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critics consensus

At times a tense and provocative thriller, Civic Duty struggles to move beyond its one-note premise. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Terry Allen (Peter Krause), an unemployed accountant, has time on his hands and chooses to spend it by snooping on his new Middle Eastern neighbor, Gabe Hassan (Khaled Abol Naga). Despite his wife's (Kari Matchett) protests, Terry becomes increasingly paranoid about Gabe's activities and is determined to prove he is a terrorist.

Cast & Crew

Peter Krause
Terry Allen
Kari Matchett
Marla Allen
Ian Tracey
Lt. Lloyd
Richard Schiff
Agent Hillary
Kal Naga
Gabe Hassan
Eli Rothman
Executive Producer
Dylan MacLeod
Cinematographer
Jeff Renfroe
Film Editor
Eli Krantzberg
Original Music
Rick Willoughby
Production Design
Tyler Jones
Art Direction
Dina Holmes
Set Decoration
Angelina Kekich
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Civic Duty

Critic Reviews for Civic Duty

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (25)

  • A flawed but worthwhile examination of paranoia and clashing cultures in the 21st century.

    May 21, 2007
  • All that flash serves to prop up what's in essence a one-act play, constructed around a political message that's telegraphed from the start.

    May 5, 2007 | Rating: C
  • The film's pace lags toward the end, but its grasp of manufactured fear's dreary pervasiveness never falters.

    May 5, 2007 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
  • It does build up considerable suspense and tension; Renfroe has learned well from Hitchcock.

    May 5, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • The vivid sense of time and place is the best thing about the initially promising, ultimately irritating psychological thriller Civic Duty.

    May 4, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • As thoughtful as it means to be -- its agenda is outlined by on-the-nose dialogue from its characters -- Civic Duty does little to go beyond this premise.

    May 4, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Civic Duty

  • Dec 29, 2013
    Pretty effective thriller, Civic Duty starring Peter Krause is a low budget picture that manages to be entertaining from start to finish despite its limitations. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. Released in the years following 9/11, the film emphasizes on the paranoia at the time when America were in a state of vulnerability. The film is engaging a truly riveting from start to finish. Of course the film could have been improved upon, but for what it is, it's a well crafted film that manages to be far better than what you might think. Krause is great in the lead role, and the film overall relies on a good idea, but at the same time, we've seen better films dealing with similar subjects. Despite its limitations, Civic Duty is one of those movies that are quite engaging considering its budget and simple premise. There are moments in the film where it gets very intense, and you are sucked into its plot. I'll admit that a few times it was silly, but overall, I enjoyed the film, and thought it was a well directed and thrilling film that despite a few weak parts is a picture worth seeing if you enjoy the genre. Krause is a good actor, and his work on Six Feet Under is proof of that, and like I previously said, he is good in the film, and manages to make the film better than it is. For a low budget thriller, Civic Duty is one of the better ones, but it never does reach its full potential, and it somehow leaves you wanting a bit more. Worth seeing if you have nothing else better to do.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2010
    This movie taps into the post 9/11 paranoia and Peter Krause is believable as the recently laid off accountant, Terry Allen who now is having trouble finding work. He becomes suspicious of his middle-eastern looking neighbor Khaled Abol Naga who has just moved in and seemingly fits the profile of a terrorist because of his friendship with other Arab looking guys who show up at his place with all kinds of mysterious packages and who has the strange habit of dumping his garbage at odd times at night. Khaled also has ominous looking chemical equipment in his kitchen along with ATM deposit envelopes for what appears to be a money laundering set up for terrorist activities. The ending keeps you guessing as it was never really clear whether or not Krause was paranoid or justified in suspecting his neighbor. My Take: I just think this movie will make more people paranoid. It's is not hard to believe that this kind of bigotry still exist despite our policy of innocent until proven guilty where one should not discriminate based on ethnic culture, religion or color of skin; even if it turns out in the end that you were right all along. It's enough to depress you but will definitely leave you wondering even when it is all over.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2009
    It was OK.Nothing special
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 18, 2009
    This movie hit the screen shortly after 9-11, it was done fast to capitalize on the post 9-11 movie rush. Its not a bad movie but its surly low budget. Our Main Crazy Star is Peter Krause who plays Terry Allen, a loser of a man, lost job, losing his wife, he sits at home watching the news about the 9-11 terrorist and this creates fear in his mind. Next thing you know Gabe Hassan played by Khaled Abol Naga moves into the apartment complex. This is an accurate portrayals of modern-day paranoia in the most of the world, but here in the United States we have once again let our guard down. Gabe is a Middle Eastern Man, and Terry falls into the negative thinking that Gabe is a terrorist. He does everything to the man to get something to point that Gabe is fixing to attack the US. The FBI is involved, Terry just flips out and in the end is put in to a mental Facility and then one day watching the news Terry sees on the news all that he was telling the FBI has unfolded. Its worth 3 stars
    Bruce B Super Reviewer

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