This reviewer was the only attendee to this evening's latest screening of "Closed Circuit." That doesn't bode well for it sticking around at the multiplex too long. And the odds are already stacked against it, what with its unnecessary R rating(plus, why did it open on Wednesday?). There is one use of the 'f' word, and while the violence is somewhat intense, there's very little blood, and several acts don't even occur onscreen. There's certainly more going on in a "Bourne" movie, but since that is action violence it doesn't count?
A quick exodus for "Closed Circuit" would be a shame, because it is a tightly-wrapped thriller. Its pacing is quite good, never letting the courtroom scenes outshine the more suspenseful moments. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall play two members of the legal defense team for a man that supposedly orchestrated a suicide bombing. Unfortunately, they also have a history: she was the mistress who played a role in the ending of his marriage. Keeping that secret is only one of their problems, though, when the investigation into the case draws them into a potential government cover-up.
The ending of "Closed Circuit" feels a little blasé, especially when it begs the viewer to ask some tough real-life questions. The voiceover during the final shot adds some satisfaction, but it doesn’t scratch the itch for closure entirely. Still, the film is an over-before-you-know-it political thriller, and the viewer is fully invested in the ride. Since the film didn’t open in too many theater locations(apparently Focus Features is still treated as a slightly more indie distribution house, even though they have been responsible for such big films as “Brokeback Mountain”, “Lost in Translation”, and “Paranorman”), it needs strong word-of-mouth to hang around. Fortunately, “Closed Circuit” is worthy of such praise. Heck, bring the whole family if the kids are teenagers. The film is a thought-provoking one, and could inspire some great discussions on the ride home. And that’s quite refreshing, given some of the disposable entertainment that plows through the cineplex these days.