Robert Beksinski’s review published on Letterboxd:
The mass following of director David Fincher is one that I think is slightly unwarranted. Slightly because it is undeniable that the man is extremely talented. But unwarranted because he is not consistent enough in his output. He is a quality director, superb at his craft but he is no where near the level of greatness to be considered a master director. Not even no where near the title of best director working today. I may sound harsh but it is hard to watch any of his films now without the knowledge of his extreme popularity. A popularity that I think has come on rather late.
That is because with the acclaim and award nominations with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and this film have all left Mr. Fincher comfortable and relaxed. You will not see any more daring or risky projects from him like his early Fight Club days where I personally think he reigned supreme. Now will be more settled down projects in a specific comfort zone, something that will be akin to award bait, safe box office predicted results, something with proven results. Following this he went on to make a completely unjustified remake (albeit a technically sound and well made adaptation) of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. It was a safe choice for him, the series of books had gained enormous popularity worldwide, the original Swedish film had garnered praise and the next step that Hollywood takes with any foreign success is to remake it. His upcoming projects look to be more of the same. I think this film here The Social Network will be the last time Fincher steps outside of his comfort zone.
The Social Network is a much more difficult and risk-filled project than one might think. To pull off a story like this on film is a extremely difficult task. First off its a story that is publicly known so it will be hard to keep it from being predictable. Secondly its a success story about a young intelligent man creating a website that will become one of the most popular used items on a computer since its invention. Its a success story with sprinkles of drama. At least that is what it seems on paper. How could this subject matter that does not sound engaging at all hold audience's attentions. Somehow Fincher makes some of the most un-cinematic material completely in tuned with the medium in every technical aspect involved.
He pulls together Reznor to create an enthralling score for the film that emotionally enhances scenes that otherwise would feel dry. Sorkin's script heightens the drama, builds characters and provides some excellent dialogue. And last but not least Fincher ensembles a perfect cast of actors for the film leading the way with Jesse Eisenberg in a role he was born to play. I'm not too confident that Eisenberg will find greater success in his career then he did here with this film. So Fincher made the impossible happen. It could have been a fluke but I am more inclined to believe Fincher truly possesses the talent used to pull this project off like he did.
The Social Network is the best film of his post Fight Club career which has shamefully turned out rather predictable in itself.