While the film delves into this deep subject, audiences get to enjoy the performances of professional actors. Emma Watson (Harry Potter) is authentic even after the release of her giant Disney blockbuster. She is vastly different in this role, showing that she is capable of taking on diverse parts. It is nice to see smaller actors such as John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood) also involved in this project. Both Boyega and Coltrane bring genuine characters to the screen.
Of course, the big names in this cast created the early buzz for the film. Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille, Young Adult) and Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump) act well in their roles, but unfortunately there is not enough screen time for either of them. To me, their characters were the most interesting aside from Watson's. Hanks plays a big business CEO who at first seems like a morally inspiring character, but later turns into something else. As always, his dialogue keeps my ears attentive and the words roll right off of his tongue. He is one of the greatest actors ever, but was wasted a bit in this film.
Another issue I had with The Circle has to do with the timing of events. Everything moves too quickly without a lot of time for the audience to understand what is going on. The overall concept for the film is simplistic, but the nitty gritty details could have made the subject matter more interesting and different from previous takes on privacy and modern technology. All of the build-up continues until the very end, where we are left with an unsatisfying finish. It's as if Ponsoldt never really finished the film. At the end, the credits start to roll and the audience has no idea what happens. Often times I can live with that, but this just felt unfinished and sloppy.
The Bottom Line: Overall The Circle includes good acting and an interesting subject, but several filmmaking choices leave room for perfection.