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Oscar®Oscar® winner for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing • Nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Actor in a leading role, Best Music original score, and Best Sound Mixing
Movie Review

The Social Network

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language.

Reviewed by: Ethan Samuel Rodgers
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Biography Drama
Length:
2 hr. 1 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
October 1, 2010 (wide—2,771 theaters)
DVD: January 11, 2011
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

Anger in the Bible

MONEY in the Bible

FINANCES—How can I spend my money more wisely? Answer

INVESTING—Does the Bible share any wisdom about investing? Answer


CHANGE THE WORLD—A single man or woman can help change the world. Read about some who did with faith and God’s help…
Jesus Christ, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David

Sex outside marriage

Fornication in the Bible

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Jesse EisenbergMark Zuckerberg
Rashida JonesMarylin Delpy
Justin TimberlakeSean Parker
Rooney MaraErica
Andrew Garfield … Eduardo Saverin
more »
Director: David Fincher—“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Zodiac,” “Panic Room,” “Fight Club,” “Se7en
Producer: Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Michael De Luca Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Trigger Street Productions, Kevin Spacey, more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”

A million dollars used to be a lot of money. Enough that one might plan to retire comfortably when that plateau was achieved. But in today’s world, a million dollars isn’t nearly enough. Not for free thinkers. Not for dreamers. Not for our generation. David Fincher’s newest film, “The Social Network,” captures this feeling, this schism one can sense when comparing baby boomers to generations X and Y, and those of us who have almost always known the Internet, and, inherently, limitless possibilities.

The story behind “The Social Network” is a simple, yet intriguing one. Nearly everyone, about 500 million people actually, should know the story surrounding Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. A Harvard undergrad, a computer programmer, and a genius who discovered how to turn the college experience (the parties, the relationships, the gossip, and the connections) into the greatest Internet sensation since, well, Myspace, but one that far surpassed all other “social networking” sites. Since its birth in a quaint dorm room on February 4th, 2004, Facebook has enthralled 1 in 14 people on the planet in hundreds of countries and is worth over 25 billion dollars.

Fincher’s precision in conveying the “college life experience” is brilliant. He draws you in with Zuckerberg’s first conversation (played by Jesse Eisenberg). The dialogue is taut, witty and often quite funny. The story is one of controversy, unfortunately, as it truly shows how a 20 year old is simply in over his head in a world in which everyone is trying to get his share of the pie; a pie that is essentially the product of one man.

Eisenberg not only portrays Zuckerberg, the smug, pessimistic genius who’s simply too smart for most of the people around him, but he even looks like him. The one liners that spew from his mouth are sarcastic and sensational, and, for some reason, you truly fall in love with him, perhaps because of his naiveté, but watching the decisions he makes, and those decisions he’s influenced to make over the course of the story, help you believe that this Hollywood version really does depict how quickly things can spin out of control to the point that a man, in effect, betrays his one and only friend and business partner amidst the pressure of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The soundtrack is relentlessly appropriate and captivating. Composed greatly by Trent Reznor, known best for his part in the musical project Nine Inch Nails and his composition of the “There Will Be Blood” soundtrack, can take a bow for his work. The supporting cast is spectacular, particularly Andrew Garfield as Zuckerberg’s friend and Chief Financial Officer, Eduardo Saverin, and Justin Timberlake as Napster big-shot Sean Parker.

Objectionable content

Language and sexual themes are the main concern with “The Social Network.” A-hole, Bit*h, Basta*!d, Sh*t, the Lord’s name, and one key F-word clutter the script. Although, at times, the language could be construed as “realistic” for the college and business settings, but in this reviewer’s opinion it was more than necessary and more than expected. There are no actual “sex scenes” or “nudity.” That being said, there are some really provocative sections of the film: two parties in which girls are shown kissing, barely clothed, another where two girls are preparing to perform oral sex on Zuckerberg and Saverin in a bathroom, and another where a girl is just getting out of bed with Sean Parker. There is, also, repeated use of alcohol, one scene where cocaine is being used, and another where marijuana is being used.

To recommend this film on merit of it’s worth would be wrong. Truly I took little away from this film from a moral or positive perspective. The story is fascinating and intriguing, and its outstanding portrayal and representation of a world so foreign to most of us allows one to get captivated as a part of Harvard’s undergrad class, watching from a nearby dorm room. With the language and sexual content, however, it’s difficult to recommend without advising families and adults to tread carefully. David Fincher is certainly a talented director and has hit yet another social niche with this biographical-esque film, but it comes with a price. I suppose what you have to ask yourself is how much it’s worth watching a story you could find and read about by using another Internet phenomenon… like say, Wikipedia.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I like it when a movie makes me want to look up more information about a topic. And that’s what I did after I saw the movie about Facebook. I watched the interview Diane Sawyer had with Zuckerberg. This is a movie that evolves out of and revolves around a single legal issue—what is intellectual property and when is it stolen. An entire movie and all its drama and characters are based on this theme. I thought this was a pretty interesting movie, with Jesse Eisenberg convincingly playing the brilliant Harvard student who creates an amazing Web site. There was some objectionable content, but it was presented as objectionable and immoral.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Halyna Barannik, age 64 (USA)
Positive—I completely disagree with the reviewer’s comments that this film offers no “moral or positive perspective.” This is a classic mistake done by so many of my fellow Christian cinefiles—judging a movie based on content as opposed to the treatment of that content. A film is never what it is about, but how it is about it. Yes, the film shows parties and destructive behavior, but what is it saying about that behavior? Truthfully, THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a scathing critique of the current (my) generation’s obsession with status and image and the cares of this world (money, sex, elitism, etc). It takes a film about Facebook, about the defining relationship Web site of our time, and creates a portrait of broken relationships, character isolation, and inability to connect in a connected age.

To quote the Rolling Stones review: “The final image of solitary Mark at his computer has to resonate for a generation of users (the drug term seems apt) sitting in front of a glowing screen pretending not to be alone.” If that isn’t a moral message to the powers of this age, I’m not sure what is.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Benjamin, age 29 (USA)
Neutral—I would disagree with Benjamin (^above^). Although Zuckerberg is fiercely alone, particularly toward the end of the film, this is a result of his own prerogative and character, not a negative result of his immoral actions. Throughout the film there are various points in time where he is completely content being “alone.” I think his face to face encounter with a lone computer screen is more an expression of where he belongs and where he’s at home, not a wish that he isn’t alone, or perhaps a wish that he were different and more acceptable by those he longs to be with.

I would also retort that learning that “Everyone longs to be with others” and the “Party lifestyle and immoral behavior have negative consequences” are not only obvious and universally true, but are also a small benefit from the relentless immorality of the film. Furthermore, that same behavior (the sex, the partying, the immorality) has little consequence. Zuckerberg’s loneliness is a result of his inability to connect with people, his attitude and character shortcomings, and his willingness to betray those close to him. His loneliness comes as a consequence of who he is and how he treats people, not how he behaves morally. Truly, were he able to adapt more to the immoral lifestyle and be more “normal”, he would’ve had plenty of friends in the end anyway, because that’s what everyone in the film is drawn to, and that seems to be the ultimate message in my opinion.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Mark BC, age 24 (USA)
Positive—I have to say first off that commenter Benjamin’s words were brilliantly put. I’ve been trying to illustrate the same point for years on this site. Here’s his (and my) argument in a nutshell: All of the filth, sin and unholiness portrayed in (particularly) Hollywood films (again, particularly) recently isn’t always a celebration of the acts; often the material, which is necessary to paint an authentic, engaging, realistic narrative is scathing in its implications. Many of you are honestly and truly missing the point.

Take, for example, a film that chronicles a Christian who quotes the Bible, believes strongly in his convictions and follows what he thinks is God’s supreme will: the movie “Seven.” Now was Kevin Spacey’s character exhibiting selective morally sound behaviors? Without doubt. But the bigger picture exposed him as a vicious murderer, and the end message of the film was that this was a sick man not to be beatified.

Take the point and flip it 180 degrees in regards to “The Social Network.” All the dirt (aka sin) Zuckerberg wallowed eventually left him isolated and alone. And we sat through it, and now we see for ourselves. Guys, it’s the set up. The sweet is never as sweet without the sour. A ray of light is infinitely more beautiful in a sea of darkness.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Doug Coleman, age 27 (USA)
Positive—From seeing “The Social Network,” I believe that parents of pre-teen and teenagers should see this film before allowing their kids to have Facebook accounts (they should also see this to help prepare their kids before sending them off to college, but that’s another story). “The Social Network” is a fantastic and wonderfully made film that is not very easy to watch, especially if one is a Christian. The film depicts young, naive Harvard coeds being seduced by drugs, sex, and alcohol.

It also depicts the conception of the premier social networking website, Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg). Facebook’s creation is without controversy as Zuckerberg is seen being sued by former associates for different reasons.

The objectionable content practically toes the line between a PG-13 and an R rating. For this reason, I can’t recommend it to anyone under 18. However, I do think that the filmmakers don’t necessarily condone the college antics but they are simply depicting the story of Facebook as is. Still, the objectionable content could be toned down considerably.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Shannon H., age 29 (USA)
Positive—I actually liked this movie better than I thought I would. It was very interesting, and the acting was great—though some of the college partying behavior made me squirm.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Diana Ross, age 18 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—While I was very much “creeped out” as they say by the immorality of the main character and feeling defiled, but the depiction of the reality he swims in, I was pleased that the tone of the film did not celebrate Zuckerberg’s/Facebook’s success, a la some B-rated underdog sports hero movie. On the contrary, the film is an excellent morality tale about one character’s Asperger-like asocial personality and the irony of him becoming a pied piper of a tool that supposedly enables so much social networking.

Unfortunately as a nation infatuated with technology, money and sex, many are tone deaf to the film’s theme and will celebrate it as simply the story of a flawed genius who after all, did become a billionaire. Because the film is essentially a personal story of tragedy despite the triumph of Facebook, it misses any chance of being a truly heroic moral film due to its' neutral voice regarding the parallel and greater tragedy of a great nation in moral free fall. But as we know, that is the Spirit of God’s work in the heart of each person, not the responsibility of any film maker, film critic (or politician.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Robert Preston, age 58 (USA)
Negative
Negative—My wife and I try very diligently to support only filmmakers who can produce a decent film without disrespecting our Creator or His principles. While we understand that this nation as a whole does not acknowledge—much less respect—God or His values, or Jesus Christ as His only Son, we do believe a great movie can be made without using His names in any form as a curse word. Add at least one use of Jesus’s name and two uses of God paired with d**n to the list of offensive content for this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jason, age 32 (USA)
Negative—It stinks that so many young adults will see this movie because of Facebook. Sure, it’s an amazing story this kid came up with this, however, the movie has heavy sex/nudity, two women making out twice, drugs and things I couldn’t imagine a 13 year old seeing, let alone even an adult. It’s sad and true what goes on in college campuses which is why so many need God.

It breaks my heart of the reality of this country, but I would wait to see this movie on video, if you feel you really must see it, so you can fast forward past the sexual stuff and drugs, although it will be tough. Sad, sad, sad. God help us!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Samantha, age 36 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I agree with the reviewer that the content was a bit much, though some of it was presented in a negative way. Performances were quite good, and editing is tight. I would use discernment, if you plan to see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Michael, age 17 (USA)
Neutral—After seeing how many awards this movie has won, I thought it would be a good one to see. I went to a dollar theater that only plays movies that have been out awhile. Regardless of this fact, the theater was PACKED! I had a hard time finding a seat, and I was 10 minutes early. I guess I wasn’t the only one who decided to see it late.

The movie has interesting format, bouncing back and forth between past and future events. That’s a little confusing to keep up with at first, but you get used to it after awhile. I caught only 2 f-bombs and a couple other mild profanities. While there aren’t any “sex scenes,” there are scantly clad girls dancing at parties on multiple occasions, as well as a short lived scene in a bathroom that isn’t explicit, but you know what’s going on.

All in all, I was impressed with this movie. It isn’t boring like you’d think it would be. It’s well made, the acting is fantastic (yes, even Justin Timberlake did alright), and the story holds your attention well.

I would recommend this film with caution for a younger audience. Maybe wait until it’s out on DVD and buzz through some of the unnecessary sequences. That being said, however, there’s a decent chance that The Social Network will walk away with Best Picture at the Oscars. it’s definitely worth the attention and awards it’s getting.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lydia P, age 17 (USA)
Positive—“The Social Network” is quite possibly the best movie of the year, due mostly to its brilliant screenplay and some tight editing throughout. The performances, especially those of Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, are also phenomenal. Viewers should be aware that there is quite a bit of objectionable content, including the before-mentioned language, sex, and drug use. It is, however, a poignant statement on modern society and should be enjoyed by a discerning audience.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Zach, age 16 (USA)
Positive—This is the best movie of the year, without a doubt. While the other runner-ups are good, this one is terrific. It’s entertaining, interesting and flawlessly written. The acting is great and David Fincher’s directing is superb. The soundtrack is also amazing. On the negative side, this film did have some language, implied sex scenes and drug use. I recommend this film for 12+, but, overall, this is a fantastic movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Langston, age 13 (USA)
Positive—“The Social Network” is a great movie about the inventors of Facebook. The best part about this movie was the amazing acting. Jesse Eisenberg gave the best performance in any movie I have ever seen, behind Heath Ledger in the “Dark Knight.” Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake also gave very solid performances. Another great part about “The Social Network” was the soundtrack.

Although there is some profanity (including two f-words) and a few sexual situations, I didn’t think the content was all that bad. Overall, “The Social Network” is one of the best movies I have ever seen and a must-see for everybody
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—C, age 13 (USA)