Film Review: Steve Jobs, Man in the Machine


Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine

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At an April showing of his Steve Jobs takedown, which already has generated plenty of heat in tech circles, director Alex Gibney admitted he’s basically wed to his iPhone. But boy, does his film avoid the worshipful tones of previous takes. Gibney begins by asking how a man who could be so cruel in his personal life managed to create such beloved products. Steve Wozniak explains how Jobs screwed him out of thousands of dollars on one of their first projects. Jobs’ ex-girlfriend describes how he got her pregnant, denied responsibility, and refused to pay child support—until a paternity test proved it. Other scandals include Jobs’ alleged backdating of stock options and his cold reaction to the Foxconn suicides. Gibney, who isn’t shy about poking powerful institutions—he also directed the Scientology expose Going Clear and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room—structured his latest film “not unlike Citizen Kane,” telling the story via anecdotes. In the end, you’ll have to decide whether there’s a Rosebud moment.

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  • Rebecca Cohen is a former editorial fellow at Mother Jones.