09.26.10

The Best-Reviewed Movie of the Year

The Social Network hits theaters, critics are saying to forget the Oscar race—David Fincher’s Facebook movie has already won. How good is it? Read the reviews here.

Days before The Social Network hits theaters, critics are saying to forget the Oscar race—David Fincher’s Facebook movie has already won. How good is it? Read the reviews here. Plus, View Our Complete Coverage of The Social Network

It has already been compared to Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Balzac. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is a perfect 100 percent.

Still days from release, The Social Network—you know, that one Facebook movie—has film critics straddling the line between breathless and hallucinatory over its generation-defining zeitgeistiness, brainiac script by Aaron Sorkin, and inspired performances by Jesse Eisenberg, as digital boy-wonder (and Facebook founder) Mark Zuckerberg, and Andrew Garfield as his BFF-turned-foe.

Before The Social Network even screened, Oscar pundits were declaring David Fincher’s unsparing portrait of a nerd’s rise to moguldom a shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination.

The buzz has been growing steadily for weeks. Before it was even screened, Oscar pundits were declaring David Fincher’s unsparing portrait of a nerd’s rise to moguldom a shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination. Now that it has screened, they’re saying: Forget the nomination. Hand over the trophy. Film critics, meanwhile, are reaching deep into their arsenals of praise to define what is easily the best-reviewed movie of the year. (Sorry, Toy Story 3.) If there are any naysayers, they have yet to show up to the party.

It’s the film that “defines the decade,” Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers gushes. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis says that it “evokes 19th-century narrative of ambition,” and goes on to quote Le Père Goriot: “To be young, to have a thirst for society, to be hungry for a woman.”

Herewith, a sampling of the love.

Rolling Stone / A + + + + 

“Award-caliber performances”

“A modern Rashomon

The New York Times / A + +

“Fleet, weirdly funny, exhilarating, alarming”

“A creation story for the digital age and something of a morality tale, one driven by desire, marked by triumph, tainted by betrayal and inspired by the new gospel: The geek shall inherit the earth.”

The New York Post / A + +

“A timeless and compelling story that speaks volumes about the way we live today.”

“Zuckerberg ultimately commits an act of betrayal of Shakespearean proportions.”

Variety / A + +

“Fincher [has a] fascinating transition from genre filmmaker extraordinaire to indelible chronicler of our times.”

The Hollywood Reporter / A + + + 

“A mesmerizing, bewildering and infuriating protagonist makes this movie about Facebook's creation a must-see.”

Box Office Magazine / A + + +

“Mesmerizing”

“Never less than extraordinary”

“A landmark masterwork and a must-see movie event”

IndieWire / A + + + + 

“David Fincher can make five more masterpieces, Aaron Sorkin can win an Oscar, Tony and 20 more Emmys; Timberlake, Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer and Mara Rooney can all be big stars for the next half-century, but it will rarely be as sweet as this.”

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