Strong performances, biting, witty dialogue and deft direction lift "The Social Network" past the mindless action flicks of summer. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, it's an ironic tale about connecting to others-something not easily possible for the king of social networking.

Written by wonderful wordsmith Aaron Sorkin, and directed with power by David Fincher, it's a universal tale about humans yearning to connect in this newly wired planet-something that seems to be even more difficult despite the technological advances.

Along with the rest of the superb cast, Justin Timberlake puts in an first-rate performance as the hard-partying wiz kid behind Napster.

The Social Network is cleverly built around two legal depositions, using flashbacks to reveal the story. The film doesn't paint The Facebook chief as an evil villain-rather it's a well-rounded portrait of a socially awkward techno geek yearning for love and acceptance who continually pushes it away. It’s a very compelling character study of the youngest billionaire on the planet who has 500 million virtual friends, yet possibly no actual ones.

I give “The Social Network” a grade of “A”. I’m Keith Kelly

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