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Closed Circuit (2013)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 129
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 75

Slick and well acted, Closed Circuit unfortunately never quite works up a full head of steam, with a plot that's alternately predictable and full of holes.


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 17

Slick and well acted, Closed Circuit unfortunately never quite works up a full head of steam, with a plot that's alternately predictable and full of holes.



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Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 10,595

My Rating

Movie Info

In the international suspense thriller "Closed Circuit," a high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team - testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy. One morning, a busy London market is decimated by an explosion. In the manhunt that follows, only one member of the suspected terrorist cell survives: Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto), who is arrested and jailed. Preparations begin for what promises to be the trial of the


Mystery & Suspense

Steven Knight

Jan 7, 2014


Focus Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (129) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (75)

Ropey performances, join-the-dots plotting and nail-shreddingly awful dialogue.

October 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are enough genuine moments of surprise to make this genre exercise an invigorating one.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sharp ensemble work ups this thriller's intelligence quotient.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The lawyers are supposed to be former lovers, but the film doesn't allow the leads to display any chemistry; likewise, it doesn't generate any suspense from its tried-and-true conspiracy premise.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is low-key but each scene is packed with information. Full understanding demands full attention.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's storytelling informed by sloppy, absolutist thinking, and it lends one more uncritical voice to the many who seem unable to distinguish between kinds and degrees of evil ...

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film's attempts to expose flaws in the criminal justice system or give insights into the war against terror seem superficial, but Closed Circuit is entertaining in a sub-Hitchcock way.

February 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent

I think this moves at a rapid pace. I think it has got really good performances.

February 18, 2014 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

This is a genre I usually enjoy and while CLOSED CIRCUIT has some shortcomings it's a thought-provoking thriller.

February 18, 2014 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Layered with strongly crafted characters, and snaking thriller plot, the results are compelling, thought provoking, and highly entertaining.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

A story that hinges on a point of legalese is every bit as dreary as it sounds.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Record [UK]
Daily Record [UK]

The real star of the film is the camera, forever peering at the actors from across streets, around corners, behind windows, and through gates.

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

Even allowing that the shortcomings of tactfulness are partly what it's about, the film's own tactfulness feels vaguely unsatisfying.

February 4, 2014 Full Review Source: SF Weekly
SF Weekly

With superficial characters, this look at the British justice system is a dour disappointment.

December 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

A twisty, attention-demanding legal thriller, it works for about half its length before the plotting and plausibility suddenly, inexplicably turn to water.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

If this is indeed the time to ask hard questions of ourselves and our government, Closed Circuit shouldn't be the film we turn to for inspiration.

December 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

The trailers have sold this film as a slick thriller, but unfortunately Closed Circuit is more chamomile tea than Red Bull.

November 27, 2013 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat

An entertaining reminder that legal affairs are rarely black and white.

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Closed Circuit may tackle some heavyweight issues but it ends up feeling lightweight.

October 29, 2013 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Some moody night-time London location work from cinematographer Rob Hardy almost saves the day, but overall it's a losing battle.

October 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Closed Circuit is too full of play-acting to resonate with our jittery moment as more than a skit, perhaps because half its cameras feel as though they're pointed in the wrong direction.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

The gunmetal cinematography and sleek backgrounds plunge us so quickly into Conspiracy Central that we immediately assume the worst of every police officer, judge and cabinet minister.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

This London-set political thriller is a damp squib.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Enjoyment of this film rather depends on believing that our security services might not only be corrupt but so inept that a young female barrister could overpower an agent with a licence to kill, and a 14-year-boy could easily escape from a safe house.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Closed Circuit zips along nicely and has a decent stab at being a serious contemporary thriller, but feels too contained for its far-reaching ideas.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are as engaging as ever, and the film raises intriguing issues concerning the 'War on Terror'; pity the plot descends into the ridiculous.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Audience Reviews for Closed Circuit

They see your every move.

Good Film! Closed Circuit is a good, although unexceptional, suspense movie. The movie has a strong start but a weak finale, and somewhere in the middle looses stream and starts plodding along to its inevitable conclusion. The story itself tests the limits of plausibility and features principal characters who have little warmth and fail to generate much empathy. The question of government duplicity is treated in an unimaginative manner and fails to generate any sense of concern or outrage. Yet the movie does entertain by generating a certain level of tension, albeit watered down. The question of cover up sustains the story and adds an element of tension. Yet there are no heroes which makes the ending anticlimactic. That certain scenes are set at a football game is unoriginal. Further, the alleged victim of a miscarriage of justice is hardly worthy of empathy and the same goes for his family, especially the fourteen year old son who belongs in juvenile detention. The acting is cheesy, the cinematography unspectacular, the story twists and turns predictable and the movie theme muddled. Yet, this movie should be watched because it dramatizes what happens when the truth is suppressed and transparency is discarded in favor of secrecy.

A high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team - testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy.
January 17, 2014
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Though the cast alone seems to promise much, little is actually delivered here. Government conspiracy seems to be the villain but hardly ever shows its face - everyone is constantly looking around as if they are being watched or listened to but nobody but nobody is ever there and the characters we are supposed to care about are given zip insofar as reason to care goes. The result is a dull film (excepting for the person of Jim Broadbent - who alone rises above this snorefest). Didn't get any sleep recently? This is just the cure. Nighty-night.
September 2, 2013

Super Reviewer

Joanna: Defense lawyers who ask the wrong sorts of questions...they're expendable.

I have to wonder sometimes how much time and consideration is put into the little details, before sending off the finished product and then being tackled by criticisms. Closed Circuit has plenty going for it at first glance. The film features a top notch cast, who are all putting forth reasonably good work as the characters they play. The premise is that of an interesting legal drama, set within the British justice system, which is not something American audiences see that much of in a wide release film. The problem revolves around the little details. The plot is entirely predictable, once the pieces are set in place, and little holes begin to emerge as the film carries on. Being a taut legal thriller and having good intentions is great, but adding up to something solid takes more than just having the big sections covered.

read the whole review at
August 28, 2013

Super Reviewer

Closed Circuit is boring, predictable and just all around mediocre. Save yourself the money and the 96 minutes.
October 9, 2013
George Farmer

Super Reviewer

    1. Joanna Reece: Stay off the roof tops, Martin.
    – Submitted by Frances H (3 months ago)
    1. Joanna Reece: Stay off the roof tops, Martin.
    – Submitted by Frances H (3 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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