Closed Circuit Closed Circuit begins with surveillance-camera footage of civilians strolling through London's Borough Market. Then a terrorist bomb explodes, filling the footage with smoke and rubble.… Closed Circuit Closed Circuit begins with surveillance-camera footage of civilians strolling through London's Borough Market. Then a terrorist bomb explodes, filling the footage with smoke and rubble.… 2013-08-28 R PT96M Drama Mystery and Thriller Eric Bana Jim Broadbent Rebecca Hall Focus Features
Movie Review

Closed Circuit (2013)

MPAA Rating: R
KEEPING A 'CLOSE' EYE Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall take on government surveillance in Closed Circuit
Image credit: Jay Maidment
KEEPING A 'CLOSE' EYE Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall take on government surveillance in Closed Circuit
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Aug 28, 2013; Rated: R; Length: 96 Minutes; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Eric Bana, Jim Broadbent and Rebecca Hall; Distributor: Focus Features

Closed Circuit begins with surveillance-camera footage of civilians strolling through London's Borough Market. Then a terrorist bomb explodes, filling the footage with smoke and rubble. This shocking opening made me hope that the film would get into the hot-button issue of government-sanctioned surveillance. As it turns out, the eye of the state is watching you! motif is just window dressing, but that doesn't mean the movie isn't topical. It has a chillingly matter-of-fact cynicism that is very au courant.

A suspect (Denis Moschitto) is arrested for the bombing, and as the case gets ready to go to trial, two lawyers are assigned to defend him: Eric Bana as a rather prickly character who is going through a nasty divorce, and Rebecca Hall (the sensational British actress from The Town) as a special advocate who's the only one allowed to see the classified evidence. These two had a bruised affair and are still smarting from it, but in their uneasy teamwork, they learn that MI5, the British secret service, is guarding an important secret about the suspect. Closed Circuit has a fairly standard conspiracy plot that is just nimble enough to hook us; it walks the line between sinister and plausible. We're rooting for Bana and Hall to reveal the truth that MI5 is hiding, but if the movie targets the arrogance of Western governments in the post-9/11 world, it also does something unusual for a political thriller: It understands that arrogance. B

Originally posted Aug 28, 2013 Published in issue #1275 Sep 06, 2013 Order article reprints