Movie Review: Circle (2015)

Circle begins in a weird way.

A bunch of people are standing on red dots, around a globe in the middle of the room. If a person steps off their circle, touches another person, a bolt of energy shoots out and kills them, and every two minutes the same bolt leaps out and kills the person a rotating arrow is pointing to.

Before too long, they discover that they can make the arrow point at a particular person (don’t ask, it’s one of the flaws of the movie how quickly they figure it out) and determine that the last person standing gets to walk out alive.

Sounds simple, no?circle 2

Not so fast. After picking off most of the elderly, we discover there is a pregnant woman and a child in the room. So factions start, do we kill off the pair to allow the strong to survive? Does the kid live since she is the youngest or the pregnant woman, since she is with child?

Needless to say, factions are formed, begging, threats, self-sacrifices and every argument the writers could think of bubble up to the surface to see who should and should not die next. As people are picked off, the battle lines get clearer but the arguments reveal more and more about the people left.

So how is Circle?

Let me throw this out first. I have not only given orders to not only the wife to watch this movie, but also to my Daughter and her boyfriend.

I do love the presentation of Circle. This could easily have been a play, other than the size and had a hundred directions to go. When the people first wake up,  a few are killed before the plot kicks in. It could have easily been the kid, the woman, the survivor, and really changed the movies outcome. The sexism, the racism, the ageism, and other biases we see could change dramatically and still have been a great movie.

How to score Circle is a difficulty, I really enjoyed the starkness of the set and the fact we have to watch person after person come in and go away, so the narrative experiment moves along. I give Circle full marks there. I’m not sure the rewatchabillty is there, I don’t think I’d watch it again with friends more than once, but I’d be more than willing to recommend Circle to anyone, but not a third time. I do think I’d grab the DVD if there were solid extras. 8.

Spoilers Shead

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