The trailer for The Circle jerked audiences in the direction of a paranoid thriller of universal proportion, but all director James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now) could make good on was a wormhole of narcissism down which he could make his latest film spiral. Mae (Emma Watson) won the lottery the day she landed a job at a Google-ish tech giant cloaked in secrecy and headed up by Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks). And in no time, she attracts worldwide attention by agreeing to wear a camera 24/7. It’s rare when Hanks tanks; scenes of his charismatic CEO riding herd over weekly staff meetings pack all the intimate spontaneity generally associated with an Herbalife seminar. Is he hosting a reality series or heading up the most powerful corporation on the planet? If we’re supposed to assume they’re one and the same, Ponsoldt and co-screenwriter John Boyega do a lousy job of connecting the dots. With: Patton Oswalt, trying for Don Rickles in Casino. (2017) — Scott Marks
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