David Fincher's The Social Net­work, with a script by the mon­arch of machine-gun banter, Aaron Sor­kin (The West Wing), is a smart, funny film that tells the story of how Facebook came into being. It's a comedy of manners about a desperately uncool Harvard undergrad who creates the most popular club in the world and declares himself president.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zucker­berg, who has been denied entrance to the most coveted Harvard clubs, probably due to both his lower-middle-class background and his chilly, aggressive personality. He and his friends, who were only able to pledge the sole Jewish fraternity on campus, don't have a chance at dating the most attractive girls. When Mark's Boston University girlfriend (Rooney Mara) breaks up with him, he gets drunk and delivers his revenge, an acrid post about her on his blog.

The same night he hacks into the Harvard computer system to access photos of every woman at Harvard and designs a game called Facemash that allows male users to rate them. The stunt earns him a suspension but brings him to the attention of three Harvard aristocrats—identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played, wittily, by Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella)—who are attempting to devise a computer-based social network. They hire Mark to supervise the technology. Instead of completing the assignment, he constructs his own version, which becomes an instant success. Leaving them in the dust is his way of one-upping these self-proclaimed "gentlemen of Harvard."