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The Circle (Dayereh) (2001)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 56 | Rotten: 4

Bleak, yet powerful, The Circle offers a searing indictment of the oppressive conditions experienced by women in Iran.

90

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 2

Bleak, yet powerful, The Circle offers a searing indictment of the oppressive conditions experienced by women in Iran.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 2,233

My Rating

Movie Info

A look at the world of seven women in Iran, searching for themselves while struggling with everyday oppression. Having been released from prison only to find themselves confined by the world outside.

R,

Art House & International, Drama

Kambuzia Partovi

Dec 18, 2001

Winstar Cinema

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All Critics (75) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (4) | DVD (6)

An impressive piece of work, especially considering it was made in a barren artistic climate overseen by a censorious government.

September 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just like Tomb Raider, it is fiction. It just unfortunately comes a lot closer than the American film to the truth of how its female characters live.

June 15, 2001 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A memorable and devastating indictment of the oppression facing many women in Iran.

June 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In its brisk way, it's a devastating piece of work, and very brave too.

June 11, 2001 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Profoundly dangerous to the status quo in Iran because it asks us to identify with the plight of women who have done nothing wrong except to be female.

June 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The world it shows is both mysterious and full of menace -- yet as real as the world outside the theater.

June 7, 2001
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What few ironies there are, are overpowered by the firm, calm, institutionalized oppression imposed on the women of Panahi's country.

May 4, 2010 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

... like a cry of distress from a princess imprisoned in a tower. But the tower is in a busy world of heartless, self-absorbed men who laugh at the idea of a rescue.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

The Circle basically shows that Iran is a police state with severe measures for keeping women in control.

May 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Magazine International
Movie Magazine International

Gives some quick, powerful impressions of the Iranian woman's plight, but much less than if it had paused to tell a few stories thoroughly.

March 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Offoffoff
Offoffoff

The surprising conclusion leaves one breathless and depressed.

December 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Baseline.Hollywood.com
Baseline.Hollywood.com

A deeply felt, fascinating work that's dramatically resonant as well as politically important.

September 11, 2001 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

The deceptively simple story leads up to an exceptionally powerful ending that will have you mulling it over for days.

July 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Feels like the kind of movie that could change things.

June 28, 2001 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A tragic film from start to finish, but equally undeniable is the endless stoicism displayed by the women, and Panahi's crisp, meandering direction.

June 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Few who make it through ... The Circle will forget the experience, or argue the film's power.

June 1, 2001
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A quiet indictment and a quiet tribute as well.

June 1, 2001 Full Review Source: Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Citizen

It's an elegant film, though distressing to watch.

May 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

... a powerful statement about the oppression of women in Iran (banned within its own country), yet also celebrates their sisterhood

May 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Circle (Dayereh)

[font=Century Gothic][color=darkorchid]During the opening credits of "The Circle" a 2000 movie from Iran directed by Jafar Panahi(Crimson Gold), we hear the sounds of childbirth. A nurse tells a relative through an opening that "It's a Girl." And the relative is heartbroken to hear the news, even though it would be normal to be overjoyed to receive the news. Welcome to modern day Iran, where special restrictions govern the movement and lives of women - they cannot travel alone or in the company of non-relative men, for example. "The Circle" examines the lives of four women, in a device borrowed from "La Ronde", some of whom are just out of prison.(Even after being released from prison, there is a huge stigma attached.) What they were in prison for is never revealed, but it is greatly hinted at in the final minutes. This is a great movie full of everyday terrors in a society where women exist as no better than prisoners.[/color][/font]
January 23, 2005
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Be in the right mood to see this. It is one of umpteen depictions of women coping in fundamentalist Islamic states but it happens to be one of the better ones.
November 25, 2007
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Undoubtedly,it's one of the top 10 films of 2000.Justification knows no boundaries and female,psychological suffering is excellently displayed on this film.Real drama,nothing fake to cover the truth.Panahi eluding his road to "sacrilegious perdition" contrary to the customs of Iran,we can say with certainty it's a universal journey.A journey disastrous through the looking glass of a handful of women.
September 8, 2008
jimbotender
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Kreis (DE)
  • The Circle (UK)
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