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'Columbus Circle' DVD Review

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating


Columbus Circle
© Universal

The Bottom Line

A toothless but watchable thriller buoyed by a strong cast.
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  • Good cast
  • Intriguing setup
  • Fast pace


  • Nonsensical ending
  • Predictable twists


  • Starring Selma Blair, Amy Smart, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, Kevin Pollak, Beau Bridges, Robert Guillaume, Samm Levine
  • Directed by George Gallo
  • Rated PG-13
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012

Guide Review - 'Columbus Circle' DVD Review

Agoraphobic Abigail Clayton (Selma Blair) has lived alone for more than a decade without leaving her apartment in a high-rise building in the Columbus Circle area of Manhattan, slipping daily notes under her door for the concierge Klandermann (Kevin Pollak) to run errands. But when her elderly neighbor across the hall falls down the stairs to her death, Abigail's life is thrown for a loop. Not only is police detective Frank Giardello (Giovanni Ribisi), who thinks there may have been foul play, invading her space to ask questions, but soon the apartment is rented to a new couple -- Charles (Jason Lee) and Lillian (Amy Smart) -- whose violent arguments force her to face the demons of her past.

Abigail's childhood abuse causes her to sympathize with the similarly brutalized Lillian and leads her to do the previously unthinkable: she gives Lillian shelter in her apartment. But as Abigail is drawn more and more into the outside world, it becomes apparent that everyone is hiding secrets, and when the killer strikes again, she has to wonder who she can trust.

Less a horror/suspense thriller than a double-crossing heist thriller, Columbus Circle has Hitchcockian potential, but despite a strong cast and a premise that delivers some level of intrigue, it can't sustain the sort of consistent tension or unpredictability that the best thrillers of this ilk boast. The core story is solidly engaging, but the script (written by Pollak and George Gallo, whose work ranges from the memorable Midnight Run to the not-so-memorable Code Name: The Cleaner) makes several jumps in logic that are hard to overlook, especially during a nonsensical conclusion that brings any momentum the plot has built to a bewildering halt.

The twists are fairly predictable, but they're handled well enough by director Gallo (despite his overuse of flashbacks) and the able cast that the lack of surprise isn't a major drawback. Although Lee feels miscast as a menacing baddie, the other performers lift the uneven script to a more palatable level. Ribisi in particular steals every scene he's in, making you wish his was the central character. In the end, Columbus Circle's best trait might be its quick clip and an 80-minute run time that doesn't leave you much room to ruminate on its shortcomings.


No special features.

Movie: C

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