Except for the opening scene, the story moves in the usual biographical "and then this happened" kind of narrative, jumping forward now and then in a jerky fashion. While it's impossible to show every key moment, these jumps don't make for the smoothest character development. Gad, whose Wozniak comes off as the hero of the piece, handles the leaps better than Kutcher. So does Dermot Mulroney (Space Warriors), who plays angel investor Mike Markkula, the only real grownup in the original Apple. You can see the wear and tear as he morphs from investor to friend and business associate to... well, let's just say Jobs held grudges and paybacks can be unpleasant.

Jobs ends on what is clearly designed to be an inspirational high note, but grumbling was heard from the audience that the story ended too soon. It did seem odd that the iPhone wasn't even hinted at yet; the abrupt ending made for an unsatisfying finish to what was really only a moderately interesting film. At one point Wozniak mourns over Jobs, "You're the beginning and end of your own world and it's so small." Sadly, so is this movie. Maybe this is the beta? Unless you’re a diehard, early-adopter Apple fan, I’d hold out for version 2.0.

CAUTIONS (may include spoilers):

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Characters drink alcoholic beverages on multiple social occasions and occasionally alone. College students are seen both talking about and smoking pot and several people smoke regular cigarettes, as well. Drug use leads to several people lounging around in a woozy haze and Jobs has some kind of ecstatic experience apparently brought on by whatever was in his system.
  • Language/Profanity: By today's standards not a ton of profanity, but the popular words all made an appearance: f-word, d-word, s-word, b-word, Jesus used as epithet, a**hole, he**.
  • Sex/Nudity: Couples shown in bed with the inference being they have had sex; man's bare chest seen in more than one scene. Jobs' girlfriend accuses him of fathering her child, something he denies even after a paternity test proves otherwise. There's a Polish joke that seems to be going down a sexual path but actually turns out to be tame. A poster of a girl in a bikini is referred to and briefly shown.
  • Violent/Frightening/Intense: Jobs throws a lot of temper tantrums and is hateful to people on a fairly regular basis, but his behavior is more irritating than frightening or intense.
  • Spiritual Themes: Jobs and friends discuss "what did the guru tell us?" and are seen listening to an Eastern religious practitioner's teaching. He and a friend visit India and are shown reading from some kind of religious study guide while there. Jobs is shown to be a terrible example of personal responsibility; at least in the film, any sense of integrity he may have had applied only to products, not people. There is some sense that he mellowed a bit by the end, but it's a subtle hint. Not exactly role model material.

Publication date: August 16, 2013