'Social Network' has nearly 500 million reviewer friends, too
It’s about as rare as pitching a perfect game in baseball — a movie that draws nearly 100% raves. But "The Social Network" has come about as close as any movie this year to reaching the milestone.
The three leading film review aggregators — Rotten Tomatoes, Movie Review Intelligence and Metacritic — are, as of Friday, showing that director David Fincher’s fictionalized history of Facebook’s founding has drawn the best marks of any narrative feature this year, with respective scores of 98, 96 and 98.
According to Movie Review Intelligence, only five movies this year have received scores greater than 90: “Toy Story 3,” “Lebanon,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Winter’s Bone” and “A Prophet" (and most of them were not as widely reviewed as "The Social Network," whose score thus suggests critical favor that's broad as well as deep). "The Social Network" is a barn-burner of a tale that unfolds at a splendid clip," writes Kennth Turan in The Times.
With such high scores, and a projected first-place opening in theaters this weekend, the next question for the David Fincher film inevitably will be the movie's awards fate. "Social Network" stacks up well on this count too. Last year’s best picture winner, “The Hurt Locker,” had respective Rotten Tomato, Movie Review Intelligence and Metacritic scores of 97, 92 and 94, while the previous year's Oscar juggernaut, “Slumdog Millionaire,” rated average review scores of 94 and 86 from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic (Movie Review Intelligence didn’t launch until January 2009).
Of course, great notices don’t guarantee Academy Award success -- a year ago "An Education" and “Bright Star” were among the best-reviewed releases of the year, and neither won a single Oscar.
-- John Horn
Photo: Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network." Credit: Sony Pictures