After being dumped by his girlfriend, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), a Harvard student and proficient hacker, retaliates by posting a scathing blog and hacking into various photo databases to create a site called Facemash - a platform which prompts users to choose the "hotter" of two girls. The site goes viral and crashes the university network.
This gives Zuckerberg the idea to create a site called "The Facebook". But his invention is met with antagonism by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer; Josh Pence provides his body double), who claim he stole their idea. Eager to protect what he's sure will be a hit, Zuckerberg continues work anyway, and soon attracts the attention of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who went through a similar ordeal after founding Napster.
Director David Fincher structures the film around two lawsuits against Zuckerberg: one by his former best bud Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), and the other by the Winklevosses.
The film reveals the back story and fills in gaps using extended flashbacks. Despite the jumps in time, the plot is fairly straightforward and the story moves along nicely. But you can't help but feel there is more to the Facebook story not in the film.
In his biggest role by far, Eisenberg puts on a superb performance as the socially awkward, arrogant Zuckerberg. He's got the geeky speed-talking and idiosyncratic movements down pat. We may never meet Zuckerberg, but this is exactly what you'd imagine him to be. Timberlake has phenomenal on-screen presence with a double-edgedness about him: he mentors Zuckerberg, but he also has a shady side.
And really, how can you go wrong with one of the best taglines ever? "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies." Genius.
Contains some mature content