The first reviews for James Ponsoldt's thriller 'The Circle' starring Emma Watson are here and it seems critical opinions on its premise are largely mixed. Based on the 2013 Dave Eggers novel of the same name, the movie is an exploration of how social media could so easily transform into a Big Brother society.

Emma Watson at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of 'The Circle'Emma Watson at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of 'The Circle'

It's not an unusual storyline; indeed, the Orwellian themes have been repeated in multiple works of literature, film and television, but as society's obsession with online sharing via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram grows with each year, the ideas become more and more relevent.

This story follows a young woman named Mae (Emma Watson) who lands a job at an internet tech company called The Circle who are developing 24 hour personal cameras for high-profile people to wear all-day everyday to prove their transparency and their trustworthiness. Though, of course, there's a totalitarian undercurrent whereby this new project is something of a segue into a full surveillance society.

Watch the trailer for 'The Circle' here:

Variety branded 'The Circle' a 'swankly sinister little mind teaser of a thriller' and 'a nightmare vision of what digital culture is turning all of us into', though confessed that the 'clinical' nature of the plot meant that 'it doesn't hit many emotional buttons'.

Meanwhile, The Wrap had very little to say regarding positives, calling it 'an over-the-top and implausible story that tries to be 'timely' and 'relevant' but mainly hits us over the head with absurd situations'. They go on to say that the various plot manipulations are much too obvious to be believed, as indeed are the nefarious intentions of the main villains. ''The Circle' takes a valid concern about lack of privacy in the Internet age and turns it into a hyperbolic and finally laughable melodrama', they add.

On the other hand, The Hollywood Reporter accepted that sometimes it does appear 'far-fetched', but 'only until you think of similar things that have already happened, similar liberties that have been happily surrendered by users of popular networks'.

'The Circle' hits theatres tomorrow (April 28th 2017).