‘Closed Circuit’ is one of those cases where the trailer is far better than the actual movie itself. Whatever might have looked good in the script from writer Steven Knight (‘Eastern Promises’), the execution from director John Crowley has made this courtroom thriller a sub-par addition to the genre, and ultimately forgettable.
The first scene of the film is quite climactic. We see dozens of images through security cameras mounted to poles in a high traffic area of London, where many people are shopping, eating and going about their daily routines. Suddenly, a white truck pulls in front of a store and explodes. We fast forward a few months later and learn that this bombing killed almost 200 people. Almost immediately after the bomb detonated, the police had a suspect in handcuffs by the name of Darroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto).
Erdogan is a Muslim with a criminal history. As he gets ready to stand trial for this terrorist act, the people of London and of the world all pretty much believe that he’s guilty. However, the government assigns two lawyers to defend him: Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall). Claudia is told that she’ll be given highly secretive documents that have evidence revealing Erdogan’s true nature. If you’ve seen the trailer, you already know that Edrogan might have been an undercover MI5 agent trying to stop this terrorist attack.
As the two lawyers dig deeper into the case, they realize that the terrorist attack was ordered by top people in the British government, which isn’t exactly an original idea in thrillers like this. The more Claudia and Martin discover, the more their lives are put in danger, since the government is now trying to kill these two attorneys to prevent them from revealing the truth.
Like I said, this sounds good on paper, but in practice, it’s not very suspenseful and is chock full of legal jargon and dull dialogue. There is not one single gun in the movie, and even a seemingly intense chase scene fizzles quickly. Bana and Hall do a decent job with what they have to work with. Jim Broadbent and Julia Stiles also turn in solid performances, even if their roles are small.
I’d wait for ‘Closed Circuit’ to hit Netflix before viewing.