‘The Social Network’ dominates box office as critics heap praise on Facebook movie

“The Social Network” got off to a great start on its first weekend, fuelled by fulsome praise from critics, as it took in $23m according to the Los Angeles Times. Looks like the movie about Mark Zuckerberg and how he founded Facebook is going to be more of a PR headache than some anticipated.

Some pundits had speculated that a film about geeks and a start-up might not win ‘The Social Network’ a wide audience. Not true, and it looks like the movie, written by the awesome ”West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher of ‘Fight Club’ fame, will be a hit.

The New Yorker was positively frothing about the film calling it a “brilliantly entertaining and emotionally wrenching movie built around a melancholy paradox.

“The movie is not a conventionally priggish tale of youthful innocence corrupted by riches; nor is it merely a sarcastic arrow shot into the heart of a poor little rich boy. Both themes are there, but the dramatic development of the material pushes beyond simplicities, and the portrait of Zuckerberg is many-sided and ambiguous; no two viewers will see him in quite the same way,” The New Yorker said.

The Daily Beast said its “hard not to enjoy The Social Network. It is an impressive film: crisp, beautiful, kinetic, with humor as dark as its lighting”.
Movie website Rotten Tomates gave it a whopping 97% and said that it was “impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, The Social Network is a riveting, ambitious example of modern filmmaking at its finest”.

Yahoo News called The Social Network a masterpiece and said it was one of those movies that has the rare ability to appeal to a wide audience and still satisfy even the most intense film critics.

“There really are no flaws in the movie. Maybe the subject material will not appeal to you, and maybe you are so familiar with the real events that the slightly bastardized version of events will turn you off, but the movie can very honestly be called art….It is one of the great stories of our time, and while not every fact is 100-percent accurate, it is totally enjoyable.”

The Huffington Post says that Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a career making peformance. It says he portrays Zuckerberg as a man who is “at once an arrogant asshole, a brilliant visionary and a wounded little boy, spurned by the rejection of a girl that propels him forward”.

Poptimal.com said the Social Network has great acting and superb writing.

The New York Times says the “weirdly funny, exhilarating, alarming and fictionalized look at the man behind the social-media phenomenon” has superb pace. While the Los Angeles Times says it is a movie, in part due to Sorkin’s writing that is impossible to resist.

“As fans of TV’s “The West Wing” well remember, Sorkin writes great crackling dialogue that dramatically represents the dynamics of power relations, and he puts that gift to great use here. Both his writing and the unnerving music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross bring so much propulsive energy to the project that resistance is all but futile,” the LA Times says.

Although there were detractors. Anna Holmes of the women’s website Jezebel said that it seemed to her that the women in the film are mostly liabilities who “cause problems for the men”.

We  only have to wait another ten days until it opens in the UK. And I think we’re all going to be seeing this. Zuckerberg might get a hard time in some parts of the film as the reviews suggest, but I don’t it will  hinder Facebook. It is more likely to help.