The Social Network movie review buzz was perfect until yesterday. Yet when the scores finally went below 100 percent, no one was surprised as to why. It was inevitable that at least one person would pan the Facebook movie, and everyone knew who it would be. Armond White, one of the most notorious contrarians in the business, was expected from the start to break the film’s winning streak with critics. But in fact, The Social Network was knocked down by both White and fellow harsh critic Prairie Miller.
White and Miller have become famous for panning films that virtually everyone else likes. In particular, White has become infamous for both hating acclaimed films, and loving low-rated movies like Norbit, Next Day Air and Marci X.
Naturally, the first Social Network review to be labeled as “rotten” came from White, as he submitted his pan yesterday. But even by White’s standards, his reasoning came across as very odd to many, as he criticized the film for celebrating and excusing the behavior of Mark Zuckerberg.
This does hit at the biggest controversy of The Social Network, as its characterization of Zuckerberg has struck a nerve in some circles. Yet for all the arguments on whether the film’s Zuckerberg is too much of a jerk — or an a****le, as the film repeats — White believes it is too soft on him.
While the usual complaints came out against White for his review, a second pan of The Social Network was posted some time later. Prairie Miller of Newsblaze, who was among the first to come down against Toy Story 3 and Inception, gave the movie two stars.
Like White, Miller takes the film to task for allegedly being too soft, calling it “a hyper-capitalist homage to Facebook, and an infomercial in biopic clothing.” She accuses the movie of reveling in “gluttony,” unlike Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps — which was accused by other critics of being soft as well.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Miller’s review actually has more comments than White’s, although both have gotten thousands of negative responses. However, they are used to this reaction from bloggers and fans by now, yet it hasn’t stopped them from continuously going against the grain.
Despite their criticism, The Social Network scores remain extremely high, at 97 percent positive, with a 9.4 average rating. Since White and Miller have the only two negative reviews so far, fans may not count them, given their history. Once someone other than them gives a thumbs down to the film, then people might take more notice.
Rotten Tomatoes- “The Social Network”
New York Press- “Creeps as Heroes”
Newsblaze- “The Social Network Movie Review”