(UK - 2013)
Directed by John Crowley. Written by Steve Knight. Cast: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarin Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Julia Stiles, Anne-Marie Duff, Kenneth Cranham, Riz Ahmed, Denis Moschitto, Hasancan Cifci, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jemma Powell. (R, 95 mins)
A last-ditch effort to grab adult moviegoers before summer's end, the British CLOSED CIRCUIT is an entertaining, if very routine conspiracy thriller/courtroom drama that never really exerts itself but it's a nice break from endless CGI, explosions, and superheroes and, at a lean 95 minutes, doesn't overstay its welcome. Maybe the dilemma is that we've seen so many of these kinds of thrillers that it's tough to do anything new with them. It's hard to be surprised when a film that opens with a terrorist attack in the middle of London ends up involving a government cover-up. Of course it does. They all do.
REDEMPTION. Knight has usually focused on the downtrodden being used and abused by the seedy underbelly of London, but here he's just content with a standard-issue conspiracy outing. Knight and director John Crowley act like this is the first film where the heroes are shocked that a shady wing of a trusted government is throwing people under the bus to cover its own ass. I generally enjoyed CLOSED CIRCUIT--it does offer a more in-depth look at the British legal system than I was expecting and if you're a fan of any of the main members of the excellent cast and have a couple of hours to kill in the afternoon, it's worth a discount matinee--but it's the kind of movie that you won't even remember by the time you get home from the theater. It's surprisingly lacking in substance compared to Knight's previous scripts. CLOSED CIRCUIT just feels like an assignment for him. Ultimately, it's a decent time-killer, though I'm really surprised Focus rolled it out nationwide. Does anyone really think this is going to be a big hit at multiplexes?