Closed Circuit


Closed Circuit (2013)


Critic Consensus: 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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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 century. But there's a hitch: the government will use classified evidence to prosecute Erdogan, evidence so secret that neither he nor his lawyers can be allowed to see it. Hence the need for the Attorney General (Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent) to appoint a Special Advocate, an additional government-approved defense lawyer (Claudia Simmons-Howe, played by Golden Globe Award nominee Rebecca Hall), one who has clearance to see classified evidence and who can argue for its full disclosure when the trial moves to "closed" session. The rules for the Special Advocate are clear: once the secret evidence is shared with her, Claudia will not be allowed to communicate even with the defendant or with other members of the defense team. But just as the case is on the eve of going to trial, Erdogan's lawyer dies suddenly, and a new defense attorney, Martin Rose (Eric Bana), quickly steps in. Martin is tenacious, driven, and brilliant - and an ex-lover of Claudia's. The two lawyers make an uncomfortable pact to keep their former affair hidden. But as Martin begins to piece the case together, the outlines of a sinister conspiracy emerge, one that will draw him and Claudia dangerously close again. (c) Focus Features

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Eric Bana
as Martin Rose
Rebecca Hall
as Claudia Simmons-Howe
Riz Ahmed
as Nazrul Sharma
Kenneth Cranham
as Cameron Fischer
Julia Stiles
as Joanna Reece
Jim Broadbent
as Attorney General
Denis Moschitto
as Farroukh Erdogan
Kate Lock
as Mother
Katherine Press
as Pregnant Daughter
Patrick Warner
as Young Man on Cellphone
Ryon Nixon
as Fish Trader
Daniel Tuite
as Drinks Trader
Zora Bishop
as Mother of Toddler
Vicky Jam
as Teenage Girl
Zahra Ahmadi
as Woman on Cellphone
Steve North
as Angry Trader
Pinar Ogun
as Ilkay Erdogan
Hasancan Cifci
as Emir Erdogan
Andrew Havill
as News Reporter 1
James Lowe
as Simon Fellowes
Jemma Powell
as Elizabeth
Luing Andrews
as Belmarsh Guard
Dexter Galang
as Chinese Waiter
Matthew Cullum
as Safe House Security Man
Sam Woodward
as MI5 Agent
Ben Loyd-Holmes
as MI5 Jogger
Robert McCafferty
as Football Steward
Angus Wright
as Andrew Altman
Adjoa Andoh
as News Reporter 2
Adam Tedder
as Court Clerk
Munir Khairdin
as Indian Restaurant Manager
Huseyin Poyraz
as Older Turkish Restaurant Man
Hemi Yeroham
as Turkish Restaurant Man
Baris Celiloglu
as Mine Kemmal
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News & Interviews for Closed Circuit

Critic Reviews for Closed Circuit

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (33)

It plays as cut-price Le Carré; a recording of a recording of superior films. The picture is fuzzy, and the plot becomes garbled.

Oct 24, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Oct 22, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

A dreary and derivative thriller that is nowhere near as smart or controversial as it clearly believes itself to be.

Sep 2, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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

Aug 30, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Sharp ensemble work ups this thriller's intelligence quotient.

Aug 30, 2013 | Rating: 3/4

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.

Aug 29, 2013 | Full Review…

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.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Closed Circuit is boring, predictable and just all around mediocre. Save yourself the money and the 96 minutes.

George Farmer
George Farmer

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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

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

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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