DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
This was a film I had absolutely no interest in watching. The prospect of watching the life story of a geek millionaire did not seem that appealing, especially because I already knew most of it. The slightest hint of interest was present because of one Mr. Fincher, whom I am a big fan of, but still I wasn't really planning on watching this. When I saw the opening credits in a sneak preview two years ago I actually considered getting up and walking away.
I am very glad I didn't.
I was enthralled for its entire running time. The tone is set by the opening dialogue, it displays a level of intelligence that this type of film sorely needs. There has been a lot of talk after its release how this film has some of the best dialogue ever written. Well, it hasn't, not by a long shot. But it certainly has some of the best line delivery I've ever seen. See, words are fine, but the person having to convey them is equally important.
That brings me to Eisenberg's performance. His rapid and confident delivery of his lines enhance and enlarge the character he is portraying, in essence a disturbed, socially inept whiner. Everything he says breathes intellect and an increasing arrogance brought forth from his never wavering insecurity. It is a stellar performance, one that carries the film together with Fincher's direction.
Fincher is a director that know how to tell and craft a story. Here he not only manages to engagingly tell a story most of us already know, he also shows that attention to detail and meticulously setting up each scene adds to the immersion of audiences in what is essentially a rather predictable coming of age story. What surprised me was the absence of his usual visual flair. He shows here he can push his presence to the background and let the film speak for itself and I applaud him for it.
While the plot may be fluff, the narrative and the way it is visualised for us are absolutely fantastic.