Angry and depressed over losing his job, accountant Terry Allen (Peter Krause) begins to suspect his new, Middle Eastern neighbor is at the center of a terrorist conspiracy. Terry becomes obsessed about revealing the man's true identity and finally takes matters into his own hands â¦ with shocking results.
Cast & Crew
A flawed but worthwhile examination of paranoia and clashing cultures in the 21st century.
It does build up considerable suspense and tension; Renfroe has learned well from Hitchcock.
A sharp 9/11 twist on Rear Window paranoia, Civic Duty is all the more effective for its chilling plausibility.
Civic Duty sends you home depressed, but at least it makes you think. It's a breed of film that's rare to find on the summer movie slate.
Though Civic Duty seems to be a study in paranoid psychosis, it has just enough ambiguity to make you wonder if it isn't something else. You'll still be wondering when it's all over.
If Mr. Krause weren't so good at making his psychotic break with reality (or was it?) so steadily, plausibly convincing, the movie would be unwatchable. Instead, it's a disturbing diary of one man's descent.
Expected ironies about homeland security, racial profiling, and fears of the Other land like a rain of anvils, and director Renfroe matches Krause's worked-up performance with a jiggly, flashy approximation of off-brand Tony Scott.