‘The Circle’ Review Roundup: Cautionary Tale Widely Panned
The Circle, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, is a modern thriller that see the use of technology border on dangerous. The film is an adaptation of Dave Egger‘s 2013 novel of the same name. It serves as a cautionary tale of the eradication of privacy due to technology’s growing presence and necessity in our lives.
While earning just a 31% on rottentomatoes.com, the film has been widely panned by critics. The Circle opens everywhere tomorrow, April 28.
THE CIRLCE REVIEW ROUNDUP
“What we’ve gotten, as directed by James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour), is a middling, choppily edited mess. Despite appealing features, including stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks (who morphs his patented affability into casually sinister, Jobs-ian salesmanship), The Circle never builds up a head of steam as either dark drama, modern satire or dystopian thriller… Circle is like a buggy app, something you want to work but is doomed to be remembered more as a missed opportunity than a memorably cautionary message for our times.”
–Robert Abele, The Los Angeles Times
“Lampooning the simple-mindedness of utopian web clichés was arguably part of Mr. Eggers’s point, but much of that point is often muddled in the book. And it’s simply incoherent in the movie. The novel is at its most trenchantly funny when depicting the exhausting nature of virtual social life, and it’s in this area, too, that the movie gets its very few knowing laughs… You’re also left with oodles and oodles of bad acting and bad dialogue… The movie is dedicated to Bill Paxton, who died in February and is quite fine in the small role of Mae’s father, who’s dealing with multiple sclerosis. The dedication is a kind and considerate touch. Still, if you’d like to enjoy a movie featuring both Mr. Paxton and Mr. Hanks, I’d recommend Apollo 13.”
–Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
“The Circle is a swankly sinister little mind teaser of a thriller. It’s a nightmare vision of what digital culture is turning all of us into, with all of our help… [The film] is so clinical in its paranoia that it doesn’t hit many emotional buttons, but it’s the rare conversation-piece thriller that asks its audience: What sort of society do you really want? The movie shows us what it looks like when people have been convinced to share so much of themselves that they no longer have any selves left.”
–Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“It’s easy to giggle at The Circle, the movie, just as it’s easy giggle sometimes at Dave Eggers, whose novel is the film’s source. James Ponsoldt’s adaptation (co-written with Eggers) is, like Eggers’ books, nakedly earnest, engaged with nothing less but The State of Things Now, more smart than its most fierce detractors will admit but also still a little clumsy… Ponsoldt’s film is caught between comedy and paranoid thriller. I fear he half-asses the latter.”
–Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.