Jobs - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jobs Reviews

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August 18, 2017
GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) This week we review a biopic that s gotten a lot of hype recently: Jobs

SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Reviewing this movie is a tough Jobs but somebody has to do it.

GREG: The movie opens with Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) at a 2001 Apple Town Hall meeting introducing the next, most insanely great thing: the iPod. Then we flash back to 1976 where Steve is a drop out at Reed College - or more like a drop in as he continues to take classes and trip on illicit drugs. Then we flash forward a few years and Steve is in trouble with his boss at Atari because he doesn t bathe and insults his co-workers. But his boss gives him an impossible assignment which Steve gleefully accepts. He turns to his buddy Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) to help him out of the jam. Steve is paid $5000 for the job but he only gives Woz a paltry $350.

SCOTT: Jobs and Wozniak eventually build their first personal computer from scratch and name their new company Apple. They hire several friends to help build the computers in the garage of Steve s family home. Jobs is desperate for someone with deep pockets to finance them, and he has trouble finding anyone willing to take the risk until one day Mike Markkula (Dermot Mulroney) shows up. Jobs and Woz then develop the Apple II computer and the company takes off from there. But there are setbacks. Jobs girlfriend gets pregnant unexpectedly and Steve wants nothing to do with the baby. And when the company grows to the point where John Sculley (Matthew Modine) becomes CEO, Sculley forces Jobs out of Apple entirely.

GREG: Jobs is one Steve Jobs anecdote after another. Jobs suffers from the same problems as many biopics: cramming the whole of a person s life into 120 minutes is impossible. Either they re going to focus on one major event in the person s life, or give one minute to every event in that person s life. And so it goes with Jobs. The writer (Matt Whiteley) has decided to try and cover all the major events in Steve Jobs life from 1976 through 2001 - that s 25 years or roughly 5 minutes a year. When you do that something is going to be left out.

SCOTT: Very true, Greg. I have mixed feelings about Jobs. On the one hand, I enjoyed watching a true underdog story. And it was fun watching the evolution of personal computing unfolding right before our very eyes. As a life-long user of Apple products, I was very interested in this saga and the behind-the-scenes look at foundation of the computer revolution. Ashton Kutcher deserves praise for his portrayal of Steve Jobs -- he gets the voice and even the strange monkey-like gait just right. But here s where I was left dissatisfied: The movie portrays Steve Jobs as a jerk. As you noted, Greg, he cheats Wozniak shamefully of money certainly owed to him. And we see what a cad Jobs is when his girlfriend becomes pregnant. Throughout the movie, we are witness to the many ways that Jobs treats people like objects and shows nothing but utter selfishness. It s very hard to root for a hero who behaves so wretchedly throughout 99% of the movie.

GREG: I agree, Kutcher s Jobs starts out very self-centered and lacking empathy. The movie did smooth over some of those attributes after Jobs was dismissed from Apple and then asked to return years later. We see him waking Lisa (his now teen-aged daughter) while she sleeps in his mansion and he gives a subtle suggestion to (a young) Johnny Ive (Giles Matthey) when he says here s a stupid idea - what if we put the speakers inside the unit. This is an attempt to show that the hero has learned from his experiences - a typical hero s journey. However, if you re a computer geek like myself, these anecdotes are watered-down versions of the lore that swirls around Steve Jobs. Also, if you ve read Walter Isaacson s biography of Jobs you know that a lot of the Jobs story is left untold in this movie (for example, the NeXT computer and Pixar are absent). And a lot of the detail of the events in the movie is lost. This movie is little more than a point-by-point accounting of the events of Steve Jobs life. Without a good set of high and low points to punctuate the story, Jobs is little more than a narrative documentary.

SCOTT: Yes, Steve Jobs becomes transformed by the end of the movie, and the film is telling us that Jobs dismissal from Apple made him a changed man. But we aren t privy to how the transformation happened. Compare this hero transformation to what we witness in the movie Groundhog Day, where the hero Phil Connors is also a wretch but attracts sympathy when he is utterly defeated and humbled. And then we are shown in detail how Connors develops a heart of gold. The hero journey in Groundhog day is supremely satisfying because we see the transformation right before our eyes, with Connors love interest Rita playing a pivotal role in awaking his heart. In Jobs, the transformation occurs only at the very end of the movie and it happens entirely off screen an extremely poor decision on the part of the filmmakers. How did Jobs finally become a nice guy? Who knows?

GREG: I think the writer would have done better to focus on one element of Steve Jobs life. The pivotal moment that made Steve who he would become, rather than trying to tell the whole story. Part of the story had already been told back in 1999 s made-for-TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. In that case we follow young Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as they wrestle for domination over the windows desktop look-and-feel that we ve all become familiar with. Which brings me to another fateful missing piece in this movie: Steve Jobs was a thief. He never really had an original idea. A glaring omission from Jobs is the fact that Steve Jobs stole the Lisa/Macintosh windowing system from Xerox PARC. This is a pivotal moment in computing history and would become the basis for much case law surrounding innovation in high technology.

SCOTT: Overall, I enjoyed Jobs but clearly would have enjoyed it much more if it had shown us more details of his heroic transformation. In addition, I felt somewhat disappointed that the film ended without showing us the full story -- how did the iPod come about, and what was the genesis of the iPad, iPhone, and other familiar gadgets that we use today? And how is it that Jobs had completely dark hair in 1996 and completely white hair in 2001? Was the illness that eventually killed him to blame or was this a continuity error? Jobs is a fairly well-crafted biopic that shows us the life of a highly flawed man whose selfishness was far greater than his innovative sense or his business acumen. I had trouble rooting for this man to succeed and didn t buy the film s skimpy treatment of his transformation. For this reason, I award Jobs 2 Reels out of 5, and a mere 2 Heroes out of 5 as well. Movie: Heroes:

GREG: I was as unimpressed as you were, Scott. Except I would not call this a capably crafted story. It is flawed in many ways more than those we ve already mentioned. Kutcher s Jobs is just a calm version of Kutcher himself. The Hero s Journey is evident but only if you look under the covers. Steve Jobs was a complex man, driven by inner forces that this movie gives only passing attention to. There are no surprises or insights here. Just a flat retelling of 25 years of an iconic man s life. Steve Jobs deserved better. For a lackluster, linear, flat presentation of one of America s great technological leaders I give Jobs just 2 Reels out of 5. However, I was able to detect the faint arc of the Hero s Journey so I award Jobs 3 Heroes out of 5. PS: Written on a Macintosh. Movie: Heroes:
August 10, 2017
This film does not add anything very insightful to both the people who know a lot about this film, and the people who don't. Awkward cinematography, forced dialogue, and bad casting bar what could've been an amazing film.
½ July 18, 2017
While it is overly sentimental, this film is actually great in my opinion, despite what others may say.
½ July 9, 2017
Kutcher captures Jobs' mannerisms quite well and has even been recognized by Woz for that aspect of his acting. None of the content is really new and can be quickly read up online, but some of the points are inspiring for any entrepreneurs, innovators, or people simply looking to be active thinker in their lives. I personally enjoyed Kutcher's depiction of Jobs and his dedication to getting it accurate was very apparent in the film. He unfairly gets discredited for his previous roles, but he's much more intelligent than the average person than he gets credit for and he has actually been a successful contributor to the Silicon Valley tech scene.
½ May 4, 2017
I think Ashton Kutcher nailed the whole look and mannerisms of Steve Jobs, including that frumpy walk he did, however thats pretty much the only positive thing I can give this movie. I appreciate it' being ambitious but there are many things about the life of Steve Jobs that were left out, and there are many many scenes in this movie that could have been done a lot better.
April 28, 2017
Decent biopic. It's a good companion piece to the other (apparently better) Steve Jobs movie. Fleshes out other details I was more interested in at the start of his rise. It's a little scattershot to be a great biopic, but Kutcher and the rest of the cast do good jobs in their roles.
½ April 25, 2017
It worked for me, as a normal enjoyable film. I really like some of the moments they had captured. Maybe i get why the rating's down, i do. But maybe the Steve they have was way too interesting for me to mind those flaws they had pointed out.
½ February 12, 2017
Informative, but was there much else?
January 31, 2017
I thought it was awful. Every scene was overly dramatic, people chewing the scenery, and something about a little kid tryna go to school but she keeps jawing with Jobs. Then he walks up on the roof and tries to explain life to her while being interrupted every 2 seconds with some emergency about a square computer that is one micron thicker on one side or some such nonsense. I gave it One Star. I thought it was going to be a documentary but like I said, just way to over dramatic and too lengthy concerning one day (?) in Jobs life, can't recall.
January 30, 2017
A good film well intended film, however it should have focused more on Steve Jobs personal life after all he was a very personal and enigmatic individual. However considering the pacing of the film which was it's major let down I would suggest that this is a great film for those who looked up to Jobs and/or have Netflix. Otherwise go and take the time to go and look into the amazing life of this one individual who took part in one of the most amazing technological revolution to crossover three generations (I am including Millennials other wise it would be two).
½ January 10, 2017
I like this movie better than Steve Jobs. I recommend it.
December 30, 2016
Ashton Kutcher is not the actor for iconic character
½ December 30, 2016
A GOOD STORY , WAS A LITTLE SLOW IN GETTING ME TO CARE ABOUT THE MAN
December 25, 2016
It's solidly cast and practically convincing, but the plot-holed script takes every chance it can get to portray Steve Jobs as a tyranical jerk, and somehow show that off as an inspirational drive more his entrepreneurial vision.
December 25, 2016
Liked the movie! Shows Jobs history with Apple and shows how he has shaped the past so we could have a better future.
½ December 8, 2016
Pretty Good ??? 3.5/5
½ November 22, 2016
I liked this better than the Michael Fassbender version. I felt this one told a more complete story. Not sure why this got killed in the reviews.
November 20, 2016
In this film, it seems as if Steve Wozniak came up with the design for the computer all on his own. In the original film they tell the truth. They got all the research & development from Xerox Corp.
½ November 17, 2016
There is no cinematic effect. Felt like watching documentary.
November 2, 2016
I think this film is one of the most underrated biographies I've ever seen. It's obviously been given a Hollywood shine, but what film isn't. I think it's an amazingly warm, insightful interpretation of Steve Jobs and his life. It captures some of the pivotal moments in his life that empowered him and crushed him, both being of great importance. Ashton Kutcher has captured the almost Autistic nature of him with uncanny resemblance to smile, walk and speech patterns. I watched this film and felt so uplifted. Who cares if it isn't 100% accurate; I'm sure Rose and Jack didn't actually float on a broken door when the Titanic Sank. Just like the limited views of those in his actual life, a lot of people aren't seeing the message behind the picture. All I know is that it inspires me, and that's all I care about.
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