Circle (2015) Horror Movie Review with Ending Explained


The Review (Spoiler Free)

“Circle” (2015) presents a gripping psychological thriller that delves into the darkest corners of human nature. The film’s premise is deceptively simple: fifty strangers wake up in a room, arranged in a circle, with no memory of how they got there. Every two minutes, one of them is executed by an unseen force, and the group quickly realizes they can vote to decide who is next. This setup creates a tense atmosphere that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats as the characters navigate through fear, manipulation, and moral dilemmas.

The movie’s strength lies in its exploration of societal norms and human behavior under extreme pressure. It challenges the audience to consider what they would do in a similar situation, making it a thought-provoking experience. The diverse cast delivers solid performances, with each character representing different facets of society, thus adding layers to the narrative.

However, “Circle” is not without its flaws. Some critics argue that the film could have been condensed into a shorter format, perhaps fitting better as an episode of a series like “The Twilight Zone” rather than a full-length feature. Additionally, while the film maintains suspense, the ending has been a point of contention for some viewers, feeling somewhat abrupt and leaving many questions unanswered.

Spoiler Ending (Spoiler Warning!)

The strangers quickly realized they were part of a game. Every few minutes, they had to vote to eliminate someone until only one person remained. However, a dilemma arose when only two were left: a tied vote would result in both deaths, leaving no survivors. The group had to decide whether to die together or sacrifice themselves for one individual. The presence of a child and a pregnant woman raised the moral question: should they be saved over others?

In the end, neither the child nor the pregnant woman survived; instead, a man who had been manipulating the group did. It was revealed that extraterrestrial beings were behind the ‘circle.’ This man survived and exited the circle. Numerous other spacecraft hovering suggested more circles existed. It’s presumed that the aliens are abducting humans to observe their decision-making processes. The purpose remains unclear. In the closing scene, other individuals, including children, pregnant women, and the elderly, are seen wandering, implying they are survivors from different circles.

In the Nutshell

“Circle” is a film that offers a unique take on the survival genre. It may not satisfy those looking for action-packed sequences or elaborate special effects, but for those interested in a character-driven story that examines the human condition, “Circle” is a compelling watch. The film’s ability to engage and provoke discussion makes it a standout piece, despite any perceived shortcomings in its execution. [I give 4 out of 5 stars]

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating


Genre: Sci-fi Mystery

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  1. Fantastic concept that is beautifully executed. All the decisions and rationale behind them feel disturbingly real. I found myself yelling at the characters on many occasions.

    My one gripe would be that it was hard for me to imagine how certain characters would survive as long as they did given their actions.

    That said the turmoil did cause me to become that much more involved in the story.

    This film falls in line perfectly with others that similarly take a unique concept and flesh them out into intriguing narratives. If you like Cube, The Game, The Box, or even Adjustment Bureau (not nearly as sappy so don’t worry) you will love this movie.

    Side note if you watched this movie and liked it you should also check out the ones I mentioned above.

  2. I thought the movie was rather entertaining, but it annoyed me that they gave up on a solution so quickly. 50 people in a room with a sphere that is presumably watching and killing based on circumstance, and no one thinks to suggest covering it up by throwing their jackets on it.

  3. Julie Benz is not necessarily a huge actress but she’s hardly unknown either – and I recognise the soldier actor too but don’t recall his name.

    Awesome movie though!

  4. The ending didn’t make sense. After he killed the pregnant woman he had to kill the unborn baby. So how then is there a pregnant woman who survived on one of the other ships? She would have had to kill her unborn child. I enjoyed the movie but the ending left a bad taste in my brain.

    1. She probably did, that’s why that scene was there. She was probably carrying her dead baby in her belly. She would have to make a choice, either killing her baby, or killing herself, which would’ve also killed the baby.

    2. Maybe a lone pregnant woman gets to keep her baby because she can’t vote for herself and thus the baby inside her too.. every last survivors like the guy in this movie gets to kill the unborn freely at the last stage since the child cannot protect itself so maybe that the catch is that the fate of the unborn is stuck with it’s mother…So you may ask then why the unborn be killed immediately with the mother becoz it is gonna die eventually since it can’t defend itself.. Maybe the aliens wanted to test how far humans could go to survive..

  5. Interesting concept, but after I was about an hour in, things just got boring. I struggled to get to the last few minutes. Once getting there, it was the expected situation. There was a small twist, but it appears the guy acted quick enough to save himself. My only complaint was that the rules had suddenly appeared to have changed for the story. Either way, same end result.
    We get to the end, see a group and immediately understand how the group came to be. Comprised of mostly women and children, there’s one older person and middle-aged person. Thanks to the movie focusing on this particular circle, we have an idea how the middle-aged person walked out of the situation. The older person errr we can make up a realistic story.
    Either way, this movie makes for an interesting story and concept, but at the same time it does leave quite a bit to be desired.

  6. What would have happened if they DID spare the pregnant lady and at the end she would have found out that she had to choose between her or the baby, but sacrificing herself meant killing the baby. Would she have killed the baby and try to survive hersel? 🤔

  7. I was looking for a clue in the whole movie. But apart from the voting process there was no way to finish the game before the last man standing (and then the voting was very unclear). It was an unrealistic movie and one of the worst movies I have ever seen. What could you learn from it: have a big ego? A stupid movie that saves a lot of money by recording it all in one studio, having no variety at all and hardly including any positivism or humor. Therefore I give a negative review.

  8. The man standing in the end tied with the baby thought he won the game but tied. He gets up from sleep on the ground and goes into a similar circle of people looking up at the ships only to get ready to play the game again maybe to finally win.

  9. I especially liked guy who refused to take part in this horrible game – he was silent and haven’t selected anybody to kill. If I would be is similar situation, I would try to behave like he did. Not a great movie, but certainly very interesting.


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