“Circle” (2015) is a particularly dark sci-fi thriller that manages to be pretty good despite its obviously low budget. I’d give it a 7 out of 10.
Fifty strangers awaken in mysterious high-tech room in which they’re forced to vote on who among them will next die, until only one survivor remains. (It’s a setup reminiscent of the “Survivor” reality tv series. Good Lord, has that show really been on for 15 years?!) Other amatuer reviewers have called this a “study in human nature;” I think maybe that’s a bit generous. We see a few obvious stereotypes and some pretty thin characters (even if a couple of unexpected flourishes were very well played). I also think that the vast majority of people who would find themselves in this story’s setting would lack the composure we see from virtually every character on screen.
Still, this movie was different and creative. It kept me in suspense at times, and held my attention. And early on, the talk about awakening “in a red room” appears to be a pretty cool nod to what seems like this movie’s direct inspiration — 1997’s classic “Cube.”
I really disliked the ending, but an explanation about why would be a tremendous spoiler.