Why 'The Social Network' Is the Film of the Year

"Sorkin's script for 'The Social Network' is his best work yet," says The New Yorker

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With a 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, David Fincher's  The Social Network is basking in critical acclaim. The film—written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg—tells the contentious story of the world's most popular social networking site. From the witty screenplay, to the masterful acting and air tight direction, critics simply can't get enough.

  • A 'Work of Art,' writes David Denby at The New Yorker. "The portrait of Zuckerberg is many-sided and ambiguous; no two viewers will see him in quite the same way. The debate about the movie’s accuracy has already begun, but Fincher and Sorkin, selecting from known facts and then freely interpreting them, have created a work of art. Accuracy is now a secondary issue... 'The Social Network' is shrewdly perceptive about such things as class, manners, ethics, and the emptying out of self that accompanies a genius’s absorption in his work. It has the hard-charging excitement of a very recent revolution, the surge and sweep of big money moving fast and chewing people up in its wake."

  • The Next 'Citizen Cane,' writes Todd McCarthy at IndieWire: "The story of the virtually accidental birth of Facebook and the subsequent (and continuing) squabbling over the identity of its actual parents, 'The Social Network' is a knock-out—on a first viewing, it seems almost indecently smart, funny and sexy. The second time around, with the witty intelligence of Aaron Sorkin’s script and the electrifying verve of David Fincher’s direction no longer a surprise, half the time I sat there marveling at the similarities of the story, themes and structure to 'Citizen Kane.'"
  • A Classic in the 'Old-Fashioned' Sense, writes Stephanie Zacharek at Movieline: "The Social Network, which tells one possibly, sort-of-true version of the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, could easily have been a folly or even a large-scale disaster. Instead Fincher and his screenwriter, TV writer-god Aaron Sorkin, have made a seemingly modest picture that achieves something close to greatness the old-fashioned, slow-burning way: By telling a story with faces, dialogue and body language of all types, from awkward to swaggering. It also does the unthinkable: In a climate where many of us feel compelled to advertise our ever-changing moods, our hopefully not-so-ever-changing relationship status, our 'what we’re up to now' scheduling minutiae, The Social Network slows down the clock, just for the space of a few hours, to ask, 'Why?'"
  • 'Godfather'-esque, writes Fred Topel at Screen Junkies: "The Social Network is the movie of the year. If Coppola were into computers, this would be The Godfather. Should I have gone with Scorsese and Goodfellas? I think it’s the cooler reference but The Godfather is more legendary and Social Network deserves the comparison."
  • A Decade Defining Film, writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone: "The Social Network is the movie of the year. But Fincher and Sorkin triumph by taking it further. Lacing their scathing wit with an aching sadness, they define the dark irony of the past decade. The final image of solitary Mark at his computer has to resonate for a generation of users (the drug term seems apt) sitting in front of a glowing screen pretending not to be alone."
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