It’s hard to believe a movie revolving around Facebook is being touted as one of the best films of the year. Even with Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing) writing  and Academy Award nominee David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) directing, the film still received a lot of flack from people just because it has to do with Facebook. So now that I’ve seen it, what do I think? Do I think The Social Network is one of the best films of the year, a shameless cash grab capitalizing on the Facebook name, or do I think it’s somewhere in the middle?

The Social Network is a drama that tells the story of the creation of Facebook and the controversies and lawsuits that arose. The primary creator of Facebook, and the main character of the film, is Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg). At the start of the film, Mark’s girlfriend breaks up with him, and in a drunken rage, Mark returns home and, with some help from his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) creates a website where Harvard students can go and vote on the hotness of various female Harvard students. The site gets so much traffic that the Harvad server crashes. Mark is punished, but he learns the value of a website where people can interact with there friends. Mark catches the attention of fellow Harvard students, the Winklevoss twins (both played by Armie Harmer). The twins approach him with an offer to help them create a social networking site. Mark agrees to help, but instead focuses on building his own social networking website with Eduardo.

Many people have written Jesse Eisenberg off as the next Michael Cera. But his performance in this solidifies him as a talented actor in my eyes. Eisenberg’s performance in this is great. In some ways, Eisenberg carries the film with his performance. Not to say the other actors aren’t good, but Zuckerberg is undeniably the most important character in the film. Zuckerberg is actually a fascinating character. From the beginning it’s clear that he is kind of a jerk. But with that said, he is a  really likeable guy. Part of it stems from the fact that Zuckerberg isn’t mean to people just to be mean. Rather, he’s just brutally honest. On top of that, when Zuckerberg is being a dick, it’s really fun to watch. But the most important aspects of Zuckerberg’s personality are his genius and initiative. Without these, there would not be a Facebook. Eisenberg captures all of this perfectly.

The cast around Eisenberg is just as good. Andrew Garfield is great as Mark’s best and only friend Eduardo. We see the frustrations and problems he has with Mark, yet he stands by his side through it all. Of all the characters, he is the one you sympathize with the most. Mainly because he was Mark’s friend, so knowing Zuckerberg will eventually screw him over is quite sad (and that isn’t a spoiler, the film cuts between the creation of Facebook and Zuckerberg’s lawsuits throughout). Armie Harmer is great playing the identical Winklevoss twins. What’s so great about his performance is how he is able to give the twins each a distinct personality. Surprisingly, Justin Timberlake is also great here as Sean Parker (the founder of Napster). I’ve never taken Timberlake seriously as an actor, but in this, he really impressed me. Parker is a smart individual, but he’s also a wild card. He is the type of person who just wants to party all the time. You get a sense that he is at the top of his world. Timberlake captures these all perfectly. Now admittedly, all those characteristics describe Timberlake in real life as well. So whether this was just brilliant casting or of Timberlake can actually act remains to be seen.

As I mentioned, the film was written by Aaron Sorkin. The dialogue especially is superb. There’s a certain energy to the conversations characters have. The movie is very dialogue driven, so it’s a good thing the writing was able to deliver. As for the story, I don’t know how accurate this is to the real life events. But I honestly don’t care. The story was interesting and fast paced. Whether it’s accurate or not is irrelevant to me.

David Fincher is known for doing thrillers such as Se7en, Fight Club, Panic Room, and Zodiac. A lot of people thought The Social Network was a bad choice for Fincher to direct. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. Fincher does a great job here and even though The Social Network isn’t a thriller by any stretch, there is a good amount of tension. On top of that, the film has an excellent pace. Never does the film drag and you’re always interested in what’s going on.

So as you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. But it takes one very bad misstep; the ending. Like a lot of films based on true events, it ends with text telling you what really happened later on in the characters lives. The problem is that this is how the main tension of the film is resolved. The movie tells this great story that really pulls you in, then at the end they just blatantly state the facts. It was a disappointing end to say the least. I didn’t leave the theater angry, but I did leave feeling a little empty.

So is The Social Network the best film of the year? In my opinion, no, it isn’t. But it certainly is one of the best, and I definitely recommend it. The acting, the writing, the direction, everything is top notch. There’s a lot more to this then just being “the Facebook movie.”


  1. ianthecool says:

    Yeah, its way more than just the Facebook movie. Great review. So if it isn’t the best of the year, what would be in your opinion?

  2. pgcooper1939 says:

    Still undecided. But it’s between Toy Story 3 and Inception.

  3. Ki says:

    by the lengh of the review are you a fan of face book Dan?????

  4. […] Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews 2010 review The Best Picture Project 2011 review PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews 2010 review […]

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