Movie review: 'The Social Network'

Handout photo from 2010's hit, "The Social Network."

Handout photo from 2010's hit, "The Social Network." (Credit: Handout)

The Social Network
3.5 stars
Directed by David Fincher
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence
Rated PG-13

Is it too soon for a movie about Facebook? Not when David Fincher is directing a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin with a score by Trent Reznor. The divine trifecta has turned the Facebook creation story into a sweeping thriller.

The movie shuttles back and forth between two eras of Facebook’s short history: the creation and the lawsuits.

The former begins as Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), still a Harvard sophomore, agrees to help a couple of blond-haired, blue-eyed titan twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, hammer out the programming for a new Harvard social network.

In a move that is dubious at best and illegal at worst, Zuckerberg gives the twins the runaround and creates his own application: The Facebook.

He enlists best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) as his CFO and, in a dizzying chain of events, transforms Facebook from a Harvard dorm-room operation into a worldwide empire.

You can’t build an empire without stepping on some toes.

Eventually the Winklevosses and Zuckerberg’s own best pal, Saverin, sue him separately over proprietary matters. Zuckerberg’s arrogant, at times ruthless, attitude does him no favors, but the extent of his villainy is subject to debate. Is he an unethical jerk, or is he just a brash, shrewd genius?

Sorkin based the script on conflicting Zuckerberg stories that have been bandied about in the media. In other words: A complete portrait of Zuckerberg this most certainly is not.
With that caveat in mind, “The Social Network,” opening Friday, is very relevant, not to mention sublime entertainment.

As for the cast, this is the role that Eisenberg was destined to play — all those years of emoting cocky, insecure teenagers have finally paid off! — and Garfield, as the jilted friend, ably holds down the emotional center of the movie. Bravo, Fincher, for having the cojones to tackle Facebook on-screen.

To watch “The Social Network” is to be swept up into the surreal world of history that is happening now.

Tags: Entertainment , Movies , "The Social Network , " Facebook

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