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'Civic Duty'

Playing a creep even colder than the stiffs he tended on Six Feet Under, Peter Krause makes a bid to become the poster child of post-9/11 paranoia in director Jeff Renfroe's 94-minute stay in cinematic Gitmo. In this Rumsfeld-era reworking of the Michael Douglas angry-white-guy clunker Falling Down, Krause plays a recently canned accountant who finds a new concern to pass the time: the semi-suspicious activities of "the Middle Eastern guy" (Khaled Abol Naga) who just moved in across the apartment complex. Unable to convince either his wife (the appealing Kari Matchett) or a dour FBI agent (Richard Schiff, slyly underplaying), he starts to run out of patience—and then remembers the handgun in his drawer. 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.

 
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