A thriller based around two lawyers assigned to a high profile terrorism trial in London. The lawyers in question are played by Rebecca Hall and Eric Bana – with Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent and Anne-Marie Duff rounding out an impressive cast list as the various journalists, MI5 agents and other interested parties that get involved. It’s a jittery start with somewhat ropey editing attempting to set the scene as the legal team are given separate investigations to follow in order to represent their client. A client who stands accused of helping to orchestrate a suicide bombing in the city, but his defense are legally bound to keep their investigations secret from one another when the trial is separated into a public hearing and one behind closed doors – all in the interests of national security.
To be honest, whenever I watch a film with Rebecca Hall it takes me a while to get over just how strikingly beautiful she is and actually pay attention to what’s going on, and here she displays a certain vulnerability – a subtle nervousness that suits her character well as she tries to confront the difficult scenario she is faced with. The acting all round is fine, and the middle of the film does generate some real tension, it’s just not quite skillful enough to make it anything special in the end.