Movie Review: JOBS

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MV5BMTM5NTQ3MTYxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODE2Nzk3OQ@@._V1_SX214_One-of-a-kind visionary.  Calculating businessman.  Marvelous marketer.  Driven problem-solver.  Out-of-the box creative thinker.  By and large,” JOBS” conveys all these about Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher), the legendary founder of Apple.  It also conveys the not-so-nice, personal side of Jobs as it relates to the way he treats his pregnant girlfriend and first-born child, and loyal employees in the early stage of his success. 

A temperamental perfectionist, Jobs has his own vision of the world and pushes the limit of the people around him to continuously create and innovate.  He has no qualms in tossing aside those who don’t share his vision for the future.

Kutcher is earnest in his portrayal of Jobs.  He does mimic him in so many ways, although there are scenes where we don’t forget it’s Kutcher, the actor.  Josh Gad shares the spotlight in a sensitive, humble performance, as Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.  He counterbalances Jobs’ ambitious, idealistic persona. 

The opening, introducing the iPod, successfully grabs your attention, but the movie doesn’t delve into how he gets up to that star moment in the podium.  No progress is shown from his early days of revolutionizing personal computer.  If you’re an Apple fan, know that it also omits completely the story of how other live-changing devices, such as iPhone or iPad, came into existence. 

There are inspiring scenes, showcasing Jobs’ rare talent to rally people around him and buy into his crazy idea that they can will people into buying something they haven’t seen and don’t know they need or want.  And making that something easy, practical and cool at the same time.  He challenges conventional belief and doesn’t put a limit on what he can do.  By thinking differently and limitlessly, he’s able to achieve what he did and changed the world in the process. 

As a biopic, what it lacks is storytelling.  It labors too much on the technical minutiae and boardroom politics (CEO John Sculley and original funder Mike Markkula, played by Matthew Modine and Dermot Mulroney, respectively), but skims the surface of the character.  We don’t get to see why Jobs becomes the way he is and how he evolves as an individual.  And when the story jumps into the future, it’s not clear how he gets there. 

With the right script, one that made “The Social Network” award-winning, “JOBS” could have been larger-than-life.  Here, it’s just passable, which would not have passed Jobs’ own standards. 

Copyright (c) 2013. Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a business manager, foreign language translator, film columnist and travel/lifestyle writer.  She can be reached at  Nathalia owns a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter:

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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