The Netflix Dark Sci-Fi Thriller Turns Tech Into A Nightmare

By TeeJay Small | Published

the circle

These days, it seems like projects such as Black Mirror have revitalized the tech dystopia genre, especially as cell phones and other smart devices take an increasingly significant role in our day-to-day lives. One film, The Circle, arrived on the scene in 2017, and completely shook audiences with its terrifying techno-thrill ride.

Though critics panned the film, many audiences appreciate the subject matter and star-studded cast of the film, leaving something of a cult audience to form now that The Circle is available on streaming.

The Circle Streaming On Netflix

The Circle is currently streaming on Netflix for those who haven’t yet had a chance to catch the social media thriller.

The film stars a number of A-list performers such as Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, stand-up comedian Patton Oswald, and singer-songwriter Beck.

A plethora of talented actors who also starred in the film went on to find great success shortly after The Circle premiered, including Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Karen Gillan, Jurassic World: Dominion‘s Mamoudou Athie, and Star Wars’ John Boyega.

Based On The Novel

The Circle serves as the first posthumous appearance of Bill Paxton after he tragically passed away in early 2017. It is also said to be one of the final projects Paxton worked on, as reshoots for the film took place just one month before his untimely death.

The film was written and directed by James Ponsoldt, based on a 2013 novel of the same name by Dave Eggers.

The Tech World

the circle

The Circle centers on a young woman named Mae who lucks into a high-paying corporate job at a major social media tech start-up.

After learning the ropes at her new gig, Mae meets with the company’s CEO, Eamon Bailey, portrayed by Tom Hanks, and heads development on a new platform called SeeChange.

SeeChange allows users to monitor and livestream nearly anything through tons of tiny cameras that are placed across the country in massive quantities.

Going Transparent

the circle

Before long, high-profile figures such as business owners and politicians agree to open their daily work schedules up to the public’s eyes to provide education and transparency about their work.

Mae is directed to head the Circle’s cloud server where all the SeeChange information is stored, and before long, she agrees to act as the very first user to go fully transparent.

This involves wearing SeeChange cameras on her person at all times, which allows users to livestream her every waking moment.

No Privacy

the circle

Predictably, this comes with a sizable raise, but ultimately destroys Mae’s relationships with friends and family, as people can no longer share in any private moments with her.

As The Circle builds to its thrilling conclusion, the film delivers a sharp social commentary on the state of media watchdogs, the pervasive presence of social media in modern life, and the increased surveillance of a digital police state.

Stream The Circle

the circle

Though critics bashed the film, resulting in a paltry 16 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film managed to make over $40.7 million against an estimated production budget of only $18 million.

If you’re interested in seeing The Circle for yourself, it’s available to stream on Netflix today.