|Eric Bana, left, and Rebecca Hall, right, in CLOSED CIRCUIT|
©2013 Focus Features
2013, 99 minutes
Rated R for language and brief violence
Review by Joshua Handler
Closed Circuit is a new thriller directed by John Crowley (Boy A), written by Oscar-nominee Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, a fantastic movie), and starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall. It is one of those movies that justifies the existence of the word "meh". Closed Circuit has very little personality and originality. It could have been a riveting, edge-of-your-seat thriller, but instead turned out to be a slightly-above-average one that left absolutely no impression. Honestly I remember how I felt afterward, but I remember very little of what actually happened in the film. I didn't remember much shortly after it was over.
Rebecca Hall and Eric Bana turn in characteristically solid performances. They don't have to do anything out of the ordinary, yet still seem to try to do their best with the little material they have to work with. Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Jim Broadbent have supporting roles. They are also good, but were likely picking up a paycheck with this one. Those two are among the most talented actors working on "the other side of the pond", but like Bana and Hall are not asked to do anything special.
In terms of the story, Closed Circuit held my attention throughout, was never boring, and yet was somehow never riveting. There are some well-executed sequences, particularly a chase scene near the end, but they add up to little. The mystery at hand was interesting to a point, until I discovered that I'd heard it so many times before which made me not care anymore. The biggest problem with Closed Circuit is that it doesn't have a climax and thus, is not satisfying. The movie simply fizzles out and ends quietly and generically. I thought the filmmakers were onto something interesting as the tension increased near the end, but alas, they weren't.
Overall, you could do a lot worse than Closed Circuit. It is a well-acted thriller that relies more on story than action, but isn't much more than that. There are far better movies to see in theaters now.