The Circle – Review

This is another one of those films that aren’t actually Netflix Originals but Netflix just decided to put the Netflix Original text on the thumbnails, but at least this time the release year is correct. The main reason I knew this wasn’t a Netflix Original was because I remember a couple of American film critics did reviews of it.

It’s not good. As I watched it I remembered some of the problems pointed out in the reviews I’d seen. The film centers around this company that is some kind of amalgamation of Facebook, YouTube, Apple and any other social media platform you can think of but while it’s clearly meant to be about discovering ethical problems within the company it really doesn’t seem to make it clear what those problems actually are because they’re almost identical to the things being depicted as the positive side of the company.

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It also doesn’t help that the film clearly wants you to either agree with or at least feel bad for this old friend character yet does a terrible job of presenting his viewpoint in a way that doesn’t just make him come across as annoying. He’s like those stupid videos you see about how bad it is that everyone is on their phones all the time and just as annoying.

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Honestly the only thing keeping this film from being the worst I’ve seen of the year so far is the cast. You’ve got Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, John Boyega, Patton Oswalt and the late Bill Paxton (in fact according to Wikipedia this is his last film) all giving good performances but the script gives them nothing to work with.

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The film uses this floating text aesthetic for things that appears on screen but it just takes you out of the movie when they decide to show a mirror image of it that you can’t read yet you also know that it isn’t really floating in front of Emma Watson’s face making it pointless. Even if like me you’re making an effort to see a lot of this year’s films you can probably skip this one.

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