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Closed Circuit Review Critics


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The war on (good movies about) terror. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    This is a well-made, topical thriller with a top-notch cast — but the script and the directorial/editing choices undercut nearly every pivotal scene, and every plot twist we can see coming two scenes in advance.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    A couple of scenes toward the end do generate the suspense that the whole movie needed. But the impact is too muted, and an air of tired familiarity ultimately curdles the entire enterprise.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    [A] slick, smarter-than-usual conspiracy yarn.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Not only an intelligent, well-told and deftly acted story, it provides refreshing counter-programming in a season filled with noisy, uninspired sequels and mindless action movies.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

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

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The satisfactions of the film are in seeing what a screen full of excellent players can do to steer you around the holes. Bana never quite seems enough to anchor a picture for me; all the same, he acquits himself sharply here.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Disappointing English thriller has some violence, drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Closed Circuit is an English crime thriller that focuses for a while on talking and discovering information and then has a big chase-and-escape sequence at the climax. There's some fighting and a little blood when a woman is attacked and fights back. There's also a lethal explosion that kills 120 people and a car crash. "F--k" is used a few times, but, overall, language is sparse. A flashback shows kissing, and there's some flirting. One minor character is said to be a heroin dealer; he's shown suffering from using the drug. Some characters smoke cigarettes. The movie's tone/structure -- which asks audiences to think heavily during the first two-thirds and then turn off their brains during the last act -- makes it seem unlikely to appeal to a broad audience.

  • Families can talk about Closed Circuit's violence. Does the attacking, chasing, and attempted killing make sense in this story? Why or why not?
  • Is this a pessimistic story? Do you believe that huge entities can become so corrupt that they'd kill to protect their secrets? Are they the equivalent of bullies? Can normal people stop such a thing?
  • Are the main characters role models? Are they fighting for freedom or the truth? What's the difference?
  • Is Claudia a positive role model for women?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie takes place in a world of corruption at the highest and most powerful levels, where an individual has no hope of changing anything -- and, indeed, may suffer the consequences for even trying. But at the very last moment, a chorus of voices may hope to chime in and be heard.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The movie focuses on two London barristers (lawyers) who try to do the right thing, even in the face of impossible odds and rampant corruption. They risk their lives to save a young boy, and they try to tell the truth, even risking their lives. One of the barristers is a woman who shows great confidence and competence, even under considerable pressure.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: There's a huge explosion during the opening moments in which 120 people are said to have died. During the movie's final stretch, the main characters are chased and attacked. Two men try to choke the heroine. The first time, she smashes a glass in her attacker's face and bites him; some blood is shown. The second time, she's rescued when a character bashes her attacker in the head. A 14-year-old boy is briefly in danger. The hero lives through a car crash.

  • sex false0

    Sex: The two main characters are former lovers; in one scene, viewers see flashbacks to them dancing and kissing. Otherwise, they keep each other at a distance (until the very end, when they start flirting again).

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" is used a few times, plus "s--t," "prick," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A minor character is said to be a heroin dealer. He's shown suffering and sick from using prison heroin (which is cut and not as strong as pure heroin, viewers are told). Some secondary characters smoke cigarettes, and the male lead is shown smoking one cigarette.