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"Civic Duty" is a 2006 film that deals with the sort of paranoid over-reaction to the terrorist attack that I had suspected might become commonplace. Terry Allen (Peter Krause) has just lost his job as an accountant and without work to keep his mind occupied he becomes obsessed with coverage of the War on Terror on cable television. Especially since a "Middle Eastern" looking young man (Khaled Abol Naga) has moved into an apartment that Terry can see from his window. We already know that Terry is predisposed to see the worst in people after he cruelly points out to a smiling bank teller the idiotic redundancy of the term "ATM Machine." Like those strange little beings on those annoying television commercials, Terry stars off sour and then tries to be sweet. It is just that we never really buy it, any more than we can really believe that there is a terrorist in that other apartment. The more desperate Terry is to believe it, the more we resist the idea. But is the film just toying with us?Read more ›
Cons: Message is too heavy-handed, taking away some realism. Film tends to be dramatically claustrophobic. It does not matter if it was intended, it still needed air.
Where They Went Wrong: There is an anti-American diatribe against American Foreign Policy to rebut the cruel treatment of women in certain Middle-Eastern countries. This did nothing to lend to the films credibility and came off as ridiculous, unfair, and one sided. Conflicts (wars) are completely different than inhumane domestic policy. Even if those conflicts are wrong. The whole screed was a misnomer.
Where They Went Right: The symbolism of Krause's angry disposition serving as Americas general hostility, fed by media hype and propaganda. This predisposition made the whole chaotic scenario almost believable.
This film was enjoyable, just wish it would have been more well-rounded.
Also, we could've used this film circa 2004...whatever.
Terry is a good looking middle class accountant, who is age wise either in his late 20s or early 30s. His life clearly takes a turn for the worse, when he is suddenly and unexpectedly laid off. Now, the problems with his wife begin: there's the impending question of how to pay their mortage on their new home, and most of all how soon Terry will get another job, to make ends meet. But all these problem pale in comparison to Terry's newest obsession with his Middle Eastern looking neighbor. To Terry he is behaving increasingly suspicious and fits neatly into the profile of an islamic extremist and terrorist.
This new obsession which he discovered soon starts to drive a big wedge between him and his wife. She simply dosen't at all approve of Terry's suspicions. Needless to say, that things get more drastic and out of control from now on. Terry, after some time calls on the FBI, hoping literally that they will kick down the door of the new Arab neighbor and simply arrest him, since he saw a type of chemical laboratory in his apartment. The FBI Agent, an elder experience professional, soon tells Terry in no uncertain terms to back off, since this is a free nation, where everyone has certain constitutional rights, and these are always to be respected, hence, kicking down someones door, because of a mere suspicion or notion, is simply out of the question. Moreover, Terry is warned not ever again to go into this apartment, (he did so after he knocked and found the door to be open), or else the FBI will start investigating him and making his life miserable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film is the post 9/11 version of the Nazi propaganda film, "Triumph of the Will."
"Civic Duty" is nothing more than a paranoid Tea... Read more
Spare and intriguing, "Civic Duty" plays out like an updated "Rear Window" infused liberally with post 9/11 paranoia. Read morePublished on October 15, 2012 by K. Harris
Spare and intriguing, "Civic Duty" plays out like an updated "Rear Window" infused liberally with post 9/11 paranoia. Read morePublished on October 4, 2010 by K. Harris
"Civic Duty" is like "Rear Window" for the post-9/11 age. Terry Allen is a recently laid-off accountant who, thanks in large part to the influence of an... Read more
Peter Krause and Richard Schiff carry on their backs what would otherwise would probably be a hilarliously bad B-movie. Read morePublished on May 11, 2008 by James Burns
After three separate copies of CIVIC DUTY received from a well known Web-based DVD rental service, each of which skipped or stopped playing altogether, I finally purchased (at a... Read morePublished on March 3, 2008 by Mr. Joe
I had high hopes for this movie based on the feedback , the trailer and the cover - but it would like to be a "Disturbia" or "Rear Window" but it fails to connect . Read morePublished on January 26, 2008 by M. B. Richardson
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