Film review: Closed Circuit (15)

John Crowley, 90mins. Starring: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall

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The Independent Culture

There is a flavour of Erskine Childers and John Buchan about John Crowley's London-set thriller. Terrorists have blown up Borough Market. One member of their suspected cell has survived. The lawyers defending him suspect skulduggery on behalf of the British government.

The film was made by Working Title with a strong cast and a screenplay by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises) and yet, for all this artillery, it plays like a British B-movie of the 1930s or an episode of Spooks.

There are pleasures to be had – Jim Broadbent's jolly but sinister Attorney General sparring with John Humphrys on The Today Programme, Anne-Marie Duff's gimlet-eyed spy chief, the use of London locations.

Eric Bana is plausible as the Richard Hannay-like barrister hero. Rebecca Hall enjoys herself as a committed lawyer.

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.