Jobs movie review roundup: Critics unimpressed

The Ashton Kutcher-starring biopic of the Apple co-founder has left critics wanting.

The Ashton Kutcher-starring Steve Jobs biopic is now out in US cinemas -- but critics are less than impressed.

The movie, which has a 25 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, focuses too much on Jobs' career and leaves little room for a human connection according to The Washington Post, which writes that director Michael Stern's effort spends "way too much time on backroom personnel dealings than on encounters that might help us understand, on a deep level, the title character."

Tech site Mashable called out the same issues, arguing that the movie "barely scratches the surface of the events it portrays."

The New York Times opens its biting review with, "It would drive Steve Jobs nuts to know that the new movie about his life has all the sex appeal of a PowerPoint presentation."

Tech blog MacWorld comments, "You get a workmanlike, conventional, and ultimately uninspired look at Steve Jobs and the technological revolution he helped lead. That's a perfectly acceptable result, but an odd one considering that none of those adjectives apply to the man himself or the products he helped build."

The Guardian takes the cake for the most scathing critique, writing, "If Stern turned this product in at Apple, Jobs would have taken a big steaming dump on it and handed it back to him and no-one would be able to tell what was the turd and what was the movie."

CNET reviewed the film when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, saying, "My primary disappointment was in how shallow the film felt, given the extensive historical record."

How's Ashton?

As for Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher's portrayal of the Apple co-founder, opinion is a little more varied.

"He really does nail the mannerisms," Gizmodo says, though reception elsewhere is mixed. Mashable says, "You'd be forgiven for thinking it was actually Jobs giving the keynote that opens the film," but goes on to note that when it comes to mimicking the real Jobs' delivery, "Kutcher just can't come close." The Guardian writes that Kutcher is "like a gas-soaked rag that never gets the spark to light on fire."

The San Francisco Chronicle is more complimentary, saying, "He looks like him, walks like him, and he really gets into his skin."

Wozniak's view

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is portrayed in Jobs by Josh Gad. The eccentric industry legend had his say on the film in the comments section of Gizmodo's review.

"I felt bad for many people I know well who were portrayed wrongly in their interactions with Jobs and the company," Woz writes. "The movie ends pretty much where the great Jobs finally found product success (the iPod) and changed so many of our lives."

"I'm grateful to Steve for his excellence in the i-era," Wozniak comments, "and his contribution to my own life of enjoying great products, but this movie portrays him having had those skills in earlier times."

The Social Network director Aaron Sorkin is also writing a movie about Steve Jobs -- do you think it'll fare better with the critics, or is crafting a film about the enigmatic iPhone-creator an impossible task? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or on our cinematic Facebook wall.

 

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