'JOBS' Biography Starring Ashton Kutcher Hits Theaters to Mixed Reviews

Joshua Michael Stern's Steve Jobs biography JOBS launched in theaters today, and despite a vigorous marketing campaign that saw actor Ashton Kutcher attending a number of promotional events and interviews, the movie appears to be garnering largely mixed reviews for both its content and the performance of its title actor.

 jobs_kutcher_front
On movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, JOBS is ranked as "rotten" with a score of 25 out of 100. The Washington Post gave the movie 1.5 stars out of four, pointing out that the movie focuses heavily on Apple rather than on Steve Jobs himself.

Directed by Joshua Michael Stern ("Swing Vote") and written by first-time screenwriter Matt Whiteley, "Jobs" confuses the story of Apple, the company, with the story of its guru and guiding force, spending way too much time on backroom personnel dealings than on encounters that might help us understand, on a deep level, the title character.

The film is so thick with Jobs's career highlights and lowlights that there's little room for insights. What made this famously private man tick?

The New York Times offers a similar opinion of the movie, which it claims has "all the sex appeal of a PowerPoint presentation."

But Mr. Kutcher doesn't have the tools that some actors use to transcend weak material and either he didn't receive any help or didn't allow any real direction from Mr. Stern. Mr. Kutcher's tendency to cap so many emotional scenes with small, self-satisfied smiles is especially unfortunate because they can’t help but bring to mind his other career as a pitchman for digital cameras.

The greater blame rests on the filmmakers, who never find a way to navigate the "passions, perfectionism, demons, desires, artistry, devilry and obsession for control" that Walter Isaacson enumerated in "Steve Jobs," his 2011 authorized biography.

Several of Steve Jobs' former colleagues who were present during the events laid out in the movie also weighed in. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gave a short review of the film on Gizmodo, where he commended the acting but noted that the film had left out important events and interactions.

I felt bad for many people I know well who were portrayed wrongly in their interactions with Jobs and the company. 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, and his contribution to my own life of enjoying great products, but this movie portrays him having had those skills in earlier times.

Early employees Daniel Kottke (who was famously awarded no stock options) and Bill Fernandez gave their opinion on JOBS in an interview with Slashdot, pointing out the creative licenses that the film took when telling the story.


Kottke, who collaborated on the film, says that Kutcher was "very good," but that Wozniak was depicted inaccurately. "It portrays Woz as not having the same vision as Steve Jobs, which is really unfair," he says. While he was impressed with the way the movie captured some of the early scenes, such as the West Coast Computer Faire, he does point out that quite a bit of dramatic flare was added.

The early versions were painful. Really painful. I forwarded the first draft to Mike Markkula because they wanted his feedback, and Mike took such a bad reaction to it, he wouldn't have anything more to do with the project.

By the time it got to the fourth draft, it was okay. It wasn't making me cringe. But they still had a scene of me arguing with Steve, which never ever happened, but, you know, in the realm of artistic license. I mean, the dynamic of my relationship with Steve Jobs is he just completely stopped talking to me in about 1980. And that's not cinematic; arguments are much better on the screen.

JOBS is currently showing in theaters around the world, and according to Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg, the movie will debut on Netflix in the spring of 2014. A second Steve Jobs movie, from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, is also in the works for 2014.

Top Rated Comments

snowfoxfire Avatar
97 months ago
Nah

No thanks. I'm pretty sure cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 looks better than this.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skika Avatar
97 months ago
Will get it from the bay.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
uknowimright Avatar
97 months ago
should of just released it on Lifetime
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
uknowimright Avatar
97 months ago
the mix seems to be populated with more BAD reviews
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
belltree Avatar
97 months ago
My interest level in seeing this is 0. Pirates of Silicon Valley told the story just fine. We do not need a rehash for cash. Also the Woz casting, WTF were they thinking?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HarryKeogh Avatar
97 months ago
I'd rather see a documentary about the man.

And by man, I mean Ashton Kutcher. Perhaps one of the greatest talents of our generation here in the Bizarro World.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...