Universal Pictures is trying its luck with another Hollywood film about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and it appears to be one of the best yet in the eyes of critics praising it.
The drama directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin currently has a 91 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Exhilarating,” “an exciting piece of iconoclasm” and a “lightning bolt of cinematic energy” are a few of the compliments piling up for the biopic starring Michael Fassbender as the iPhone visionary.
Co-stars Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels are also getting recognition. One critic called Winslet’s performance the “best of her career,” while TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde said the real breakout performance is from Rogen.
“He’s played dramatic parts before, but hasn’t had that breakthrough moment that his friend Jonah Hill has experienced,” he wrote. “Rogen going toe-to-toe with Fassbender, as two old friends and collaborators having their big let’s-get-it-all-out argument, provides ‘Steve Jobs‘ with its most electrifying moment and confirms that this clown can play Hamlet when he feels like it.”
See 10 other reviews raving about the biopic below.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times:
“Compelling subject. Fast-paced, exhilarating dialogue. Focused direction that maintains an almost ruthless pace. Acting that couldn’t be more assured … ‘Steve Jobs‘ is a smart, hugely entertaining film that all but bristles with crackling creative energy. What it is not is a standard biopic.”
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:
“If you’re going to interpret on film the searching mind of an indisputable genius, it helps not to make too many dumbass moves. On that basis, score a triumph for ‘Steve Jobs,’ written, directed and acted to perfection, and so fresh and startling in conception and execution that it leaves you awed. Michael Fassbender rips through the role of the volcanic Apple co-founder and CEO who sucked at personal interaction but soared at transmogrifying personal computing and everything digital from music, animation (Pixar) and publishing to those iPhones we wear like a second skin.”
A.O. Scott, New York Times:
“‘Steve Jobs‘ is a rich and potent document of the times, an expression of both the awe that attends sophisticated new consumer goods and the unease that trails in the wake of their arrival. The movie burnishes the image of this visionary C.E.O. even as it tries to peek behind the curtain at the gimcrack machinery of omnipotence. Mostly, though, it is a formally audacious, intellectually energized entertainment, a powerful challenge to the lazy conventions of Hollywood storytelling and a feast for connoisseurs of contemporary screen acting. Michael Fassbender is in it. Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, too. Also Seth Rogen and Michael Stuhlbarg. They are all, as you might expect, really good. That should be enough.”
Andrew O’Hehir, Salon magazine:
“‘Steve Jobs‘ is a work of imagination and reinvention, not of biography or history. It’s a moral survey of American life on the cutting edge of the late 20th century as we wish it had happened (during the administration of President Jed Bartlet, in effect), rather than as it did. It’s a moving and magnificently crafted story about a person named Steve Jobs who was brought low by pride and arrogance and then redeemed by love. It might be a story that mirrors our dreams and desires, which is what the real Steve Jobs did too, and in that sense maybe it’s indirectly about him. It’s definitely not about a guy who built and sold computers.”
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com:
“The energy is relentless and the actors all more than meet the challenge of not only keeping up with Sorkin’s trademark, rat-a-tat patter but also making it sing. But because the movie takes place almost entirely within interiors, the non-stop walking-and-talking–back and forth through hallways, up and down stairways and in and out of doorways — almost plays like a parody of Sorkin’s style, the kind of thing we saw when ‘The West Wing’ was at its peak.”
Owen Gleiberman, BBC:
“As a movie, ‘Steve Jobs‘ is an exciting piece of iconoclasm: a talky, charged thriller for the brain that offers an intimate interpretation of who Jobs really was, even as it shrewdly undercuts many of the high-tech-saviour claims that have been made for him, especially since his death in 2011. Michael Fassbender, who plays Jobs, doesn’t look especially like him, but with tense lips and eyes like heat-seeking missiles, he acts with a tightly wound, domineering bravura that never allows us to forget what a brilliant figure Jobs was, even as his main activity seems to be terrorizing everyone around him.”
Scott Mendelson, Forbes:
“Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin‘s ‘Steve Jobs‘ is a lightning bolt of pure cinematic energy. Rather than lay out the complete career and/or life of its protagonist, the three-part film distills an essence, an interpretation from three pivotal moments, offering key snapshots that race along on a quickened pace and a propulsive moment that rarely lets up. Yes, it’s Aaron Sorkin doing Aaron Sorkin to the point of near self-parody, but the cocktail works. Filled with superb performances and lively exchanges with the hindsight of history in a bottle, ‘Steve Jobs‘ is genuinely electrifying entertainment that never lets up.”
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal:
“Controversial in life, Apple’s co-founder eludes categorization on screen, though that’s not true of Michael Fassbender‘s portrayal, which is consistently fascinating. This Jobs can be cold and cruel, charming by design and arrogant by instinct. He’s a visionary zealot with a mind that roams as free as an astral traveler. In many ways the film reflects its hero’s brilliance. It’s a scintillating construction, though one that sometimes feels like a product launch in its own right.”
Emma Dibdin, Digital Spy:
“‘Steve Jobs‘ is an arresting, razor-sharp piece of human drama that probes the slippery divide between persona and person.”