Six months after a terrorist attack in London, the defendant of the lead suspect is found dead, having apparently committed suicide. Martin Rose (Eric Bana) is hired to replace him, which causes a complication, as he has had an affair with Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), who's also a part of the suspect's defence team. This former relationship could be seen as a conflict of interest, but they decide to keep it to themselves, and carry on with the case. However, as they delve further and further into the labyrinthine red-tape that surrounds the case, with evidence that could put the entire national security into risk, the two defendants find themselves being followed, harassed and threatened, meaning they are getting close to something that the government wants kept under the rug.
Closed Circuit had all the necessary elements to be a fantastic intellectual thriller; topical plot-lines, great actors, sexual histories, technological paranoia… you name it, it's got it. Yet, somehow, the movie manages to scupper them all up. The plot is confusing, predictable and boring all at once, which is a feat in itself. The great actors, including support from Jim Broadbent and Ciaran Hinds, give some okay performances but both are given some woeful dialogue, and worse still have no discernible chemistry with each other. Then there's the tech stuff; London has one of the highest CCTV-to-person ratios in the world, and the film itself is named after these cameras, but they're never properly utilized. Every now and again, we'll get a cutaway to a camera, just to remind us that they're there, but that's it.
Every now and again, the movie finds its pulse, like the opening bombing scene, or during a courtroom face-off with a member of MI5, or a foot-chase around London's darkened back alleys, and we get to see a glimpse of what kind of movie this should have been. Director John Crowley (Intermission) and writer Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) do come up with an interesting idea for a movie, but just forgot to make an interesting movie out of it.