Closed Circuit | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Closed Circuit

Timely subject matter doesn't make this political thriller any better


One mark of a good film is its ability to show you what's happening and not just tell you. Unfortunately, John Crowley's political thriller is not that movie. The of-the-moment plot involves the arrest of suspected terrorist Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto) after a truck explodes in a London market, and his subsequent trial. After his attorney commits suicide, a new defense lawyer — Martin Rose (Eric Bana) — is assigned. Meanwhile, another attorney, Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), tackles a related private trial about why certain classified government information should be provided for Erdogan's public trial.

As you can imagine, the government has a stake in how this trial plays out. Rose and Simmons-Howe, who had the affair that broke up Rose's marriage (or so we're told), figure out what's going on through the exciting and apparently dangerous world of data-mining and by — as my fifth-grade science teacher used to say — using their noodles. And of course what's really going on is spelled out to us by Bana after an unexciting epiphany. Closed Circuit is not a bad film as political thrillers go, but its main problem is that things just sort of happen following actions that we're simply not privy to. Admittedly, this is a movie about secrets, but it would have been helpful if the audience were let in on a few of them.

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