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Emma Watson’s employer takes data-tracking too far in trailer for ‘The Circle’

Why it matters to you

The upcoming film The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, focuses on the dark side of the technology that we use every day.

If you have problems at work, the new trailer for The Circle may make you feel better about them. STX Entertainment released the film’s official trailer on Thursday, and the story is scarily realistic. Set in the near future, the film centers on a groundbreaking and morally questionable experiment led by a Silicon Valley tech company called The Circle.

Emma Watson plays Mae, a young woman who gets involved in the experiment after she lands a job there. She soon learns that her participation isn’t harmless. In the trailer, one of Mae’s co-workers, Kalden (played by John Boyega), lets her in on a secret: The Circle is storing and analyzing all the information it gathers for potentially nefarious purposes.

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“They can use it however they see fit, no matter its cost,” he tells her.

Of course, there is going to be fallout from a bombshell like that, but the trailer doesn’t show it all. Instead, we just get snippets, including scenes showing a police car, Mae running down a hospital hallway, a kayak in dark waters, and a drone swooping at a car windshield, among other ominous shots. Throughout it all, we get a soundtrack with a clear and creepy message: “They’re watching you.”

The film, which is based on Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel of the same name, raises important and relevant ethical questions about privacy and personal freedom. What makes it terrifying is that nothing seems impossibly far-fetched. The Circle doesn’t involve made-up technology or monsters as villains; every threat we see seems like something that already exists in the real world.

Scariness aside, the movie features an excellent acst. In addition to Watson and Boyega, The Circle stars Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Patton Oswalt, and Karen Gillian. James Ponsoldt directed the film, as well as co-wrote the screenplay with Eggers.

The Circle hits theaters on April 28.