The founding of Facebook becomes a tale for our times in this masterful social drama by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac). Adapted by Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing) from Ben Mezrich’s zingy best-seller The Accidental Billionaires, the movie recounts how Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg (played with smug impassivity by Jesse Eisenberg) launched Facebook with his friend and fellow student Eduardo Saverin (the fine young British actor Andrew Garfield), then fell under the spell of Napster inventor Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), moved to California, and shafted Saverin in a 2005 stock reorganization. Fincher and Sorkin succeed in capturing the book’s central insight: that Zuckerberg intuitively understood the vast appeal of Facebook because he was such a relentless social climber himself. The final scene, in which Zuckerberg waits fruitlessly for an old girlfriend to answer his friend request, completes a story arc that evokes no less than Citizen Kane.
The Social Network
PG-13 • 2 hours • 2010