The Circle (2017)

Thriller • PG-13 • Directed by: James Ponsoldt • 110 minutes

When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech & social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity.

Viewer reviews

Worst movie I've ever seen
★★★★
Started lame and cheesy. It just got worse and worse. Horrible acting. I mean just laughable, but more so slamming your head into a wall. This movie was so stupid. The storyline was flat out stupid. I guess Tom Hanks' career is officially over. Just don't do it to yourself. — B in NJ

Looks like a bad "made for TV" movie
★★★★
Really poorly produced and directed. The script and character development is pitiful. What a waste of two great actors! After the first half hour it actually became painful to watch. Don't waste your time. I was very disappointed. — theroux

Shallow, empty, vacuous
★★★★
The entire story can be boiled down to a one sentence premise that might have been imagined for a grade-school essay written by a child. But it's not that good… Clearly, whomever invested in this movie must have an IQ below the level of such an imaginary grade-school student. And now we know to what a low level these otherwise decent actors will stoop to for money. — Mr reason

Just okay
★★★★
Interesting plot, but otherwise flaccid execution — Uncroro

Kind of a mess
★★★★★
I gave it 2 stars because Tom Hanks was quite good in in, in spite of the ham fisted script. This was such a good idea, how online privacy, can go way too far. But the script was all over the place and never really lands on any of the points it's trying to make. How anyone could have greenlit this mish-mash of a script is beyond me. I think if they would have let a good writer rewrite this script it could have had a chance but unfortunately it was a disaster. — attaboyluther

Intrusive Technology Exposed
★★★★★
This is a very important movie. The young and the naive are always saying we need ever more technology in our lives for (fill in high minded humanitarian Kumbaya reason here). The argument is bring on the surveillance state because "I have nothing to hide". Really? How about basic human dignity. Those who foist surveillance technology on society do so without anyone watching them. That is the dark side of a surveillance society. Who empowered you to watch us, and who is watching YOU. These topics are all handled deftly in this movie. They even have a Apple type building with a Google type cult workforce complete with "kiddie toys" for the "adults". I almost took a star off for the obvious liberal agenda of making the hot white woman reject a white male in favor of a black male, but the theme here is too important to take anything off here. Show it to all those know it all 20 somethings in your family who think technology is God. This is a buy. If you didn't get the ending, they you don't understand what this film is about. In which case no need to cover that camera on your device in your most private moments.... — SeattleMoose

Bad, Bad, Bad.....
★★★★
Not even the great Tom Hanks could save this one. — shredderstl

Great movie !
★★★★★
Great movie! — Kyewitt0071

Not bad but not worth paying for....
★★★★★
So if this was a free viewing I could say hey interesting concept movie fun learning the world and realizing what's happening and even the ending was good except way to abrupt and the lack of fall out leaves you disappointed so 3 stars for the bulk of the movie but it felt like a really good joke without the punch line.... — AJC RocK

Not good
★★★★
Just a very boring movie — ALcassie

☝🏼It's actually quite good
★★★★★
✍🏼Watson rocks this role: a unique, complex character confronts tough stuff — for ppl of any age. And as it turns out🥀, some are saying 🍅Tomato's 'vintage,' or 'heritage' critics today struggle w/ poignancy in their columns. — the.kyd

The Circle review by Pedro WEEBLES
★★★★★
Should had been a lot better than what it was. — Pedro Weebles

#Bomb
★★★★
In a day and age when this topic is on everyone's mind, I would have expected this movie to provoke discussion and reflection on our privacy when it comes to the internet. Instead, this movie lurches from classic plot points and story pace elements to bad acting and a sub-par performance from Emma Watson, while skirting the real issue at the core of the movie. Tom Hanks's one redeeming line: "We are so f***ed.", speaks volumes. Save your money. — International Man of Media

Did the movie production run out of money?
★★★★
It's seem the director realized he exceed The budget before he could finish the movie. I think he was directing and then decided to throw the script away, confused and end the movie. Then leave the audience confused and begging for a refund. — Eranhal

Emma Watson drags it down
★★★★
The plot could have been interesting, but was poorly executed. Emma Watson is not a good actress and it is tiresome to watch her over-acting. Maybe watch this in a few years when it is free on Netflix, just to catch the last 20 minutes of it. I would not pay to watch it. Sorry I did! — ramsackle

Should have passed
★★★★
I read several reviews that said this was not a movie worth renting, but saw a few that said it wasn’t too bad. Decided to take a chance, but began to regret my choice less than halfway through. If you’re not sure, they I strongly recommend you avoid this film. Not good at all. — BalutFX

Watch it if you're bored
★★★★★
It was everything I thought it would be. Could have saved $5.00 by watching the trailer. — Bobbyvv222

Anti-climatic
★★★★
The entire movie what is ramping up to some amazing ending that would be a revolutionary advancement in technology and social media, but it was just a plain unimaginative finale. Basically, no one learned a lesson. — Played it5568;56

The worst movie ever
★★★★
This is the most anticlimactic disappointing movie ever. Don't watch just because it has Tom Hanks. It has worst ending and gives the viewer no satisfaction — 93739/

Great Plot but really odd ending
★★★★★
I would give this movie 5 stars if it wasn't for the ending. It was a REALLY great concept and plot. Great actors as well. The only thing was the ending. Mae did the exact opposite of what I thought the moral of the story was going to be. That everyone should be watching each other and we all should have access to each other. As opposed to us all having the right to privacy. — JustSweat1

Ugh.
★★★★
Interesting concept for a film. Unfortunately was disappointed to find that it masqueraded as something completely different from expectation. Just another motion picture attempting to ultimately push its own agendas. Instead of exposing the implications of oppression, it eventually just felt like I was watching a seminar on its 'benefits'. Emma Watson and Tom Hanks are a great duo, but their potential was squandered due to an undeveloped plot. Great idea, but the message was flat and the storyline unbalanced. — Lo432

Not nearly as good as the book
★★★★
I really enjoyed The Circle as a novel (although I did find the ending very frustrating), so I was really excited to learn that it was going to be made into a movie. What a let down! There was zero character development in the movie compared to the book, and as much as I love and respect Emma Watson I didn't think this was a great role for her. I'm curious if they worked with the author on this or if he sold his rights because had they followed the book closer, I think it would have been a much better movie. — sweetkated

Like a documentary on current events.
★★★★★
Would definitely recommend. — Tybotim

ybu
★★★★★
Tvhnvj — Brokenappnogood

The circle
★★★★★
It was a stupid plot and terrible ending. I hated the whole movie. — Meghan Boland

Liked the concept
★★★★★
Liked the concept of the movie, a little wierd but then it just stopped. No resolution to any of the story lines, felt like there should have been another half hour to either stop them doing what they were doing or find out what John Boyega's character was reall up to. — DC3862

Loved it
★★★★★
Definitely in my top 10 — jamesisfabulous

Booooooooo
★★★★
Awful movie, dramatic parody of the dangers of social media. The "plot twists" were extremely predictable. The ending made no sense and was not explained at all. This movie was clearly made to deliver a message. It failed miserably. This movie was an embarrassment and deserves less than the 15% it received on rotten tomatoes. Not even dumbeldore could have save Hermione from this disaster. — Mark Stanford

Booger
★★★★
Yeah,...this film was interesting up until the last 20 minutes,..in reality the F.B.I. and the District Attorney office would of rolled up in 10 government vans and seized all operations of activities within the company,..Mercers death would have been ruled a homicide, and those directly and indirectly involved in his demise [ including the tech Co. ]would be held responsible for said death...and also the actors reactions portraying a group of employees of a tech company so uniformly responding without any individual ambiguity to the obvious wrongdoing within this organization is not only insulting but silly to us Americans....I'm just saying. — Letsgodiving

"1984" Revisited (Big Brother is Watching)
★★★★★
[Possible spoiler alert. ] Could have been a great story, but very disappointed by the ending. Very akin to "1984" with just as bad of an ending. If it had only ended about 30 seconds sooner, when she walks out the door into the light, we could have left it to our imagination how we wanted it to end. But no, they had to ruin it for us. I was so hopeful. One thing it does for us is to show and remind us again (perhaps as George Orwell had tried to do with "1984") how privacy and agency are inherint to our souls. People who want to take away privacy say it will force everyone to be good. Sounds like a plan that we rejected before we were born. — A11iOop

A Warning to All
★★★★
Don't believe the reviews. This movie should be shown to all because it basically talks about when we become transparent to everyone except for those in positions of power. Very good statement. Don't listen to the rhetoric that calls this a liberal movie. — Webringer

Overall decent movie
★★★★★
I'm not sure what I expected from this movie - maybe something more like "Eagle Eye" with a little more action. I think this was a good depiction of the possible pitfalls of modern technology and social media, from the lack of privacy to the hatefulness of people to complete strangers. There was a nice cast in this movie, but it ended up being a little underwhelming altogether. I think it's a must-see just for the commentary about social media and our modern internet age, but it's not a movie that I'll probably watch again. — Gasmanguitarist

A little slow...
★★★★★
A little slow, but it does go somewhere useful in the end. — BobLAMovieLover

Nothing actually happens
★★★★
the end is just like the beginning. very useless story. I expected better than this. — Joe_L2283

Awful film
★★★★
What the heck was Hanks thinking when he agreed to play in this waste of time of film? Can i get my money back? — Cisco911

Great
★★★★★
This isn't a popcorn movie but it's also not a documentary, it's a vision. This movie portrays a very real vision of how our future is likely to become thanks to the overwhelming obsession with social media and "sharing". The smart will perceive and the dumb will flag it as "nothing happens". — The Rhythmist

Being Charged for Socialist Propaganda at the Box Office?
★★★★
Chinese backing, Chinese control, and a seriously predictive socialist agenda, pushing an end to individual freedom and privacy. What's "not to loathe?" Only a generation so divorced from the Constutitional traditions of personal freedom and privacy that they can accept the basic premises shoved down their throats during this under 90-minute diatribe, would not have walked out booing. Welcome to the 21st Century. The beauty is this Chinese propaganda is … it’s being SOLD to Americans! You have to love the new Chinese version of capitalism! Being charged for propaganda is one of the greatest examples of "what the world is coming to." The movie itself is uninspired, but it is also ... prophetic ... in a frightening way. This had all the feel of a product roll-out, only this product, I am afraid, is all too likely-to-be a predecessor to a digital ID and information device that will NOT be optional. The acting in this film is contrived. The villian is actually a victim, and the heros are the real cowards. There is little to recommend this film, except that it offers frightening glimpse into a prison of biometrics and the criminalization of privacy. This show is a MUST SEE for those who want to know how an entire planet can become enslaved. It is not really entertainment, It is basically a contemporary sequel to 1984, and a prophecy of tyranny, only it is PRO-tyranny. This is why its sponsors chose such popular actors to promote the coming global agenda. Shame on anyone who does not get the point of this one! — cosmiccath

Really not for your average intellectual
★★★★★
This move is scary and it's scary because of how realistic it is with today's technology and it makes you think of whether privacy really is necessary. Not for your average thinker — Zara5382577929

Terrible!
★★★★
This movie is pretty much a blog! There is no plot or end... Save your money. — Pams12

Brilliant
★★★★★
This movie is groundbreaking at a time we struggle with what is right and wrong with modern technology, and what to do about the abuse of power it creates. — Checkbypho

How did they get funding to make this film?
★★★★
No nuances. It's superficial with strange casting selection of actors. It could have been more meaningful and potent of a storyline but there's no architecture in this story. Put simple. — mara_dandelion

Avoid this flaming wreck
★★★★★
How do you take such a hugely talented group of actors and end up with this? If you've seen the trailer, you've seen about as much story as you're going to get. This a bit of a spoiler, but the biggest surprise of the movie is there is virtually no discernible plot and no character development past Emma Watson - and her character's opaque actions are emotionally indecipherable. Why is she so insightful, then for most of the movie either pathetically gullible, strangely suddenly ignorant or very evil, then back to being a heroine in the end when in reality she's just essentially killed someone? It's like she's playing three different disjointed parts. It's hard not to want to watch all these great actors but taking away that desire not far into the movie is perhaps this movie's highest achievement. You can't get less than two stars with awesome actors like these but if you could, this movie would. — Jedi_betrayed

horrible
★★★★
dont bother with this movie — Ed1087

Got it now...
★★★★
The world ist behind the point to understands the critic in this movie. This ist the technological version of 1984 and we are in on a good track 😞 — juemi2

frightening
★★★★★
this is one frightening movie! the rotten tomato people...well, I don't know what they're thinking, this movie hits so close to home and it's on it's way. Good job Tom and Emma. — dinhr

Say what?
★★★★★
I purchased this thinking, wow Tom Hanks and Emma Watson should be good... Wrong... boring so what they followed an employee around work nothing to catch your attention. Wouldn't of wasted my money on this one, where is the refund key? — WebbieR

Uffff
★★★★
There is no story to this movie and the acting pushes the limits for Arnold's "Commando" to win an oscar for realistic drama. — Brent175

For the love of all that's holy,
★★★★
do not buy this movie! It's so bad I had to force myself to stay in the theater to watch it. Seriously. It's. Bad. I'm SO shocked Tom Hanks even signed on for this. Just wrong. — justAgirlReader

Miserable
★★★★
Worse than reading some newsfeed social commentary. Shame on me for renti...oh right, buying. — Passenger Pleased

Boring!!!!!!
★★★★
What a waste of money. That was an incredibly boring movie! — Jr2222278753