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Civic Duty

3.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Angry and depressed over losing his job, accountant Terry Allen begins to suspect his new neighbor, a single Islamic grad student with a penchant for unexplained late night activities, is at the center of a terrorist conspiracy. Although both Terry's wife and the FBI agent to whom he reports his suspicions are skeptical about his fears, Terry becomes increasingly obsessed with uncovering the man's true identity. Convinced he's all that stands between this Middle-Eastern stranger and a deadly terror attack, Terry finally decides to take matters into his own hands ? with shocking results.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Krause
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TJBN6M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,011 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Civic Duty" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 4, 2007
Format: DVD
I was always surprised in the wake of 9/11 that we never heard of an instance where an Arab looking passenger got up to use the lavatory on an airplane and was attacked by the other passengers. With tensions and suspicion both running high I thought such incidents were inevitable, but if they happened I never heard about them. There was the incident where six Muslim clerics where pulled off of an airplane in Minneapolis because the pilot received a note from a passenger pointing out there were "Arabic men" on the plane, but that has been the exception rather than the rule (the airport in Minneapolis is apparently just a place where strange things happen if you pray in Arabic or go around tapping your foot too often in a restroom).

"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?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
many shootings in 2016 long after this came out could make this a documentary. it is so possible in our age of being politically correct and not listening to anyone's concerns because they might sound racist.
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Format: DVD
Pros: Great acting throughout; Peter Krause is incredible. All extras fill their respective roles convincingly, as well. Directer put great emphasis on the details, which, in this movie, is important. Story/Plot is simple due to its symbolic nature, making it easy to follow. Awesome camera work lends to the unsettling nature of the film. Great cultural/stereotype contrasts, though sometimes over the top.

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.

Rent It.
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Format: DVD
Spare and intriguing, "Civic Duty" plays out like an updated "Rear Window" infused liberally with post 9/11 paranoia. It's an interesting film, but a tad heavy handed--a little subtlety and shading might have made this a terrific set piece. "Civic Duty" is so aggressively in-your-face that ultimately it takes the bite out of the dog, as it were, or the surprise out of the story. Still, I enjoyed much about the film even as I thought it didn't reach its true potential.

Peter Krause plays a recently unemployed accountant. Preoccupied with the state of the world--the television and radio news reports are a non-stop barrage of terrorism reporting--Krause begins to observe some suspicious goings-on with his new Middle Eastern neighbor. Late night trash drops, odd packages being delivered, sparse living conditions--Krause is adamant that the neighbor (Khaled Abol Naga) fits the profile of someone with a secret agenda. His wife (the always appreciated Kari Matchett) is dismissive. Does Krause simply have too much time on his hands, is he just too upset with his bleak circumstances? Or might he be on to something? He becomes more aggressive--entering the guy's apartment, trailing him and even contacting the FBI. Becoming more and more unhinged, Krause is determined to see this through to the end.

Unfortunately, the plot can be far too convenient when necessary. Krause just happens to find the neighbor's door open for the sole reason of advancing his suspicions. Krause also becomes obsessive almost instantly--on the first night of his unemployment! It's all too easy and quick (there are other relevant examples but I hesitate to share more of the story). The final confrontation also results in a rather unbelievable consequence.
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