“Jobs” has finally made its big debut, but critics are less than thrilled about what it’s presenting. The much discussed adaptation, which stars Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, only earned a 24 percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, and 43 percent Metacritic — pretty low scores all things considered.
So what do the critics have to say about the film? As a whole, The New York Times feels the movie fails to delve into discovering who Jobs as a man really was. “The Great Man theory of history that’s recycled in this movie is inevitably unsatisfying, but never more so when the figure at the center remains as opaque as Jobs does here,” Manohla Dargis writes.
Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly agrees, saying, “Joshua Michael Stern, the director of Jobs, stages [the film] well, yet with a one-thing-after-another quality that doesn’t allow any one character to become somebody we care about. … ‘Jobs’ doesn’t really take us on that personal journey with [Jobs].”
While some disagree, the general consensus seems to be that Kutcher does a pretty decent job at portraying Jobs. Peter Travers writes at Rolling Stone, “Casting Ashton Kutcher as Apple’s mercurial trailblazer, Steve Jobs, could have backfired big-time. It’s one thing being the highest-paid sitcom star on TV, another for Charlie Sheen’s replacement on ‘Two and a Half Men’ to find the gravitas to play a computer-and-marketing visionary pursued by personal and professional demons. Kutcher nails the genius and narcissism. It’s a quietly dazzling performance.”
More impressive is Josh Gad, who plays Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Michael Phillips describes Gad as “very good” in his otherwise negative review for Chicago Tribune, while Mark Jenkins at NPR makes a point to note that he’s “fine” in the role. Mark Olsen at the Los Angeles Times goes as far to write, “The most compelling figure to emerge in ‘Jobs’ is actually not Steve Jobs but rather fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, played by Josh Gad. The dynamic strictly between the two of them — a jousting match over innovation, ethics and ambition — would seemingly make a sharper, more perceptive movie unto itself.”
“The Social Network” this is not, as “Jobs” seems to try to go too far to portray its main character as a “genius for the ages,” as Olsen writes. But if you’re a sucker for biopics about corporations and the people who run them, this could be the film for you.
“Jobs” hit theaters today.