The Circle [Review]


SPOILERS! This review may contain spoilers from the plot of this film. You have been warned.


It was the name of the wonderful actors included on this film and a promising premise about the death of privacy, that made this film interesting. But the lack of direction these actors received, the poor execution of the story and some bad acting performances made this a little bit painful to watch. Even though the quality and shots used were pretty enough, the editing could’ve used some chops and the story some re-writing.


Emma Watson interprets this young woman (Mae Holland), that struggles each day on her job to help her family survive economically. Annie, a close friend of hers, finds her a new job at her company: The Circle. Tom Hanks plays a manipulative inventor and media mogul (Eamon Bailey), owner of this corporation and quite power-hungry. As Mae progresses through her new job, she discovers the dark secrets of this place and how her boss plans to eliminate all privacy from the world, except his own. She immediately decides to go full public and go with the flow, involving her family and friends. This breaks havoc upon her life and all who surrounds her. Mercer, a childhood friend of hers, gets involved in all the mess after she posts a picture of a deer ornament he made as a gift for her home. Her actions immediately provoke controversy on the guy, causing strangers to stalk him, including sending “death threats” to his email. This part, I gotta say, was the worst to watch, as his acting was a bit…uninspiring when he confronts Mae. She is forced to look for him online, while in a public conference, as test for a new tool The Circle has invented, called SoulSearch. Random strangers get to Mercer’s home, as he tries  to escape with his car. Unfortunately, a drone gets in his way, causing him to lose control of the vehicle, plummeting through a bridge to his demise (the director couldn’t even show the car crashing). After a few tears being pushed by Emma, the plot continues, but this time she decides to bring her boss “down”. Or maybe, we should say continue his work, but make Eamon go public too. Following her inspiration to make things work in a better way, she exposes her corrupt boss’ through emails, private messages, etc. But instead of shutting down this bizarre company and its projects, she decides to keep working for the main thing that got her friend killed. In the end, The Circle keeps its patterns, killing privacy for everyone around the globe.

So many flaws occurring here, including the lack of intervention from a genius called Ty, who intends to stop the companies dark schemes. You can see him watching, but never doing anything to fulfill his plans. Mae makes contact with him a few times during the movie, leading nowhere really. Ellar Coltrane has to improve his acting methods, as it’s not working for him. His scenes felt awkward and sometimes no intention was felt during his performance. As for Emma, it is clear that she was trying to give her best, just as Tom Hanks was. But that doesn’t save the movie from its poor execution and lack of energy.


It clearly had some good ideas and visuals, involving the audience with it’s technology and cool premise about knowing everything from anything. SoulSearch, the tool responsible for Mercer’s death and finding anyone on the planet in less than 20 minutes, was a very interesting concept, a dangerous one that could become a reality one day. The invention of tiny cameras with high-definition, placed everywhere around the world was quite scary, but  maybe a little too much. This company clearly was on top of its game and not far from goals of corporations in the modern world, as they all struggle for having the ultimate grip on power.


The music composed for this film had a cool vibe, but nothing you haven’t heard before in hundreds of pop/electronic music. As expected, it gave a high-tech vibe, with some tension building up. But it wasn’t amazing or anything you might remember for a while.

Due to what was discussed above, I gave this film 5/10.  It was slow-paced, had bad performances and not a well-written story (poorly executed), except for the visuals.


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-Jess O. Rubio

  • Credit: Frank Masi
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I'm an actor, cinematographer and editor. I enjoy writing scripts and taking these stories to the big screen. I usually compose music for my films or by request. Currently have a blog on YouTube to share some laughs with the audience. There's nothing more beautiful than to share someone's world with an audience on the big screen, and nothing more fulfilling than to be able to bring a character to life. The secret is how you tell the story.