Civic Duty steals liberally from Falling Down, Rear Window, and Dog Day Afternoon to milk September 11 paranoia for a contrived, rickety potboiler. Peter Krause (Nate from Six Feet Under) plays Terry Allen, a laid-off accountant who becomes obsessed with a middle-eastern neighbor he suspects to be a terrorist (Khaled Abol Naga.) Allen’s unsupportive wife (Kari Matchett) ditches him at the first sign of trouble, and the FBI agent assigned to the case (Richard Schiff) is no help. Finally, Allen investigates at gun point, and, being an accountant and all, utters hardboiled lines like these: “The checks come to more than double of what your tuition is!” Production values are strictly TV movie of the week, and the ending would have made me angry–if I still cared. Marcy‘s thoughts: “If you went crazy and took a hostage, I don’t think I’d turn you in.” Thanks, baby! Love you too. Civic Duty opens May 4.

Civic Duty. Jeff Renfroe, 2006. *