David Fincher’s latest movie, and one of his best, is firmly rooted in reality, even though almost all of the characters live in a fantasy world of their own making. The true story is based on the rise of Facebook — in particular, the struggle between creator Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and the people around him who want a piece of the action. Harvard sophomore Zuckerberg is a smart guy, but he’s also a smartass. A computer prank — which nets 22,000 hits in a mere few hours — lands Zuckerberg in trouble with Harvard administrators. More important, it leads to work on a social-network site that eventually becomes Facebook. Computer geeks. Code. Guys sitting in deposition hearings. None of this should make for a riveting movie, but The Social Network is one of the most exciting films you’ll see this year. By the time Justin Timberlake, as Napster founder Sean Parker, enters the picture, you’ll be hooked on Eisenberg’s great performance, the thrilling narrative, and the movie’s nonstop momentum. It’s almost as addictive as Facebook.
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Producer: Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Joseph Mazzello, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield, Max Minghella, Trevor Wright, Dakota Johnson and Stream