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Review: ‘The Circle’ Is An Intriguing Idea With Poor Execution

“The Circle” fails to live up to its hype.

Based on the Dave Eggers book of the same name, “The Circle” tells the story of a young woman (Emma Watson) who lands a dream job at one of the top tech companies in the world. But while the company seems to be everything she had hoped for, she discovers a darker secret behind closed doors.

Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2.5

With a premise surrounding the dawn of a not too distant Orwellian society, “The Circle” simplifies a promising story in a predictable formula. While real world technology makes this film socially relevant, the disingenuous dialogue, transitions, and performances dampen the experience.

My biggest complaint stems from Emma Watson’s character Mae. As the driving force of the film, she lacks the most credibility and reason relative to her journey. She has no discernible skills that made her an outlier among her coworkers despite the continual push for her to be in the spotlight. Her eagerness to become intertwined in social media surveillance lacks reason in relation to the way her character was developed. While I’m sure that her acceptance is an exaggerated metaphor representing our own society, from a plot perspective it feels rushed and without merit.


“My biggest complaint stems from Emma Watson’s character Mae. “

On the bright side, the visual aesthetics of “The Circle” are worth noting. The vivid landscapes are balanced with technological innovation painting the picture of a future that is foreseeable and plausible. The technology presence is not overpowering but still maintains the futuristic awe. Despite the flaws in plot and character development, I still found myself intrigued in regards to the inner workings of the company.

Overall “The Circle” stands up visually and had the potential to be a well structured film. Unfortunately a light plot and poor execution left a bare bones film without much substance nor resolve.

Entertainment Value – 3


…there is little joy to salvage from “The Circle.”

There are elements of simplistic fun that can be appreciated with “The Circle.” As mentioned, the visuals and premise carry short term intrigue but it fizzles out over the long haul. A lot of the entertainment is on an anticipatory level. I stayed engaged due to my own curiosity about the possibilities of where the plot could lead. Despite “The Circle” not living up to expectations, the hope of what it could be was a surprising driving force.

Unfortunately a film cannot survive on hope alone and disappointment is a factor. For what this film should have been, it ended up being a cookie cutter production that had a lackluster lasting impression. Even with an enjoyable A-list cast and visual appeal, there is little joy to salvage from “The Circle.”

Re-Watchability – 2

There is little value in experiencing this film again. There are intermittent moments that I would personally revisit but the experience as a whole is not something I would want to relive.

  • Cinematics
  • Entertainment Value
  • Rewatchability


"The Circle" initially showed a lot of promise through its high profile cast and cinematography. Unfortunately execution and depth are the areas that are lacking with this film. Emma Watson's character Mae is the driving force but is a stale character and as an effect causes the film to feel the same. Some may enjoy the simple, formulaic approach but I was left feeling unsatisfied.

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About The Author


Ryan has been fascinated with film and pop culture since childhood. Throughout college he "played it safe" taking the more lucrative route of being a computer programmer while squeezing in film related courses where he could...but even during his post college career, he could never escape his true passion. After following one of his favorite blogs for a long time, he approached the site's Editor about writing and they reluctantly gave him a shot. He later became their Senior Writer which led to a variety of other projects, radio show appearances, features, and high profile celebrity interviews. Despite his success with blogging, he still wanted more so in order to expand his creative addiction, he merged his IT skills and blogging know-how to create which has continued to grow into a creative Mecca of pop-culture fun and integrity.   [email protected]    Film Fad

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I heard an interview with Tom Hanks on NPR that made this sound so fascinating.







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