Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 39
  2. Negative: 4 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 28, 2013
    75
    The movie is low-key but each scene is packed with information. Full understanding demands full attention.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 28, 2013
    75
    It has a chillingly matter-of-fact cynicism that is very au courant.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    A credulity-straining thriller featuring a few good paranoid moments — and, perhaps most important, Rebecca Hall running in high heels.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 27, 2013
    75
    In addition to Bana and Hall, Jim Broadbent is outstanding in a couple of scenes, as a government official, watching from the sidelines and offering warnings and advice. Broadbent is somehow menacing, pathetic and persuasive all at the same time.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 27, 2013
    70
    Trim and effective though Closed Circuit mostly is, it does fall prey to excessive contrivance from time to time, as most thrillers do. But the fact that its fictional premise dovetails nicely with what we've come to know is true is enough to hold us in our seats.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 27, 2013
    75
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 28, 2013
    75
    Director John Crowley trots his crew around London, working up a suitable amount of suspense. And paranoia.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Aug 28, 2013
    40
    Still, the revelations of evildoers clogging the corridors of power pack very little punch; we're all too aware that such malfeasance and malignity have become the status quo in the real world.
  9. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 26, 2013
    50
    It’s a slickly packaged, proficient thriller first, political statement a distant, speck-on-the-horizon second.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 27, 2013
    75
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 28, 2013
    40
    The big twist to Closed Circuit is stated in the film’s TV ads, so even the element of surprise is lost. There may have been the making of a juicy, episodes-long BBC series here, but as it is, there’s barely any juice at all.
  12. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    Closed Circuit is intriguing, even mildly diverting. That might have been fine for another film at another time, but in light of the here and now, this one should have been more.
  13. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 28, 2013
    70
    The director, John Crowley, handles Steve Knight’s snaky script capably, introducing the characters, their backgrounds and the political stakes in bold strokes.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    Closed Circuit is not a tense thriller about the new era of surveillance — it's a tepid thriller about the old notion that no leader can be trusted.
  15. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Aug 27, 2013
    63
    It’s filmed with a sharp eye and filled with good performances.
  16. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 28, 2013
    42
    Closed Circuit ultimately feels like a cynical attempt to capitalize on security-state anxieties while examining them in only the shallowest ways.
  17. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 27, 2013
    60
    Old-school intrigue, informants and assassins, life-or-death pursuits in crowded places, characters who are adults and do not wear capes or pilot robots: This is pretty much what any filmgoer over the age of 13 pines for in the dog days of summer, so this courtroom melodrama/surveillance thriller should be manna.
  18. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    Closed Circuit is a shaggy paranoid thriller in which conversations aren't the shorthand of people who know each other but wordy exposition for those strangers in theater seats.
  19. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    To Crowley's credit, Closed Circuit is decidedly unflashy. But maybe that's a liability: There's a fine line between restrained and drab, and Closed Circuit falls just on the wrong side of it.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Aug 26, 2013
    50
    Blame it on the weak chemistry of the stars, blame it on the way the script refuses to let them develop chemistry and the perfunctory way the story is dispensed with, but the sparks aren’t there.
  21. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Sep 3, 2013
    45
    Even as a fantasy about where a lack of transparency might go, left unchecked, it's storytelling informed by sloppy, absolutist thinking, and it lends one more uncritical voice to the many who seem unable to distinguish between kinds and degrees of evil.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Aug 25, 2013
    70
    [A] slick, smarter-than-usual conspiracy yarn.
  23. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    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.
  24. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Aug 27, 2013
    75
    Closed Circuit may be little more than a high-minded, shrewdly topical gloss on a shopworn genre, but its cynicism is bracing.
  25. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    The sloppy reveals of the third act can be seen from miles away, turning this into a low-impact actioner where characters are turned into chess pieces, and the narrative’s aim is to strategically assemble the parts like a play set.
  26. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    Instead of all-seeing, it’s more like seen it all before.
  27. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Aug 26, 2013
    30
    The whole picture is lifeless and without consequence.
  28. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Oct 22, 2013
    20
    How Knight and Crowley managed to persuade such upstanding actors – not to mention Jim Broadbent, Anne-Marie Duff, Ciaran Hinds and Riz Ahmed – to take part in this fiasco is destined to remain a mystery. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Trite.
  29. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Oct 24, 2013
    40
    It plays as cut-price Le Carré; a recording of a recording of superior films. The picture is fuzzy, and the plot becomes garbled.
  30. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Aug 25, 2013
    50
    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.
  31. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aug 28, 2013
    50
    The end result is as dour and unilluminating as British weather.
  32. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Oct 21, 2013
    40
    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.
  33. Reviewed by: Abhimanyu Das
    Aug 26, 2013
    38
    It fails as a critique of draconian security states and surveillance culture, moving too fast to properly consider any of the well-worn ideas it glosses over.
  34. Reviewed by: Stephen Kelly
    Oct 24, 2013
    60
    It’s a slow-burning, well-acted thriller that’s only really let down in its third act: an unsatisfyingly limp denouement that fails to convey what’s at stake with any sort of suspense.
  35. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    Sep 2, 2013
    50
    The result is a dreary and derivative thriller that is nowhere near as smart or controversial as it clearly believes itself to be.
  36. Reviewed by: Aisha Harris
    Aug 31, 2013
    70
    There are enough genuine moments of surprise to make this genre exercise an invigorating one.
  37. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Aug 29, 2013
    60
    Everything unfolds elegantly, understatedly. The movie is a Grisham in Le Carre clothing.
  38. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    Aug 27, 2013
    50
    Sadly, the movie’s lack of a clear identity – is it a thriller, soap, legal drama or action chase movie? – makes it difficult to understand why anyone should care.
  39. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Aug 26, 2013
    25
    Many of the problems with Closed Circuit stem from a script littered with first-draft exposition...exacerbated by unimaginative staging.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Aug 29, 2013
    6
    With a title like this, you'd expect closed circuit TV would play strongly in the narrative…and you'd be wrong. The title could have been "Paranoia," but that movie's already in town. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall play the attorneys for a man who's been accused of a terrorist bombing in London, but there's more to his defense that it seems. Unfortunately, it's nothing we haven't seen before. While it's interesting to watch it unfold and the performances are good, the suspense is not existent. Adding a few angles shot from surveillance cameras doesn't make it original enough to be memorable. Full Review »
  2. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    A refreshing change from your over-the-top, absurd dramas, Closed Circuit was Gripping, Conceivable, required the audience to actually think, featured a constantly and subtly twisting plot and had a firm foundation in the world we live in, and how far people in positions of power will go.
    When I came home after watching it, I actually expected to see a news story about the British Justice system.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 31, 2013
    8
    I can't for the life of me figure out why this movie rated to poorly with so many professional critics. I'm seeing that some think the leads have no chemistry. I don't buy that at all. I think their chemistry is palpable.. I also heard the plot would be tough to follow similar to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Not even close. Absolutely accessible and thrilling. Recommended. Full Review »