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September 12, 2013 3:44PM
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:11AM
Here is a summary of the Sun-Times review of “Closed Circuit” by Richard Roeper. It appeared in Wednesday’s paper.
Director John Crowley’s “Closed Circuit” is a well-made, topical thriller with a top-notch cast — but the script and the directorial/editing choices undercut nearly every pivotal scene, and every plot twist we can see coming two scenes in advance.
Eric Bana’s Martin Rose is an attorney brought in to defend the lone surviving member of a terrorist cell that set off a truck bomb in a crowded London market, murdering 120 people. Rose comes late to the case, after the original lawyer committed suicide. He will defend one Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto), a Turkish national who has been identified by the British authorities as the “mastermind” behind the market bombing.
Martin will defend Erdogan in the public trial. Rebecca Hall’s Claudia Simmons-Howe will be his Special Advocate in a separate, closed-door hearing in which classified evidence will be heard. By British law, Martin and Claudia are forbidden to have any contact with each other.
It doesn’t take long for Martin to figure out there’s more to this case than four rogue terrorists blowing up a market. Meanwhile, Claudia is fending off pressure from a British spy who cautions her not to dig too deep into the case.
Bana and Hall are two fine actors who never seem to mesh, even when circumstances throw them together.
After starting off with an explosion caught from multiple camera angles that takes our breath away because it all feels so terribly, tragically true to our times, “Closed Circuit” settles in and becomes a competently made, generic thriller you’ll stop thinking about as soon as you’re done dissecting the plot holes and questioning the actions of the characters.
The whole thing feels like an opportunity lost. Rating: ★★