The Circle Movie Review
Tom Hanks used to be the beacon of quality, but now he stars in middling movies like The Circle, a non-thrilling thriller that is so insufferably nothing-nothing it’s hard to evoke any emotion—such as hate—at all. Hanks plays the CEO of a Facebook-esque technology firm seeking to take over the world, but it doesn’t really matter because practically nothing happens for the film’s entire runtime.
I haven’t read the Dave Eggers book upon which The Circle is based, but after reading the Wikipedia summary, it’s clear that director James Ponsoldt and, oddly, Dave Eggers himself, have butchered the original story.
Hanks actually isn’t in the movie very much—Emma Watson is the real star, but she’s given just about as much to do as Hanks. She’s fine but it’s hard to get behind her character, largely because her character is written so flatly. If The Circle is about a young woman who becomes seduced by a workplace that seeks to know everything about her, her friends and her family, Ponsoldt and Eggers fail to dig beneath the surface to help the audience knows what makes her tick—and what serves as her breaking point.
And if The Circle is—and I think it is—about uncovering a technology firm’s motivations to rule every aspect of people’s lives, then the movie fails miserably, not only in establishing any sense of suspense or tension, but in establishing any sense of anything at all. It starts, a few things happen, things end, but there don’t appear to be good guys, bad guys, or anything in between. There isn’t even a climax.
The Circle isn’t the horrendous film many have said it is, but it is horrendously drab, a thriller that literally is not thrilling in any way or form.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.