Circle (2015) - Plot Summary Poster

(II) (2015)


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  • Held captive and faced with their imminent executions, fifty strangers are forced to choose the one person among them who deserves to live.

  • In a massive, mysterious chamber, fifty strangers awaken to find themselves trapped with no memory of how they got there. Every two minutes, one of them must die... Executed by an electrical pulse generated from a source within the chamber. At first the attacks seem random, but, soon the strangers realize that they, as a group, have the power to decide who will be the next to be killed: by the power of the vote. Mob mentality at its finest hour. A chance to control the machine. How will they choose who deserves to die? What happens when there's only one person left? "Circle" is a film about humanity. How we value one another and how people react when they are forced to make decisions under the worst possible circumstances. It's a film that speaks to the very core of what makes us human - Who we are, what we believe and ultimately, the lengths we will go to in which to save ourselves.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A woman wakes up in a crowded room. She begins to panic.

    Another young guy speaks up and warns her not to move and tries to calm her down. As she panics, another woman wakes up, the young guy yet again reassures them of what he knows. Suddenly, every one else awakens, and hysteria is evident throughout the large group. The guy shouts for people to calm down, but most ignore him. Some listen, some are instantly killed when stepping off their circle.

    One guy figures out that whoever dies is controlled by their hands, seemingly 'voting' for who should die next. Around 5 people are killed before a young guy steps up and announces that they should kill the older people (6) to buy them 10 minutes of time to discuss what is going on. The older victims beg for their lives and cry as they are wiped out one by one. One man tries to lie and say that he saw 'wet black aliens' in a bid to buy some time. The group does not believe him and he is killed.

    The guy that suggested the older people die targets a woman with Cancer, accusing her of 'not being 52' and other members of the group join in to defend her when he says 'cancer or not, she will still die next'.

    One guy says that anyone over 35 should have a problem with this guy. The noise that starts the voting begins and the young guy realises he will be killed. He begs for his life but is killed by almost everyone in the room.

    People start to try and figure out what is going on. The lady that has Cancer says everyone should talk to each other and try to make sense of the situation. The group decides that 'no names' is an easier way to communicate after the lady that starts telling them about her life in detail is suddenly killed.

    A man points out that his wife is standing next to him. Another man says he knows someone standing in front of him as well. A policeman points out that he recognises a man that 'beat the shit' out of his girlfriend. Everyone asks if the domestic abuse is true and he admits it. He is killed after a confrontation with the cop.

    A lady points out that they need to decide 'who is good, and who is bad'. Another man, who is black, sarcastically comments that everyone should just 'kill the black people'. Some of the group start shouting and arguing. The cop starts saying that black people think they deserve everything and starts being racist. He is killed by the group.

    A U.S Marine comments that everyone wants to live so they all need to work together because they are probably 'being studied'. People decide to all vote for the person next to them in a bid to stop the program. It doesn't work and a random person is killed. They try it again because they think someone got it wrong. Suddenly a bright light appears over a pregnant lady and a man who has not yet said anything. The man is killed.

    A man comments that he voted for the man who was killed because he saw him vote for the pregnant lady and that was the only way to stop him. The group conclude that it's a game. Another guy comments that it will be 'the kid or the pregnant lady' that win and that if they kill them now everyone else has a better chance of living. The group begins to vote but the tie lands on an elderly asian woman and the little girl. The little girl is spared.

    The group are torn between protecting the pregnant lady and little girl or killing one of them. The voting resumes again and suddenly a man behind the pregnant lady and little girl is selected into a three way tie. He is hysterical and shouts 'Just kill them both' and dies.

    A man suggests volunteers to die and asks people to step forward. Nobody does for a few moments until a 16 year old boy named Sean suggests he will volunteer because he doesn't want to kill anyone. Another man suggests that he is 'just a kid' and shouldn't die. An older black man at the back suddenly says 'No, I will do it' after the group argue that Sean is either too young or he is 'allowed to make his own decisions'.

    Sean says he still wants to volunteer after being asked. The group kill him. The marine suddenly feels targeted as people look at him and states that he was in Afghanistan 'saving them' and justifies why he shouldn't die. People ask for volunteers and an older lady says that she will. She cries and is killed.

    A minister states that God is watching over the group and that he has a plan. A guy starts shouting at the minister and being abusive. After the vote a tie ensues between him and a lady that didn't say anything.

    The guy states that he knows a woman next to him is a pornstar. She says she doesn't do porn and he insists she does. He says that she is a mistress of a man called 'David' who has a family. He is killed by the group.

    Someone suggests people should take into account if people have families and that people without children should step forward and volunteer. The voting resumes and as a guy is telling a woman about himself, a girl who stated that she is 'still just a kid' is killed.

    A woman says she's gay and is targeted by the guy who was telling the group about himself and he says the woman has sinned and isn't worth dying for. The man says that being gay is wrong. The man gets killed by the group.

    Nobody votes on the next round and the man and woman that knew eachother from before both tie, and choose to die together.

    A man who has previously spoken up a lot begins to question if the pregnant lady is a good person. He states that she might not be a good person and asks where the baby's father is. She is flustered and he does not stop asking her questions. The voting sound begins to play and people seemingly ignore it. A random man is killed.

    A black man who has previously spoken up a lot questions the same man on whether or not he is a good person himself and asks what job he has. He answers saying he is a banker. He insists he is a good person as he gives to charity and 'lends people money to help them' but others aren't so convinced when a lady, a graduate student, mentions the possible salary he earns. He gets annoyed and asks the graduate what she does. She answers. She then starts to whisper in another language to a man who cannot speak English. She is killed by the group.

    People start to say that there are 'sides' and cracks begin to show in the group now that there are less and less people left. A guy takes charge and says the 'good side' need to protect the pregnant lady and child. People are confused but agree. A tie ensues between the man who can't speak any English and the child. He sacrifices himself to save her.

    An argument starts between the marine and the banker. The marine says the banker would 'kill a kid to save his own life' and is disgusted. The banker states that he wants to live and that he'll see what the marine does when it comes down to it. He is angry and begins chanting at the group that they need to kill the child and pregnant lady. People start arguing over 'sides' and the banker starts shouting loudly. One group says that they are voting for the child and one says they are voting for the banker. A tie ensues and the banker is killed.

    A man says that everyone should 'vote for the guy with one arm' who was in favour of saving the child and pregnant lady because it will 'even things out'. The guy gets killed. The marine says that the couple (husband) should die. As the husband panics and says that he will swap his wife for himself, the marine suddenly tells everyone to 'vote for the black guy'.

    A man laughs saying 'true love conquers all' and shouts saying that everyone has killed themselves. He says that they probably aren't married and that they are lying and that they are just lying to survive. He says "Nobody wants to kill someones husband or wife, especially in front of them". People quiz the couple with questions like 'What's his birthday, what are the names of his parents". A lady asks what her husbands name is and the group realise that he said his name before, but the 'wife' doesn't answer. The group realise the couple are lying and they admit it. They both accuse each other of starting the lie first but the group kill the man.

    The same man that accused them of not being married, states that he can help keep her alive and that she shouldn't have lied. The marine steps in and claims that he is just trying to use her. The woman agrees to join the 'side' that wants to kill the group. A man stays silent as he is asked what side he is on.

    The gay woman has her emotions played with by the man who is trying to rally up group to kill the pregnant lady and child. A tie ensues between 5 people. All die (Marine, lady with cancer, the woman who was accused of being a pornstar and a random) except the leader of the bad side.

    He tries to enlist the pregnant lady to vote against the little girl but she says she won't do it. 6 people are left after a man says that he is sorry to the pregnant lady and sacrifices himself. It is now an even vote. People begin to vote but a man refuses and the lady who lied about being married dies.

    The two guys that are left question the guy that didn't vote. The group decide to 'vote against him' and the leader of the bad side agrees. He suddenly realises he has been played and is killed. The good guy, the pregnant lady and the child realise they have to vote for the old man. He is killed.

    With just the guy, pregnant lady and child left, they start to say it was likely an experiment to 'learn about us'. The guy says when he is gone they will need to decide who steps forward or both will be killed. The little girl says she will go and the woman starts crying. He says it's very brave of her and that they will go together. The voting beeper starts to go and he shouts at her to go. She steps off her circle but the guy also selects the pregnant lady to die. He sighs in relief.

    The voting beeper goes off again and he begins to shout, thinking he will die anyway. A tie ensues, between him and the baby that is inside the dead pregnant lady. He selects the baby to die and the screen goes black.

    The guy wakes up on concrete. He looks up at some kind of spaceship and sees lots of them floating around. He walks for a while and sees a group of people looking up at them. He looks with them at a huge spaceship in the sky.

See also

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