The Social Network

Is 'The Social Network,' the new film about the creation of Facebook, the kind of movie that defines a generation?

It's already being talked about that way.Though Cinematical gives reasons why not, as scripted by 'West Wing' creator Aaron Sorkin and directed by 'Fight Club's'David Fincher, 'The Social Network' does seem to grasp the social revolution still being wrought by the Internet -- the sense of being connected and alone at the same time, the voluntary relinquishing of any sphere of personal privacy, the ability to sculpt and mold a constantly evolving public identity and the notion of cyberspace as a cool college party that everyone wants to attend.

But while the movie seems to understand those concepts, it's not really about them. It's more about the specific group of individuals present at the birth of a transformative idea, and how they fought to take credit for (and reap the profits from) that idea. It's not clear whether the Facebook generation, 500 million strong, will actually identify with this select group of backbiting Harvard elitists, or whether there's anything unique to this generation about this seemingly universal story of friendship, loyalty, class, inspiration, money, betrayal and sex.

To create a generation-defining movie, it helps to have broadly representative characters. Read the list that follows of 10 movies that defined their generations, and see if you think 'The Social Network' deserves a post on that wall.
Forrest Gump
Based on 19 critics

An innocent man (Tom Hanks) enters history from the '50s to the '90s. Read More

The Big Chill
Based on 11 critics

Ex-college friends (William Hurt, Glenn Close, Kevin Kline) share a nostalgic weekend. Read More

The Breakfast Club
Based on 11 critics

A teen wrestler (Emilio Estevez), rebel (Judd Nelson), brain, beauty (Molly Ringwald) and shy girl. Read More

The Best Years of Our Lives
Not Yet Rated1946
In Theaters on December 25th, 1946

William Wyler's Oscar-winning account of the postwar readjustment of three veterans and their wives. Read More

The Social Network
Based on 42 critics

Legal and personal complications follow the founding of popular website Facebook. Read More

Easy Rider
Based on 7 critics

Motorcyclists (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper) make a cross-country odyssey. Read More

Boyz 'N The Hood
Based on 19 critics

Three boys become men, one guided by his father, in their racially divided Los Angeles neighborhood. Read More

Rebel Without a Cause
In Theaters on October 27th, 1955

Volatile teens (James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo) with feckless parents witness tragedy. Read More

January 12, 2017
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The Graduate
Based on 10 critics

An older woman (Anne Bancroft) seduces an aimless college man (Dustin Hoffman). Read More

Saturday Night Fever
Based on 7 critics

A paint-store clerk dons a white suit and becomes king of the dance floor at his local disco. Read More

Reality Bites
In Theaters on February 18th, 1994

An aspiring filmmaker follows the paths of her friends after they graduate from college in Texas. Read More

categories Features, Hot Topic