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 Movie Poster
Forrest Gump
PG-131994
Based on 20 critics

Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his... Read More

August 6, 2017
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Boyz N the Hood Movie Poster
Boyz N the Hood
R1991
Based on 20 critics

Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Larry Fishburne), in tough South... Read More

Rebel Without a Cause Movie Poster
Rebel Without a Cause
PG-131955
In Theaters on 1955

After moving to a new town, troublemaking teen Jim Stark (James Dean) is supposed to have a clean slate,... Read More

The Graduate Movie Poster
The Graduate
PG1967
Based on 10 critics

Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has just finished college and, back at his parents' house, he's trying... Read More

Reality Bites Movie Poster
Reality Bites
PG-131994
In Theaters on February 18, 1994

After college, Lelaina (Winona Ryder) films a documentary about herself and friends as they flounder... Read More

The Breakfast Club Movie Poster
The Breakfast Club
R1985
Based on 11 critics

Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry... Read More

The Best Years of Our Lives Movie Poster
The Best Years of Our Lives
1946
In Theaters on December 25, 1946

Fred, Al and Homer are three World War II veterans facing difficulties as they re-enter civilian life.... Read More

The Big Chill Movie Poster
The Big Chill
R1983
Based on 11 critics

A once close-knit gang of friends -- including an actor (JoBeth Williams), a doctor (Glenn Close) and... Read More

The Social Network Movie Poster
The Social Network
PG-132010
Based on 42 critics

In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new... Read More

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