The Social Network / David Fincher / 2010 / fivestar

Active Ingredients: Sharp dialogue; Fast pace; Strong performances; Fascinating story
Side Effects: Overly-convenient final scene

This is not the Facebook movie. The Social Network is about Facebook just as much as Chinatown is about water. Instead of hours of coding or talk about friending, it shows power struggles, blow-ups, betrayals, and schemes. It’s a film about ambition, about the allure and consequences of greatness. It’s also the most brash, cocksure, volatile, propulsive, and above all, the most fun, movie of the year.

The film presents Mark Zuckerberg as a single-minded genius who feels the need to “win” every conversation and prove himself the smartest man in the room. Watch the way Jesse Eisenberg avoids eye contact with the people around him. Even before becoming the world’s youngest billionaire, he won’t waste his time with people he doesn’t need. He emerges as a complex character: lonely and pathetic, but with an inspiring drive for greatness. Mark Zuckerberg, Interested in: friendship, acceptance, excellence, world domination.