Review: CLOSE Sticks A Bit Too Closely To The Book


Close is a relatively generic yet entertaining action film, and as such, serves as a worthwhile way to spend an hour and a half.
Technical Merit

Death threats, corrupt cops, and conspiracies — just another workday, right? It is for Noomi Rapace’s character in Close.

Close is a new thriller co-written and directed by Vicky Jewson. The film stars Noomi Rapace as a bodyguard who takes a job protecting a young rich heiress. However, as can be expected of the genre, things go awry.

This movie follows a rather typical thriller storyline. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that the film feels pretty generic and ultimately forgettable. Although the story is interesting and exciting enough to be mostly entertaining, the formulaic nature of the script means that all of the big twists can be predicted.

The movie’s pacing is quite strong, hitting the ground running and never taking a break. Sadly, that means that the film’s first scene has significantly more impact than any other action sequence. This is particularly disappointing given the fact that the opening scene has nothing to do with the main story, simply establishing the character as a female badass, which could have (and should have) been done in the main storyline.

close car
Sophie Nélisse as Zoe Tanner and Noomi Rapace as Sam Carlson in Close, directed by Vicky Jewson.

The characters in the movie are almost as memorable as the story. None of the characters are developed particularly well — not even the protagonist. The film had a tendency to develop the characters through expositional dialogue that told the backstory, rather than making the audience form sympathy with the characters through more natural means involving the events taking place on screen. As a result, it is hard to form a connection with any of the characters and the story is made to be less compelling.

The movie attempts to force extra subplots into the storyline, either for the purposes of characterization or excitement, and none of them work particularly well. The most frustrating side story has to be the one that tries to establish the protagonist as a mother-like figure to the girl she is protecting. This storyline felt unnecessary and unnatural, hurting the authenticity of the characters more than helping it.

close hair
Noomi Rapace as Sam Carlson and Sophie Nélisse as Zoe Tanner in Close, directed by Vicky Jewson.
Gareth Gatrell/Netflix

That being said, the acting is mostly strong. Noomi Rapace needs to become a female action star. She does a great job with the fight scenes in the film, with a great onscreen presence and surprisingly emotional delivery of dialogue that is disappointingly flat. It would have been nice if the action scenes had lasted a little longer to give Rapace even more time to shine, but she is still very cool as is.

The movie is also successful on a technical level. The action scenes are competently shot and the production design is excellent. The house in Morocco is a particularly interesting set, and the action sequence that takes place in that location is absolutely brilliant. The level of detail put into the different aspects of the house are truly impressive.

Overall, Close is a generic, but enjoyable and well-shot action film. It is definitely worth a stream on Netflix.

Close is available on Netflix beginning January 18.


2020 HBO APA Visionaries Virtual Premiere

Join us for the premiere of the winning films of the 2020 HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition (LONELY BLUE NIGHT by Johnson Cheng, SI by Thomas Kim, and FINE CHINA by Tiffany So), hosted by Anna Akana with special guest appearances and a performance from 88Rising’s NIKI. The APA Visionaries competition was established by…

The Cabin with Bert Kreischer | Official Trailer | Netflix

Bert Kreischer heads to a cabin in the woods to throw axes, milk goats, drink whiskey, and experience the ultimate cleanse. What could go wrong? Featuring Anthony Anderson, Big Jay Oakerson, Bobby Lee, Caitlyn Jenner, Deon Cole, Donnell Rawlings, Fortune Feimster, Gabriel Iglesias, Joel McHale, Joey Diaz, Kaley Cuoco, Nikki Glaser, and Tom Segura. Watch…

Star Trek: Lower Decks – Ep. 8, “Veritas” – Easter Eggs

This latest episode pays homage not only to Khan, but another superbeing from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Series Creator, Showrunner and Executive Producer Mike McMahan explains. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access.

RUN – Date Announcement (Official) • A Hulu Original

This November…RUN. Starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen. RUN premieres November 20, only on hulu. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: START YOUR FREE TRIAL FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: Hulu on Twitter: Facebook: FOLLOW RUN ON…

‘He’s Behind Bars’ Ep. 4 Official Clip | Love Fraud | SHOWTIME

Richard Scott Smith is finally behind bars. Carla reflects how the system is broken and won't keep him locked up for long even though he's hurt so many women. Stream all four episodes of Love Fraud now on SHOWTIME. #SHODocs #LoveFraud Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: Get…

Someone Has to Die | Lázaro’s Dance | Netflix

Some birds aren't meant to be caged. Someone has to die. October 16. SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as…

Fearless Artists | FX

Artists create. Go to to watch full episodes and to find out more about what’s coming soon to FX. Subscribe now for more FX clips: Select new FX Originals, exclusively on Hulu including Devs, Mrs. America, A Teacher and The Old Man. New Seasons of the most current and new FX original series…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here