“Closed Circuit” is a clunky snippet of something that barely skims a story. It’s like watching a Cliffs Notes version of what had promise to be an intriguing film about two defenders investigating a possible conspiracy/cover-up/more than meets the eye agenda. Instead, we get Eric Bana who plays Martin Rose, a defense attorney in a high-profile terrorism case. He stars opposite Rebecca Hall who is Claudia Simmons-Howe, a special advocate for the defense as well who is working on the same case, but under oath is not supposed to work with Martin. They, of course, are former lovers. While that is not the entire movie, that’s pretty much the bulk of what is given to us with a few sprinkled in details and faces thrown in.
First, the movie’s title isn’t very indicative of the movie itself and is quite uninspiring. Even something as simple as “Surveillance” would have been more appropriate and to the point. Second, I think the acting of Bana and Hall is just fine, just not together. They have zero chemistry both personally and professionally on screen. And, third, I would find it far more interesting and not so cliche if the two of them could’ve been brother and sister, former co-workers, heck, even neighbors.
The movie is painfully slow and the unraveling of the film makes it a bit hard to keep track of the whos, whats, whys and hows. Everything is glossed over without story line or character development at all, which makes an actual climax to the movie missing altogether. Julia Stiles short stint as a New York Times reporter is barely a blip in the movie and her lines could’ve easily been left for Martin in a voicemail and would have had the same impact.
Sadly, the movie was underwhelming with only a general outline for the audience to muddle through. Pair that with dispassionate characters and an abrupt and lackluster ending and it's fair to say the movie was unsuccessful.
Final words: The film is labeled as a thriller, but it felt more like a thud.