ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: "The Circle"

Updated on May 16, 2017
Source

Synopsis

Mae (Emma Watson) is a struggling young woman. She works as a customer service representative for a water company that basically means she's on the phone all day with angry customers, making next to nothing and, worst of all, not fulfilling her potential. She gets a call from her best friend, named Annie (Karen Gillan), who works for an innovative social media juggernaut called The Circle. Annie gets Mae a job at the company and Mae sees the opportunity as a huge stepping stone for her future, whatever that may be. In a company meeting, CEO Bailey (Tom Hanks) reveals a new product that The Circle has been working on. This product, is a tiny high quality camera that can be discreetly placed. It was created for the purpose of eliminating privacy from politicians and world leaders but, in order to test the product, Mae finds herself as one of the first people to go "transparent". From when she wakes up, to when she goes to bed, Mae's every word, action and interaction will be recorded and broadcast on The Circle. Is this technology good or bad and what does it mean for things like privacy and liability as we know them?

Official Trailer

The Pros and Cons

The Pros
The Cons
Both Sides (+10pts)
John Boyega (-5pts)
Emma Watson (+6pts)
Karen Gillan (-4pts)
Tom Hanks & Patton Oswalt (+5pts)
The Ending (-3pts)
All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then awarded for each Pro and taken away for each Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points ranging from 0-10 allowing me to convey to you how significant these Pros or Cons are.
Source

Pro - Both Sides (+10pts)

This movie presents a revolutionary piece of surveillance technology that is integrated into a social media giant. I thought this movie did an excellent job of weighing both sides of what this technology would mean to the general population. It shows this technology giving huge benefits and saving lives, but it also shows how the technology can put lives at risk. The movie shows how this technology can connect people and improve quality of life, but it also shows areas in which this technology can diminish quality of life. I really got the impression that the writers cared about making sure both positives and negatives were accurately and fairly depicted in this movie. His movie challenges its audience by giving viewers an interesting debate within themselves. Would you be for or against the implementation of this technology and software? It is a compelling question that you will ask yourself throughout this movie, and you just might find your opinion changing back and forth as the movie progresses.

Source

Con - John Boyega (-5pts)

My problem has nothing to do with the actor himself but, rather, how little we see of this character. I do not want to give away who this character is, but what I will say is that his backstory is very important to the plot of this movie. Unfortunately, this movie gives hardly any focus to developing this character. This is a shame because it is a rather interesting storyline that could have been added to this movie and it would have been compelling to watch the contrast between John Boyega and Tom Hanks' characters while Emma Watson's character was caught between the two. I think I that is an element that this movie could have benefited from.

Source

Pro - Emma Watson (+6pts)

While I do not think there was any one scene in which Emma Watson blew me away with her performance, this movie needed a talented actress in the lead role. As I said before, this movie relies on playing with the audience's stance on this innovative technology. The movie is constantly going back and forth, weighing the good and the bad in a way that, I think, works really well. However we are experiencing the events of this movie from the perspective of Mae (Emma Watson) so in order for the "back and forth" element to work, the actress playing Mae needed to be able to play the "back and forth" opinion convincingly. I thought Emma Watson did a very good job with this role.

Source

Con - Karen Gillan (-4pts)

Much like John Boyega, my complaint here is not with the actress (Karen Gillan) herself. We see Annie in multiple stages throughout the movie. She ranges from happy and successful to a depressed mess. I thought Karen nailed the performance but we never learn what the character did at the company. We never see (or learn) what she did to achieve her success and we never see what causes her downfall. The result is an audience that is unable to relate to this character and makes her scenes less interesting. I think one of this movie's biggest problems is having too many interesting side characters that the two hour film does not have enough time to explore. I feel like this movie could have been split into an entire season of a TV series like Black Mirror in which each episode explores a different character.

Source

Pro - Tom Hanks & Patton Oswalt (+5pts)

I really enjoyed watching these two in this movie. Their characters were mysterious in the sense that you can never really tell what their intentions are. Are they good or are the bad? This is a question the movie wants you to ask yourself through this movie and I think it was executed very well. These two actors played here roles very convincingly which made the movie very interesting for me. Part of me always knew whether they were good or bad, but the film gives a few scenes that had me uncertain.

Source

Con - The Ending (-3pts)

The build up to this movie was done very well but I thought the ending was a bit anti-climactic. I do not plan on giving anything away, so this point will be vague but I felt like the ending left the audience with a lot of questions. What is Mae's current role? What are Tom Hanks and Patton Oswalt's characters up to? What is the current state of The Circle? This did not ruin the movie for me, I just found the ending to be a bit unfulfilling.

Source

Grading Scale

Grade
Category
Points
A+
Amazing
95-100
A-
Amazing
90-94
B+
Good
85-89
B-
Good
80-84
C+
Average
75-79
C-
Average
70-74
D+
Bad
65-69
D-
Bad
60-64
F
Garbage
0-59

Rating: B- (84pts)

The Circle was a pretty interesting movie because it presented a world (not too unlike our own) where a new piece of innovative technology is revealed that will revolutionize he world for better or for worse. What this movie does so well, is show both the good and the bad that can come from this technology. The movie has a fair balance by showing extremes on both sides which causes the main character (and the audience) to be caught in the middle, leaning either way during different points in the movie. Where this movie falls a bit short is it's, somewhat, unfulfilling ending and it's underdeveloped side characters. These things do not hurt the movie tremendousl but I am amused by the unfulfilling ending because there is a line in this movie in which Mae says that her greatest fear is "unfulfilled potential". That's the strangest piece of foreshadowing I have ever seen.

Overall I think this a good movie that is worth seeing. It challenges the audiences' opinion of new technology in an effective and compelling way. You may not have to rush out to the theater for this one, but I think that The Circle is worth seeing whether you see it in theaters or wait for home video.

Are you interested in this movie?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Movie Beasts profile imageAUTHOR

      Bryan Ouellette 

      18 months ago from Hudson, MA

      Hello Rachael. I also noticed the terrible rotten tomatoes scores, which is why it took me a couple weeks to get around to this one. This movie throws out a lot of Pros and Cons to the technology in the story. I liked the back and forth element but I imagine some people being frustrated by the movie not picking one issue and sticking to it.

      Don't be afraid to give it a shot when it hits home video!

      Thanks for your comment,

      -Bryan

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 

      18 months ago from Illinois

      I thought it looked interesting, but it got abysmal critical ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, which is primarily why I didn't watch it. Not sure why though. It looked good based on the trailers.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)