“The Circle” is the kind of movie that makes your parents send you e-mails about keeping duct tape over your webcam. It’s the kind of movie that makes your parents try to give you lessons on doxxing. Basically, it’s a panic picture designed to incite those with a minimal understanding of the Internet without the experience. The trailers underwhelmed me, Emma Watson continues to underwhelm me and I wasn’t quite ready to watch the film. So, what came of it? Note: I’m finally posting this about a month after I saw the film.

First: the book is really good. It captures a sense of all-knowing terror that comes from an era of biometrics, cloud computing intrusion and data mining in a hyper-textual society. But, what the film fails to do is capitalize on that terror. A lot of that comes from the overwhelming reality that Emma Watson can’t quite carry lead roles yet. But, she was so good opposite Harry Potter and the Beast! Yeah, well Charles Grodin was able to hold his own with Muppets. This is a different kind of film.

Fear of intrusion is a real human fear that only developed in the PostModern age. How many of your ancestors were terrified of government/business intrusion prior to World War II? None. Hell, they were probably starving in the Dust Bowl or in bread lines. They wanted the government to read their thoughts and help them. Now, that wicked streak of independence produces a populace that wants to broadcast everything while remaining private.

It’s a walking conundrum that doesn’t invite reality to partake. “The Circle” succeeds by engaging that mentality and then becoming part of that mentality. Tom Hanks does what he can to make the material work, but this is strictly a Nicolas Cage style role for him. A better SME film will happen one day, but “The Circle” isn’t it.


  • Featurettes


  • 2.40:1 1080p transfer
  • DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track



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