turn with possibilities but never fully exploited.

And so it goes, nothing really new after that. Some good guys turn out to be bad, MI5 is not transparent, and the accused is not who we thought he was. The closed circuit motif, introduced at the titles and interspersed throughout, is not as important as the title and occasional shots would suggest. Except for the shots of London around the Eye, nothing seems to be worth spending millions on the film for.

After the secrets have been revealed and the plot twist dutifully rendered, you may leave the theater feeling you missed something. You didn't. It's all a part of the requirements of the genre, perhaps a comforting feeling that you knew it all along. As for me, I missed what it could have been in my favorite city in the world.
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Closed Circuit Has The Thrills
LoveYourMovies24 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
One of last year's highly praised films was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Any intriguing film with very fine acting but had some of the most dry uninteresting moments of the year. With a good ending saving it, it's action and thrills were VERY subdued.

The producers of Soldier Spy have a new political thriller starring Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall and Julia Stiles. This time around there is no shortage of thrills and intense moments. The action isn't Terminator worthy but is without a doubt they have amped up the excitement.

Martin is a divorced lawyer who is called in to defend the suspect in the biggest terror attack in London and largest murder trial of the century. His co-lawyer is Claudia Simmons- Howe who just happens to be his ex lover and reason for his divorce. As I have zero understanding of British law and court system I am at the mercy of what the movie tells me. The two defending attorney's are not allowed to have contact during the pre trial research which proves to be most difficult as the case unfolds, and not for romantic purposes. Martin was brought in to be the defense because a friend of his who was the defense lawyer appears to have committed suicide. As Martin and Claudia dig deeper they realize that is not the case and their client is not who the prosecution is making him out to be. The defendant's son is the one who holds the key to his fathers innocence and Martin and Claudia are determined to make sure he can exonerate his father.

There is only a handful of problems I had with Closed Circuit and the main one being that the film is way too short. Coming in at just over 90 minutes, the extra time could have been used to develop the backstory a little deeper and explain some things that are taken for granted and left unspoken. Martin has a son himself and it would have been nice to see a little more developed with him.

That said, Closed Circuit is without a doubt a top notch ride of excitement. With questions and wonder around every corner you can't help but keep your eyes locked on the screen.

Well thought out story lines make for a great political thriller that does not try and make a political statement, it just showed what we all know and that is most governments have their corrupt side and will at times do whatever it takes to save face. The film does not come across as a film with a message by any means but the government is the engine at the center of a good story and high powered thrill.

This will not be any award contender by any means but thats not to take away from the entertainment value that the film exudes. It is one well worth your time, no matter how little the time is.
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Strange prophecy
robert-temple-115 October 2017
I have just seen this film for the first time, having missed it earlier. The film begins with a dramatic terrorist attack on Borough Market in London, involving a large van. As we all know, a dramatic terrorist attack on Borough market involving a large van subsequently took place. Copy cat? Inspired by an idea of? Coincidence? Psychic prophecy? We will never know. The film is very well directed, with excellent performances, and the pace never fails, as the tension is wound tighter and tighter. The terrorist attack really only sets the scene for the story which follows, which is entirely concerned with corruption within the British security services and what currently passes for 'the British justice system', a system which degenerates by the day. The story features a revoltingly corrupted Attorney General, which comes as no surprise, since I can think of a past one. John Broadbent is suitably menacing in that role, his eyes bulging with a terminally compromised personal morality. But the main target of the film is the establishment of the secret courts which have been instituted in Britain today, and which include not only the security courts such as the one shown in this film, but even the Court of Protection, in which invalids and children have their fates decided in secret, with their relatives being excluded from the process. My view is plain: there is no place for secrecy in the justice system, since as soon as the system ceases to be transparent, corruption and abuse are inevitable. This film is about such abuse. A young Turkish man with the unfortunate name of Erdogan (this film seems to have foreseen perhaps too much!) is accused of being the mastermind of the London terrorist attack. However, it transpires that he was all along an agent for the British security services, but he has been framed by them to cover up their mammoth cock-up which resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people. The terrifyingly icy security head is played by Anne-Marie Duff, who will just as soon kill you as look at you, and frequently does so. The horrifying 'secret justice' (or should I say secret injustice?) laid on by the officials is shown in minute detail, and everyone is under surveillance all the time. Welcome to modern Britain! Erdogan's previous defence attorney has 'committed suicide by jumping from a roof', but we later learn that he was murdered because he discovered too much. An American journalist is also murdered because she discovers too much. And that leaves the two remaining lawyers, played by Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall. They naively commence their duties, only to discover that the whole process is a sham, that Erdogan is a patsy, and people who interfere in the plan keep getting killed. Attempts are made to murder both of them. They keep trying to fight the corruption, but they are out-manouevred at every turn because of informers and intensive surveillance. Can those fearless fighters for justice get anywhere in their David and Goliath struggle? Or will the System crush them, and indeed succeed in killing one or both of them? But one thing is for sure, the British 'justice system' will continue to become increasingly corrupted, since once the rot sets it, it is terminal unless someone courageous and true steps forward to put a stop to it. But I see no signs of such a person at the moment. Waiting for someone to save the British justice system seems about as hopeless a cause as waiting for Elvis to return from the dead and sing 'Blue Suede Shoes' live at Wembley Stadium. John Crowley has done a superb job of directing this gripping thriller, and all his cast have done just as well as he, to produce a cautionary film for our time, which deserves as wide an audience as possible.
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C'mon, Lay Off, It's Only 96 Minutes
cultfilmfreaksdotcom31 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Cable movies have gotten better throughout the years, but that can be a problem. Especially when a theatrical film plays out like one. Which isn't so bad in the case of CLOSED CIRCUIT, a decent thriller centering on two British defense attorneys for a Middle Eastern man accused of masterminding a terrorist act: the bombing of an outdoor mall is witnessed in the first five minutes from a collage of monitors, a device continued sporadically through the rest of the film.

Eric Bana's Martin Rose has a reason to be paranoid. Not only is the same taxicab driving him around town, but he's breaking rules by working with ex lover Claudia, played by Rebecca Hall, and their past heats up along with the case, inevitably resulting in both their lives being put in jeopardy.

The best scenes are in the build-up: Martin checks up on his client's background as outside elements move in. Meanwhile, the romance with Claudia is standard fare, adding little to this refreshingly short movie that plays the cliché card in every (somewhat predictable) twist and turn. But Eric Bana's intense truth-seeking determination makes CIRCUIT worthwhile.
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Sizzling drama for thinkers - This is not an action film
jasontheterrible13 October 2018
This is not an action film, thus the bad reviews, and box office, but it is one of the best spy thrillers I have seen. As a fan of the Bourne films and books, I know a good spy film, and this is one of them that should not be missed. Just forget about action and enjoy the story.

We know this kind of mistake happens all the time when countries engage in information gathering and counter-intelligence. People make bad decisions. But this is not a left or right wing propaganda movie, just a good pot-boiler that is very plausible. The acting is top notch and the direction is flawlessly done for maximum impact and edge-of-your-seat plot twists. There is also a good climax and ending. Yes, I wish they had used real film because I do not like the dull outdoor greys and blues of video production. I also had to overlook some story problems such as when the female attorney bests a trained agent attacking her. However, that aside I was totally engaged the entire way. Despite always having trouble understanding British accents, it all works.
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They may be watching, but you shouldn't
ferguson-67 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. I try to spend very little time re-hashing movies that deliver very little ... I prefer to move on to the next one with a clear head. This one frustrated me because it could have - even should have - been so much more.

Director John Crowley was responsible for the very entertaining Michael Caine film Is Anybody There? and writer Steven Knight penned three scripts that I very much enjoyed: Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, and Amazing Grace. The cast is very talented with Eric Bana, Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds, and ... well ... also Rebecca Hall and Julia Stiles. So why does it feel so empty?

The movie begins with a horrible act of terrorism - a suicide bomb in London that we view through a grid of 12 closed circuit screens. You would be incorrect if you think there is a payoff for frantically scanning all screens looking for clues. This device is nothing more than a reminder (over and over again) that we are constantly being monitored while in public.

The ensuing trial provides a peek at the British legal system, but the most interesting sub-plot ... the young son of the accused terrorist ... is minimized in favor of the generic romance between two legal defense attorneys (Bana and Hall). Additionally, Ciaran Hinds character is simply too easy to read and Ann-Marie Duff is totally miscast. My favorite moments were the all-too-rare exquisite verbal diatribes from the great Jim Broadbent.

Chalk this one up as a forgettable would-be/should-be political legal thriller that just doesn't thrill. It's of little comfort to know that I was probably being watched on the theatre security cameras as I longed for something worth watching on the screen.
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Let down of major proportions...
Pretty-Wycked-Designs31 December 2013
I had such high hopes for this movie as I am an avid Eric Bana fan. He is the only redeeming quality to this film. I thought I was going to watch a movie about espionage, and get some good insight into the British legal system, but I was woefully disappointed in this movie.

The beginning starts off with a bang, literally, and then we're thrust down the road after a bomb has gone off killing XX amount of people. The idea of this movie is great, but the reveals weren't that hard to guess, and neither was the plot wholly believable. It painted the British government in a pretty harsh light, and also made the legal system look like a farce.

I don't recommend this movie unless you want to lose some time of your life you're never going to get back, or unless you really love political thrillers and the main characters in the movie. The acting was solid, no complaints there, but the plot, direction, and reveals were sorely lacking in this film.
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For The Conspiracy Theorists
stephenabell10 March 2017
This movie tries to work on the audience's paranoia by showing them that the government, or a greater power, has control over everything and sees everything... you are nothing but a pawn in their game... should you try to challenge them then you are expendable.

It comes close to succeeding until you realise the amount of manpower surveillance on this scale would take. It's just not feasible. Though forget that and you have a pretty decent conspiracy theory movie about a bumbled MI5 operation and the lengths they will go to correct their error.

Eric Bana proves his acting talent once again by giving a good portrayal of a lawyer dropped into the mess. Scared and worried about the outcome, not just for himself but ex-girlfriend and colleague, Claudia Simmons-Howe, and the child of the suspected terrorist whose lives are at risk.

Though Eric Bana gives a good performance as Martin Rose, along with Jim Broadbent as the Attorney General, it's Rebecca Hall as Claudia that lets the story down. I'm not sure if it's her acting or the director's vision of this character. I like the idea of Claudia not fully understanding the situation she's gotten into and later having to rely on Rose for help and to keep her alive as he is the savviest of the pair. She comes across as too weak and I cannot believe she achieved the position she holds.

The story is a little convoluted at times with twists, hints, and allegations being brandished about. The concept of Trust No One is very evident in this film and you have trouble figuring out who to believe and who not to. This hinders the story somewhat because you know what the story is about right from the start it's just the journey to a satisfactory ending you're on and you better fasten that seatbelt... it sure is a bumpy ride.

This one is a must for the conspiracy theory nuts, of which I am one, though be warned it's not a smooth ride.
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Great performances, average story
DUKEJBM8 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
An excellent and interesting first act and lead through to what is ultimately an anti-climatic conclusion and resolution. It's not a terrible ending but it does feel inconsequential and mostly unsatisfying. One huge positive is the wonderful performances from Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall. They deliver a gripping and a believable portrayal of English barristers in a no win situation. The plot itself stumbles under a few logic flaws like why Bana is working alone with a team on such a big case or why they never even considered going to the press. Any press would run with a story that big if their protected sources were the two lead litigators and the suspect's son. Anyway, the film heads in an intense direction but then loses all it's teeth and lands in the "meh" category faster than the viewer would expect.
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Three Days of the Condor's bastard cousin.
mwburrows27 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Let me ask you this: What is the most logical and inconspicuous way to close the lid on a damaging legal court battle? Do you:

1. Find legal loopholes? 2. Hire rich barristers? 3. Kill off your high-profile rivals with convenient "accident" after accident until they are all conveniently dead?

Well, it appears that the best course of action is for all your enemies to wind up dead, regardless of how incredibly conspicuous that is and despite all blame being focused directly on you. The plot twists in Closed Circuit should be apparent to lobotomy patients let alone the regular audience. For further insult Closed Circuit underlines and italicises every single plot point to be sure you understand (including an exciting increase in musical tempo to let you know this is important!).

In fact, Closed Circuit does precisely the opposite of what a good spy flick should. It shows it's hand too early. If you're paying attention you can figure out the whole story by the thirty minute mark (if you haven't seen it yet, try and guess the major twist as you watch it. Whatever you're thinking you're probably right.) The foreshadowing is clumsy to the point of formula, and again, underlined and italicised so you know this is foreshadowing!

Other jarring production goofs also diminish the quality of the film. Apparently London has armed police on every corner, outside Chinese restaurants and inside courtrooms too. Has the director ever been to court? On a further note, he makes London look bland and drab with a boring grey palette and fails to distinguish it from any city in the world. There's so much beauty and cultural richness which is simply swept under the rug or ignored altogether. Instead of being a living background to the story the city just feels like "some place in Britain".

Then there's "Spy Sh*t 101" like wiretaps, bugs, plain-clothed agents and corrupting the incorruptible. Oh, and the "Room looks slightly askew so someone must have been here" cliché, completed with a dance of piano to let you know that the character has stumbled upon something important.

Oh well. I guess there's nothing good released this time of year anyway. Tune in for a pirated version if you have the spare time and nothing else to watch.
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Cure For Insomnia
utgard1423 March 2014
I envy all of the reviewers who took away something meaningful and intellectually satisfying from this tedious bore of a movie. I suppose there are some who are looking at this as a "message movie." For those viewers, I'm sure this film has merit. For those, like me, who want to be entertained by our movies then you're crap out of luck with this one. If the goal of this movie is to be suspenseful or thrilling, then it fails miserably. If the goal is to hammer home the fear of government, military, surveillance, etc. or put you to sleep trying, then good job. Too bad they couldn't do that with a more exciting story. They actually managed to make fear-mongering boring.
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I don't usually use the word "stupid" (at least, not this much)
philrich-785-3932857 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Well made, well directed, well acted, nice cinematography, a well crafted film but an absolutely stupid and weak story, with little actual or meaningful content. The story makes complete sense, partly because it's simplistic, but only if you're prepared to accept the stupidity of a story in which characters are unbelievable, the government is completely stupid (yes, governments are stupid, but not this stupid), trained assassins are useless most of the time, there is (or would be if the stupid government had its way) a string of dead bodies laying around that would point directly to the government as the culprit(I told you this was a stupid government,even more so than the average stupid government), characters exist in the movie (and then are killed) just to further the story line but have no other purpose (good movies have better ways to further plot development), and the 1/2 million cameras on the streets on London that they point out in the story are completely useful at actually locating anyone. Well, I'll stop here. You know what I think.
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