Sunday, September 15, 2013

Closed Circuit review

One thing movies have taught me is that no one can be trusted. Hooray for cynicism!
Closed Circuit is a new thriller from director John Crowley. It's about a high-profile bombing case involving MI5, lots of surveillance, and some pretty crazy secrets. Martin Rose (Eric Bana) and his ex-lover, Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), are teamed up to defend the alleged bomber and find out the truth about the case. Meanwhile, certain people don't want Martin and Claudia to expose certain secrets, and they'll stop them at all costs. This film left me with some questions like, "Man, is England usually this dangerous?" and "Whatever happened to Eric Bana after Star Trek?". I don't have good answers to those questions, but I do have an answer for one; "Was this a good movie?". Not as straightforward of an answer as I'd prefer. Closed Circuit is from the producers of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. A film I found frustratingly slow and confusing. I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't that good. Closed Circuit is at least a much more thrilling thriller. It wasn't boring and did a decent job holding my attention, so it's nowhere near bad. First, let's talk about the film's negatives, then we'll get into the good things. Closed Circuit is occasionally predictable and unrealistic. Yet, in a movie world dominated by brainless and stupid thrillers like Dead Man Down, Closed Circuit is really good in comparison. I liked this movie. It was exciting and a nice movie to watch just for fun on a Saturday night. Except it didn't do anything new for the international suspense thriller genre. It went into similar territory as other movies like it have gone. Except it did them one better. First of all the acting here is pretty good, though nothing Oscar worthy. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall played the main characters quite nicely with a decent amount of chemistry. I last saw Rebecca Hall in Iron Man 3, and I think she may have done better here. Although the fact that she has a large role helped. Jim Broadbent has a medium-sized role here as the Attorney General, but I did find his performance slightly similar to his role in Hot Fuzz. The rest of the supporting cast all do good jobs. Especially Riz Ahmed, who plays the supposed terrorist. I haven't seen any other of director John Crowley's films, but i have to say he isn't half bad. His directing style reminded me a lot of Steven Soderbergh's in Side Effects and Contagion. Again, he didn't do anything new; but what he did, he did well. I'd like to see Crowley do another thriller in the future, but maybe do things differently. Closed Circuit came out August 30, so technically it's a "summer movie". If you put it int hat caliber of movie, it's really pretty smart. It's well-acted and directed,but sometimes falls into predictable and familiar territory. Overall, it's an entertaining and alright flick. I give Closed Circuit 3.4 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!


  1. Good review Whit. While it definitely had its fair share of moments that got me all tense and ready for what was going to happen, I have to say, the movie really let me down when it just sort of went nowhere with itself. Even that ending was a bit of a buzz-kill, as if nothing we saw prior really mattered.

    1. For sure. Exciting summer fare, although it could use work. Thanks Dan!