The Circle (2017)
Critic Consensus: The Circle assembles an impressive cast, but this digitally driven thriller spins aimlessly in its half-hearted exploration of timely themes.
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Critic Reviews for The Circle
Even as it focuses on why information just wants to be free, "The Circle" is stuck in a loop.
As a satire, The Circle might have been worth a few giggles, but as a deadly serious drama, it's laughable in an entirely different way.
From its beginning, the movie has difficulty wedding its collage of ideas with a compelling narrative.
The future is now and it's scary. Too bad The Circle isn't.
Audience Reviews for The Circle
Tom Hanks has been in some shitty films in the past few years, but this one, I believe, is his true nadir. He should really stop doing Dave Eggers adaptations. And even though Daniel Radcliffe has managed to forge a serious acting career post-Harry Potter, Emma Watson has yet to latch onto anything of real quality. The Circle is an aimless critique on social media and the surveillance state. Just when you think they've touched on something of substance to say about privacy or the ubiquity of technology, it is quickly glazed over for some new, boring plot development. The film concerns Watson as she has started her dream job at a Google/Facebook-like social media cult, the titular Circle. She's expected to participate in company events and keep a level of transparency in her private life like everyone else at the job does. Tom Hanks is the Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg of the company and, of course, he is a nice guy running a successful company that just happens to be eroding civil liberties and manipulating the government. Now you would think that this is middling enough to at least be entertaining, so why does the movie suck so bad? I think it's mostly because the plot is so contrived. John Boyega's character simply exists to tell the audience what the conflict is, he never interacts with anyone besides Watson, and in the end he is the guy who resolves the problem. So many times, I asked myself "Why in the hell is Emma doing that?" with no real answer. Watson's inner struggle translates to her just doing things that don't make sense, like kayak at night during a storm and later subject herself to being on camera for every second of her life for months. Of course, there wouldn't be a plot if she didn't do these baffling things. There is absolutely no tension, the performances are painfully bland (especially from Ellar Coltrane), and its conclusion is not very clever. Wasted potential like this is something I've been seeing way too much of this year.
Despite the A-listers, The Circle tries deliver a relevant message for today's world, but miserably fails. The concern for internet privacy is an important issue, but the script is thin, and unconvincing.
There's a cast listing that'll make you stop and take notice ... and that's about all there is in this nearly dystopian, nearly sci-fi offering. Wouldn't you rather go make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead? Yes, you would.
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