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104 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Like" Button
Like many people, I was actively resistant to the idea of watching a movie telling the story of Facebook. Smarmy frat-house brats high-fiving as they hunch around a computer screen with a few "brewskis" - becoming billionaires en route - sounded like a recipe for the most teeth-grindingly awful movie ever: Porky's for Dorks, if you will. I went reluctantly...
Published on 17 Oct 2010 by Sarcosuchus

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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film but SO over-rated
I saw this at the cinema and whilst it is an intriguing look into the birth of a global phenomenon that has caused us all to waste a lot of our precious time, it is just not an amazing film; but it is good.
The plot is essentially based around greed - everyone is trying to get a piece of the very big pie that was cooked up in various college kitchens; but the head...
Published on 15 Feb 2011 by Mr. D. S. Jackson


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104 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Like" Button, 17 Oct 2010
Like many people, I was actively resistant to the idea of watching a movie telling the story of Facebook. Smarmy frat-house brats high-fiving as they hunch around a computer screen with a few "brewskis" - becoming billionaires en route - sounded like a recipe for the most teeth-grindingly awful movie ever: Porky's for Dorks, if you will. I went reluctantly.

Thank God I did though. I should have had more faith in David Fincher - he's a smart enough film maker to realise that this movie would only ever work if it focused on the genuinely extraordinary, which in this case means the birth of a new way of interacting, and the personalities that brought it into existence. This would be more than enough material to make an interesting film, but Aaron (West Wing) Sorkin's script also brings in issues of class, the generational divide, intelligence, money and the new economy. What results is a riveting, fast-paced film about the excitement of new ideas, the intoxicating rush of the succesful dot com, and the almighty high of billions of dollars, all channelled through something which all of us are familiar with and can relate to. Nothing less, then, than that rarest of beasts, a film which successfully addresses The Times In Which We Live.

The film's (already famous) opening scene shows Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) being dumped by his girlfriend, and from this we immediately learn several key things - Zuckerberg is possessed of an unapologetic, almost Asperger's-level intelligence; and he is terrible at human interaction. Zuckerberg takes revenge on his ex online, by setting up a website enabling fellow Harvard students to rate female students by attractiveness, and while this stunt earns him an academic suspension, it also brings him to the attention of his peers, some of whom have ideas for websites of their own. And so begins the story of Facebook; Zuckerberg's vision, but possibly not his idea.

All the performances are remarkable, though the three main male leads - Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake - are nothing short of outstanding. Doubtless the real story was duller, more ragged and more painful, but in focusing on the emotional truth of the story Fincher and Sorkin have created a brilliant and entertaining fable for our times. Shame that women barely figure in it at all, apart from as heartless bitches or sex objects, but you can't have everything. Recommended.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film but SO over-rated, 15 Feb 2011
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I saw this at the cinema and whilst it is an intriguing look into the birth of a global phenomenon that has caused us all to waste a lot of our precious time, it is just not an amazing film; but it is good.
The plot is essentially based around greed - everyone is trying to get a piece of the very big pie that was cooked up in various college kitchens; but the head chef (Zuckerberg) doesn't want to share the pie with anyone; even though his best friend paid for all of the ingredients.
Zuckerberg is undoubtedly the brains and passion behind "facebook" and he naturally deserves the lion's share of the profits generated by his hard work and imagination; but he is rather cold and dismissive of the role that others played and this makes it difficult to like him; he is very awkward which is typified in the opening scene in which his girlfriend quickly becomes his ex-girlfriend after Zuckerberg showcases his patronising charms. This rejection from his girlfriend fans the flames of Zuckerberg's creative computer geek-wizardry and he - like all great artists - uses his hurt to create something masterful. Whilst you feel for him to some extent, there isn't enough to like about him to enjoy his ride despite the exciting moments where he comes up with classic "facebook" features such as "relationship status" and "the wall".
Other characters are more engaging, especially Zuckerberg's best friend, Eduardo Saverin - played by the increasingly impressive Andrew Garfield; in fact all the performances are great including Justin Timberlake's rock 'n' roll portrayal of "napster" nerd, Sean Parker.
The film is good, but nothing amazing happens, the heart is not touched, it is hardly inspiring, none of the characters' inner journeys are fantastic enough to evoke empathy. The film is based on a true story so it is unrealistic to expect the plot or the characters to be close to perfect; but if a film is not truly inspiring, I personally disagree with it being lauded as great, regardless of how well it is made; like with music and art - it is surely about how it makes you feel?
It is very interesting and thought provoking but I cannot help but feel that a website called "facebook" is nominated for awards rather than a film called "The Social Network".
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Social Network - The story of "geek" worldwide domination, 21 Nov 2010
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
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The concept didn't sound that appealing if truth be told. A bunch of anally obsessed aspring Harvard final club boys in a completely male-centric environment playing around with HTML, computer code and all sorts of internet website mysterie. All of which then degenerates in a maelstrom of bitter litigation and lawsuits despite the fact that none cared about money and intellectual property? Furthermore it points to yet another example that the internet has the ability to spread ideas to a frenzied peak like no other invention in history giving massive exposure to those guys who were once the great underachievers in the American university system previously obsessed with jocks, sport and wealth. The film the "Social Network" is nevertheless a complete triumph and the pairing of director David Fincher (Fight Club) and the West Wing's wonderful screenwriter Aaron Sorkin takes this drama out of the dorm and on to the big screen with an assuredness that makes easily it one of 2010's best films.

The plot revolves around Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and the other Harvard University students who were the brainchild's of "The Facebook" the social networking website now claiming nearly half a billion members. Zuckerberg narcissistic portrayal by Eisenberg is superb and has the word Oscar stamped all over it. He captures all the arrogance, autism, ambition and alienation which led this genius programmer to start by crashing Harvard's entire IT system to eventually constructing the ubiquitous Facebook created according to the film as an angry response to being dumped by a girl. The "true" story centres on the fact that Zuckerberg's programming skills attract the attention of the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence), who are the sons of a very wealthy business consultancy founder Dr. Howard Winklevoss and Olympic standard quality "rowing jocks". They enlist Zuckerberg to create a social website for them (Harvard connection) which coincidently matches his own developing ideas of the "The Facebook". The story develops from there into the warp speed contagion of Facebook colonisation of the planet and the reaction of those people left behind such as Zuckerberg's initial great friend and underwriting business partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). In doing so we also encounter Justin Timberlake brilliantly playing the Napster founder and internet bad boy Sean Parker: a parasite but with an uncanny eye to spot emerging internet trends who makes the immortal observation that Zuckerberg should just "Drop the "the". Just "Facebook". It's cleaner".

The script and dialogue is fast paced, witty, smart and stands with Sorkins best work on the West Wing. The film has the quality of a legal thriller and the language of blogs, backend coding, hackathons and programming are there but do not impede the narrative. It is fascinating in particular to watch these people become powerful so quickly and this combined with their undoubted genius in computer programming leads to the key interchange in the film which summarizes Zuckerberg's arrogance but also his huge talent. At a key point he snaps back to the prosecuting lawyer "You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question"?

The real life Zuckerberg has seen the film and states that movie got a lot of stuff wrong and random details right. Nevertheless at 26 only time will tell whether he has managed to create a colossus which may mark the end of privacy or have generated one of the greatest communication tools since we started mouthing words to one another. Similarly whether this brilliant film "The Social Network" is accurate, factional or fictional with a fortune running into billions Zuckerberg can live with the shame.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent take on a type of person, 22 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Social Network [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Reading through some of the reviews that slate the film, I was left wondering whether people knew anything at all or read any review before writing their reviews. To me they seem to miss the point. This is not a guns and explosions thriller with CGI scenes all over it. It is actually an intelligent exploration of how someone who is highly intelligent and gifted in one sphere of life (programming), can be border line stupid in another (social skills and interacting with people). It is obvious at times that this is derived from a stage play and that some scenes are completely invented to link scenes or add what the director feels is necessary extra detail. Often they are not. To my mind the film is at its strongest when keeping the scale small and focusing on the interplay between the Zuckerberg "character" and others - which of course is what the play does. Criticisms about characters talking too quickly are again missing the point. Highly intelligent people will often seem to race ahead in their conversations, especially those who are gifted in computing and maths - as the two central players here are. They are also both young people, who again will often seem to gabble away when talking.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brash & noisy, but unexceptional, 27 Nov 2011
By 
Lendrick (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Social Network [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I was sceptical when I saw that a film was being made of the Facebook story, but given the rave reviews I sat down to watch this with high expectations. I'm now a bit mystified by those awards, it's an OK film but no more than that.

Basic problem is there isn't much of a story to tell, and we mostly know how it ends up. Creating a social networking site isn't exactly abolishing slavery, so it is hard to get too excited by Zukerbergs project.

Nearest we get to dramatic tension is his falling out with co-founder Eduardo Saverin but that's never fully played out, or adequately resolved, perhaps due to the non-discloure agreements in place. The other main theme is the dispute with the Winklevoss twins, but they are portrayed unsympathetically. Consequently much of the film is a bunch of well to do kids sitting round tables with lawyers, arguing about whoes idea facebook was, not really riveting watching.

To try and liven things up we get frequent doses of loud music, sex & drugs, with a rather unpleasant sexism running through much of it. While the loud music makes some of the dialogue difficult to follow.

The central performances are good though, so overall it is quite watch-able, if insubstantial.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revealing the Face behind Facebook, 20 May 2012
By 
J Brackell (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Social Network [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I must admit I was doubtful that a film about the inception and subsequent growth of Facebook would be able to hold my interest, especially since it would feature the two court cases against creator Mark Zuckerberg. The idea of a legal drama based around a social networking site sounded tedious to me, but enough people had recommended it that I decided to give it a try.

The biggest surprise was how much of the movie was focused on the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and his best friend, Eduardo Saverin, who helped finance the site in its early days. The relationship between the two and how it eventually leads them into the courtroom was fascinating and the movie seemed to characterise them well, bringing up interesting questions as to what was the reason that these two friends ended up becoming opposing counsel in a court-case.

Everyone is familiar with Facebook, although I'd wager not everyone was aware of its origins as 'The Facebook', a strictly invitation-only social network designed for use in Havard University as a way for students to develop online circles of friends, before the expansion eventually made it the multi-billion dollar company it became with everyone and their nan having Facebook accounts.

Jesse Eisenburg plays the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, with a slight aspergers tint to his personality. He has some subtle behaviour quirks, such as his distance with his friends and collegaues and often not looking at people when they talk to him. It portrays him as unlikeable and the biggest irony is that the person responsible for creating a social networking website that links friends from all over the world, is actually a bit of a loner.

Faring slightly better on the likeability scale is Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield, who is Mark's best friend and helps him financially during the websites origins. The film seems to portray him as a nice guy, but with limited dreams, who wants to settle for the immediate pay-off, whilst Zuckerberg and later acquaintance, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) have their sights set on building the site up globally.

The film is framed by the court-cases that are taking place in current-day with flashbacks to the university days where Zuckerberg and Saverin are developing the website and trying to keep it running without investors. Once Sean Parker gets involved, the friendship becomes strained and leads to the eventual fallout of the two parties, setting the court-case into motion.

I really found this to be enjoyable, despite the fact the subject matter was fairly mundane - I mean, there was no real action or intrigue, but the mundane court-case was made so much more interesting by the fact that we'd gotten to know (and in some cases, like) these characters through the flashbacks that it was almost sad to see them becoming bitter and spiteful towards each other during the main court-case, showing that money and success in business often comes at the cost of losing true friendship.

Whilst the facts in the film might not be completely accurate and some of the events glamorised somewhat to keep the film narrative interesting, it was enjoyable and a bit of an eye-opener to see how the website that I log into daily came into existence and the personal cost of such a thing. Now, I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg isn't crying into his billions of dollars over his business decisions that cut out his friends from his life, but it does raise the question of whether you would sell out your friends in order to succeed in life.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy watching people use and talk about computers? You'll love this film!, 17 April 2011
By 
Mr. Tristan Martin (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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First off, I'm an admirer of much that David Fincher has directed, especially Fight Club and Zodiac; also, I'm a big fan of Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing. Consequently, I came to this film with high hopes. Unfortunately, this film just screams, "I'm clever! Acknowledge me!" for about two hours.

If you've ever been at a party where some obnoxious loudmouths are having a conversation about some "genius" website they frequent (and therefore by implication, that they, too, are pretty smart for using it) and you found this a pleasurable experience, then you might well enjoy The Social Network. It's not simply that the main character is portrayed as an annoying little git - films with unpleasant protagonists can be great - Oliver Stone's Salvador or Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull come to mind - but that the subject matter itself (Facebook? Seriously?) is so inherently dull. Sure, the writer Sorkin says The Social Network is actually about universal themes of friendship and betrayal yadda yadda yadda but there's no getting away from the fact that this is mostly about boring programmers and their myopic fixations on code.

This mostly fictional film uses the best production values that mainstream Hollywood can allow and it imbues a television issue-movie of the week with an overblown sense of self-importance. The photography, lighting, acting, soundtrack and the non-linear editing are all excellent and the script has it's moments too, particularly the legal sections but the whole is considerably less than the sum of it's parts.

When a director takes on challenging subject matter in an intelligent and subtle manner, such as Michael Mann's excellent The Insider, a film of true importance can be the end result. The Social Network, however, is the American equivalent of The King's Speech: well made but stultifyingly middlebrow.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It lived up to the hype., 1 Mar 2011
By 
I can understand how this Movie could disappoint some viewers. I understand that the dialogue could be grating to some. But I honestly loved it.
This Film is so highly polished and perfectly directed. Every performance stands out, and Justin - who I was not too certain about initially - did a seriously good job. Although I am happy with the academy's choice to award The Kings Speech Best Picture, I would have been equally pleased had this won.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm clicking 'Overrated', 13 Feb 2011
By 
Chris White (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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A good screenplay provides an engaging story, featuring a sympathetic character who overcomes a series of increasingly difficult obstacles to achieve a goal.

The Social Network's plot is simplistic. This I could live with, if the protagonists contained therein were not so inherently unlikeable. Mark Zuckerberg (as portrayed here) is arrogant and aloof and achieves his goal, the creation of Facebook, with only the minor inconvenience of a pair of lawsuits (the equivalent of a "speeding ticket").

Aaron Sorkin's dialogue, while no doubt 'smart and snappy' to some, has its share of impenetrable computer/legal/business jargon and Jesse Eisenberg's rapid-fire delivery (as Zuckerberg) means subtitles are essential. I temporarily gave up on the film during a scene set in a night club, where the background music drowned out every word.

I'm not saying this is a bad movie per se. David Fincher is an accomplished director and the film is a technical tour de force. Disc two of this Blu-ray includes an exhaustive documentary on the film's making, showing Fincher working with his actors and obsessing over almost every syllable of the script. Unfortunately, as their characters have hardly any redeeming features, they generate zero empathy.

I realise I'm swimming against the tide here and that many see powerful themes in this film regarding friendship, betrayal, etc. I have to disagree: it's established early on that the Zuckerberg character has no friends to lose and it's therefore difficult to sustain one's interest beyond a single viewing.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging enough - but sexist undercurrent, 3 April 2011
By 
I'm not a big fan of Facebook itself, indeed I'm not even on it. Nevertheless, this film has had a lot of praise, especially since its Oscar nomination for Best Picture, so I thought I should check it out.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. I certainly don't think it deserved a nod for Best Pic (it no way struck me as being in that league). Against that, when I turned it on I was tired and had downed a couple of glasses of wine... but managed to stay awake throughout! The opening of the film is a bit confusing as it jumps back and forth not only in time (Harvard 2003 and present day) but between two different legal cases.

The performances are good, especially from Jesse Eisenberg who portrays Zuckerberg as a bit... well, `autistic', but I would have preferred more motivation and explanation, especially in Zuckeberg's treatment towards his best friend, Eduardo.

I have one other substantial criticism. It's all a bit sexist. The portrayal of women - either as crazy girlfriends or scantily clad co-eds in the background - I found rather offensive. It's gratuitous and unnecessary. The scene with the girl in her Stanford knickers is another case in point. Why did they have to film her like this? She could have been dressed or if doing the scene in her underwear was necessary, why did she have to wear such revealing panties? I really didn't like this aspect of the movie.

David Fincher is a curious director. I've always found his earlier work - `Se7en', `Fight Club' - to be much more engaging. Since then he's gone on to do more serious work. But serious isn't always better.
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