(l to r) Eric Bana stars as Martin Rose and Rebecca Hall stars as Claudia Simmons-Howe in John Crowley's CLOSED CIRCUIT, a Focus Features release.

DIRECTOR: John Crowley
CAST: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciaran Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Denis Moschitto, Riz Ahmed, Julia Stiles


How any supposed suspense thriller with such an intriguing premise could be this cliché-ridden and still have plot holes is rather sad.

But, that is exactly what this crime drama mystery thriller is – it starts off with a bang and then meanders off into a dark and dingy London side street, never to be heard from again.

Director John Crowley was responsible for Boy A, which drew a career-making performance from Andrew Garford, in a carefully crafted drama that sparked some lively debate.

His follow-up Is There Anybody Out There? got a great performance out of Michael Caine but spluttered a bit on the story delivery.

This one fails to deliver on story altogether because on the one hand you can guess what’s going to happen, but on the other hand subplots just peter out so you do start guessing what was actually supposed to happen.

The film centres on two lawyers meant to represent the defence of the only terrorist left standing after a bomb goes off in a crowded London market.

Eric Bana (pictured) is Martin Rose, a laywer brought in at the last moment to defend Farroukh Erdogan (Moschitto) after the death of the original defence lawyer.

Rose does not disclose that he has had a previous relationship with the special advocate Claudia Simmons-Howe (Hall) appointed the by Attorney-General (Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent) to look at the classified evidence which will be used to prosecute Erdogan.

Her job is to argue for the full disclosure of the classified information when the trial moves into a “closed” session, but she and Rose are not meant to even interact. Which, of course, they do. Though why, we are never sure, because there is absolutely no chemistry between Bana and Hall.

Cue dodgy MI6 agents and shady behaviour on the part of the higher-ups, nothing new there.

The inner workings of the Old Bailey don’t get much of an outing – that at least could have been interesting. But, alas. Wigs on, wigs off, let’s all run away now into the darkened night.

The closed circuit reference of the title would suggest that the multitude of cameras festooned across London would be of mighty importance, but think again, because these cameras appear to be pointed at the wrong street.

The dialogue is hokey and this war on terror didn’t even get started. And why, pray tell, does Julia Stiles pop up at the party?

If you liked The Kingdom or The Last Castle, you will like this.