4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Zoom, pan, kaboom! Closed Circuit!

Defense under duress

“There’s a quarter in your ear…no, wait, that’s a government tracking device.”
“There’s a quarter in your ear…no, wait, that’s a government tracking device.”

What’s this? An intelligent, paranoid suspense thriller with no bullets fired, zero special effects, two sizzling romantic leads who don’t kiss (let alone hit the sheets), and the good sense to pack a tripod?!

Summer’s over. Adults are once again free to move about the multiplex.

Directed by John Crowley (Intermission, Boy A), Closed Circuit opens on a bank of a dozen or so police monitors keeping watch on a crowded London market. Before given a chance to ponder whether or not Crowley’s surveillance cameras — which are capable of simultaneously zooming and panning to follow the movements of 12 individuals — take some artistic license, a terrorist bomb reduces the scene to rubble.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Movie

Closed Circuit ****

thumbnail

An intelligent, paranoid suspense thriller with zero bullets fired, zero special effects, two sizzling romantic leads who don’t kiss, and the good sense to pack a tripod! Summer’s over. Adults are once again free to move about the multiplex. After a London bombing, a Turkish suspect (Denis Moschitto), the only surviving member of a reported terrorist cell, is taken into custody. The government's evidence is so hush-hush that neither the bomber nor his lawyer can see it. Enter Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), a Special Advocate who is allowed access to the classified documents. One snag: there’s to be no contact between Claudia and the defendant or his counsel. This wouldn't be so difficult if Claudia and defense barrister Martin Rose (Eric Bana) weren't former lovers. The suspense builds to heights that rival the towering stacks of evidentiary documents. An unnecessary third act reveal is the film’s only concession to Hollywood formula.

Find showtimes

A Turkish suspect (Denis Moschitto), the only surviving member of the reported terrorist cell, is taken into custody. The evidence that the government plans to use against him is so hush-hush that neither the bomber nor his lawyer can see it. Enter Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), a Special Advocate appointed by the Attorney General (Jim Broadbent) who is allowed access to the classified documents. One snag: there’s to be no contact between Claudia and the defendant or his council.

This might not have been so difficult had Claudia and defense barrister Martin Rose (Eric Bana) been casual colleagues instead of former lovers. In order to make it legal, the two must hide their doused past from the judge.

She dines on Chinese takeout in a perfectly appointed glass-and-chrome high rise while he passes out on a battered leather sofa in his dank flat. For a contemporary suspense picture that runs a little over 90 minutes, it’s amazing that Crowley and screenwriter Steven Knight actually reserve a chunk of screen time to offer a glimpse into the lives of the professionally and romantically bound couple when they’re alone and outside of chambers.

The suspense builds to heights that rival the towering stacks of evidentiary documents, which are all neatly bound by pretty pink ribbons. Two parallel interrogations seamlessly cut together to form one. It’s one of the damnedest things I’ve seen in a theater this year. Let’s hope that the Academy remembers editor Lucia Zucchetti come Oscar time. Better yet, snub him and really prove his worth.

Two things keep me from tacking on another star. An unnecessary third act reveal is the film’s only concession to Hollywood formula. And for a tightly constructed throwback that thankfully places story and character ahead of CG explosions, the filmmakers didn’t know when to put an amen on it.

Some of you have written to complain about my habit of opening a review with an obscure reference to ancient cinema. To you, I close with Adam’s Rib.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

What the Brenda Spencer shooting tells us about Uvalde

Witnesses from that Cleveland School day hesitant about her parole
Next Article

A poem for Thanksgiving by Lydia Maria Child

The New-England Boys’ Song About Thanksgiving Day
“There’s a quarter in your ear…no, wait, that’s a government tracking device.”
“There’s a quarter in your ear…no, wait, that’s a government tracking device.”

What’s this? An intelligent, paranoid suspense thriller with no bullets fired, zero special effects, two sizzling romantic leads who don’t kiss (let alone hit the sheets), and the good sense to pack a tripod?!

Summer’s over. Adults are once again free to move about the multiplex.

Directed by John Crowley (Intermission, Boy A), Closed Circuit opens on a bank of a dozen or so police monitors keeping watch on a crowded London market. Before given a chance to ponder whether or not Crowley’s surveillance cameras — which are capable of simultaneously zooming and panning to follow the movements of 12 individuals — take some artistic license, a terrorist bomb reduces the scene to rubble.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Movie

Closed Circuit ****

thumbnail

An intelligent, paranoid suspense thriller with zero bullets fired, zero special effects, two sizzling romantic leads who don’t kiss, and the good sense to pack a tripod! Summer’s over. Adults are once again free to move about the multiplex. After a London bombing, a Turkish suspect (Denis Moschitto), the only surviving member of a reported terrorist cell, is taken into custody. The government's evidence is so hush-hush that neither the bomber nor his lawyer can see it. Enter Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), a Special Advocate who is allowed access to the classified documents. One snag: there’s to be no contact between Claudia and the defendant or his counsel. This wouldn't be so difficult if Claudia and defense barrister Martin Rose (Eric Bana) weren't former lovers. The suspense builds to heights that rival the towering stacks of evidentiary documents. An unnecessary third act reveal is the film’s only concession to Hollywood formula.

Find showtimes

A Turkish suspect (Denis Moschitto), the only surviving member of the reported terrorist cell, is taken into custody. The evidence that the government plans to use against him is so hush-hush that neither the bomber nor his lawyer can see it. Enter Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), a Special Advocate appointed by the Attorney General (Jim Broadbent) who is allowed access to the classified documents. One snag: there’s to be no contact between Claudia and the defendant or his council.

This might not have been so difficult had Claudia and defense barrister Martin Rose (Eric Bana) been casual colleagues instead of former lovers. In order to make it legal, the two must hide their doused past from the judge.

She dines on Chinese takeout in a perfectly appointed glass-and-chrome high rise while he passes out on a battered leather sofa in his dank flat. For a contemporary suspense picture that runs a little over 90 minutes, it’s amazing that Crowley and screenwriter Steven Knight actually reserve a chunk of screen time to offer a glimpse into the lives of the professionally and romantically bound couple when they’re alone and outside of chambers.

The suspense builds to heights that rival the towering stacks of evidentiary documents, which are all neatly bound by pretty pink ribbons. Two parallel interrogations seamlessly cut together to form one. It’s one of the damnedest things I’ve seen in a theater this year. Let’s hope that the Academy remembers editor Lucia Zucchetti come Oscar time. Better yet, snub him and really prove his worth.

Two things keep me from tacking on another star. An unnecessary third act reveal is the film’s only concession to Hollywood formula. And for a tightly constructed throwback that thankfully places story and character ahead of CG explosions, the filmmakers didn’t know when to put an amen on it.

Some of you have written to complain about my habit of opening a review with an obscure reference to ancient cinema. To you, I close with Adam’s Rib.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Chest Fever tribute, Holy Ghost improv, Crucial Blend nom, SeeYouSpaceCowboy split, Spray Allen plays

Ghosting a multi-movement structured improvisation
Next Article

Gonzo Report: Black Flag keeps waving nearly 50 years later

Mohawks, skinheads, longhairs, Doc Martens, and punk band T-shirts... But people were polite.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close