This dry-as-chalk legal thriller is the sort of posh-looking snooze fest that's long been a hallmark of British cinema. The film reaches for cultural respectability in its topical subject matter (terrorist attacks, surveillance culture), withholding performances, and grown-up conversations about due process and the like—all of which perpetuate the old cinematic fallacy that serious art should resemble a newspaper. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall play lawyers defending a Turkish emigre accused of orchestrating a terrorist attack on London; in researching his case they uncover a government conspiracy. The lawyers are supposed to be former lovers, but the film doesn't allow the leads to display any chemistry; likewise, it doesn't generate any suspense from its tried-and-true conspiracy premise. Evidently screenwriter Steve Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) and director John Crowley (Boy A) are above such appeals to the emotions.
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