Closed Circuit Review

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A massive car bomb at Borough Market leaves a hundred dead and a suspect in the hands of the British legal system. But with MI5 muscling in and the Attorney General (Broadbent) demanding a closed trial, defending QCs Martin Rose (Bana) and Claudia Simmons-Howe (Hall) sense that the odds are stacked against them. Then there's their own mutual past...


Don't be hoodwinked by the Orwellian chill of the title; London’s surveillance network barely features in John Crowley’s pedestrian courtroom thriller. Events hinge around a wrinkle of British law — that two barristers are required to defend an immigrant accused of bombing Borough Market. One (Eric Bana doing grouchy posh) handles the client, the other (Rebecca Hall) any evidence stymied by the State Secrets Act. Contact between them is forbidden, except these two are former lovers... Cue: frantic pay-as-you-go pow-wows while being chased between Soho lock-ups, as Closed Circuit labours through its joyless ‘thought-provoking’ posturing.

With Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things, screenwriter Steven Knight has proved his ear for London's darker rhythms. Here, though, there's little to raise the pulse.