Movie Review: 'Closed Circuit' -- 3 stars
Directed by John Crowley
Starring Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall
There are an estimated 500,000 surveillance cameras stationed throughout London, the city that is widely considered to have been at the fore of the drive toward closed-circuit security that's taken hold in New York and elsewhere.
So it was just a matter of time before we got a UK thriller centered on the subject and the age-old struggle of liberty versus security that this Big Brother presence has come to represent.
"Closed Circuit" is pretty solid in an old-fashioned sense, a movie committed to refined, quality storytelling without a whole lot of extra heft.
The film centers on the lawyers (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) of a terrorism suspect whom the government has decided will be tried in both open and closed-court hearings, in a bid to chip away at his rights.
It's a character-driven enterprise, focused on the protagonists' increasing sense of unease as they unpack the massive governmental conspiracy centered on their client.
But there's no convoluted moralizing here. Aside from extended sequences in which the action is viewed through a bank of surveillance screens, the movie offers little that's contemporary from a stylistic standpoint.
Employing a familiar narrative pitting the secretive governmental apparatus against its citizenry, director John Crowley roots the movie in classical paranoia-clad scenes set in imposing courtrooms and modern high-rises, crowded soccer stadiums and abandoned dark alleys, populated by sinister bureaucratic figures and general distrust.
The setting might be the present, but more than anything the movie harkens back to '70s classics such as "The Conversation" and "The Parallax View." And that's a fine place to be.