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Movie Info

In post-World War II Russia, paranoid Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (F. Murray Abraham) unjustly imprisons legions of his fellow countrymen with the help of his brutally violent security head, Victor Abakumov (Christopher Plummer). When technologically gifted prisoners like Lew Rubin (Victor Garber) find themselves in less hostile camps where they're forced to use their talents to aid Stalin's quest, they must decide to either help the communist cause or rebel against it.

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Critic Reviews for The First Circle

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Audience Reviews for The First Circle

  • May 02, 2014
    A group of dissident scientists in Stalin's Russia try to survive in a prison camp and contemplate the moral questions of helping the regime that imprisons them. What's interesting about this film is what I wrote in the plot summary. The ethical question about survival versus assisting injustice is adequately explored in the Solzhenitsyn's famous book and treated well in the film. The film's problems are its production quality and episodic script. It's clear that this is a made-for-TV film before TV became worthwhile, and the events seem disconnected and not part of a cogent plotline. Also, the performances are nothing to write home about. The above-the-title actor, F. Murray Abraham, has a bit part, and the rest of the actors are green, with voices that sound extra-performative. Overall, if it weren't for the strength of the source material, this film would be total shit.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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