The Social Network (2010)

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IMDb Rating
7.7 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

  • Not Rated Yet
(Based on 1 Rating)
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language.
Drama, History
David Fincher
Aaron Sorkin (screenplay)
Ben Mezrich (book)

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on September 29th, 2010

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It still astonishes me movies like W. and The Social Network can get made. Although The Social Network spends a lot of time displaying what a weasel Mark Zuckerberg - the questionable inventor of Facebook - is, I personally do not believe the admittedly underhanded decisions he made were overtly illegal in nature. The problem with making The Social Network is not that it exposes Zuckerberg to be a criminal, but rather an insufferable asshole.

Zuckerberg, as played by Jesse Eisenberg, is a ferociously intelligent yet socially dysfunctional nerd. He uses his intelligence as a weapon, never observing the rules of decorum. He's the kind of guy who refuses to acknowledge a question unless it is phrased as a complete sentence. A student at Harvard, Zuckerberg desires nothing more than adulation from his peers, and acceptance into exclusive social clubs known as Final Clubs, which are typically populated by well-to-do future tycoons, leaders of men and the like.

The culture of the Ivy League school and the perverse exclusivity of these Final Clubs is so foreign to me that The Social Network may as well take place on Mars. But never mind.

Very soon after we meet Zuckerberg and recognize him to be a perfect asshole, we watch him get dumped by his (we assume) long-suffering girlfriend. In a moment of self-loathing, he gets drunk and directs his hatred outward through the creation of a website called A simple concept - it shows the user pictures of two girls, and the user clicks on the picture of the hottest one. And so on and so on. Within two hours of the site being up and running, it gets 22,000 hits and crashes Harvard's server, which gets the attention of the Winklevauss twins (played, somewhat astonishingly in hindsight, by one person).

The Winklevauss brothers, Tyler and Cameron (seemingly bioengineered into the very embodiment of the flawless, rich, good-looking Harvard man) approach Zuckerberg with the idea for a website that would replicate the experience of the exclusive social club. Their website would only allow people with Harvard email addresses to join. Zuckerberg agrees to create the website, tells them he'll get back to them and proceeds to use their idea as a jumping-off point in creating what would come to be called

From here on, The Social Network flashes back and forth between the invention and subsequent explosion of Facebook, and scenes in the future where Zuckerberg is being sued by not only the Winklevauss twins, but by Zuckerberg's former partner and best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield).

The Social Network is an uncommonly intelligent and thrilling take on the classic themes of greed, sudden fame and the fall from grace. Written by the always-outstanding Aaron Sorkin, the screenplay hums with cutting wit and a real sense of insider information. Directed by David Fincher, and underscored by Trent Reznor's near-constant industrial pulse, what may have been a dry procedural is transformed into what is effectively a thriller. Writing code, discussing algorithms, hitting upon the idea of the "Relationship Status" - these events are handled the way they might be if Keanu Reeves were dismantling a bomb.

I continue to be impressed with Jesse Eisenberg. He showed flashes of the Zuckerberg's ego in The Squid and the Whale from several years back, but this time there is no remorse, no flash of humanity behind those hungry eyes. He only wants more: more money, more fame, more respect, more everything. Facebook begins to resemble a ravenous virus, and Zuckerberg is its architect and the man responsible for unleashing it on the world.

Along the way, Zuckerberg sinks further into the heart of darkness upon meeting Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake, surprising once again with his acting chops), the creator of Napster, and a renowned partyer. It's through Parker we begin to see the real moral of The Social Network. We see before us two of the men responsible for defining the nature of the Internet. Early on, we are warned that when you write on the Internet, you write in pen, not pencil.

Sensing a blowhard, Eduardo Saverin reminds Parker Napster was a failure. Napster lost, he says.

"Lost in court," Parker responds. "You feel like buying a Tower Records franchise?" - Four stars

User Reviews of The Social Network (1)

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Too obvious said on Oct. 06, 2010 at 12:18am

Why does it astonish you that W. and Social Network can get made? After Citizen Kane I would think it quite obvious that studio's greenlight shit like this because they know audiences have an appetite for certain stories about certain men. Hollywood has this shit down to a science.

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