Startup.com

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    The film ends with a surprisingly upbeat coda. But Startup.com leaves us with a sense that our heroes' idealism will be forever lost.
  2. For sheer dramatic wallop outpowers virtually every fiction feature I've seen this year.
  3. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    90
    A thrillingly, thoroughly wonderful film.
  4. The coolest film in town offers industrial espionage, power struggles, thwarted romance, betrayal and suspense - and best of all, it's true.
  5. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    88
    This small story that tells the much bigger story of the New Economy's bubble and burst is less a documentary than it is breaking news.
  6. 88
    Combining the immediacy of the Internet and the wise perspective of history, Startup.com proves that investing in real-life drama can reap rich dividends.
  7. 83
    With no easy heroes or villains, Startup.com can be a Rorschach test for viewers.
  8. 80
    Nimbly documents the rise and fall of a Web company through its charismatic leaders.
  9. 80
    Startup.com goes from being a mildly interesting true story to a ripping good train wreck in the making.
  10. 80
    Astute and entertaining documentary.
  11. 80
    Has all the hallmarks of a Pennebaker production. The editing is seamless, the drama builds throughout, and the arc of the central character is as shapely as in a Hollywood fiction.
  12. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    80
    The result is a movie that turns the financial phenomenon of Web startups -- the crazy kids with ideas, and the crazier bankers with more money than sense -- into a moving human drama.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    This gripping documentary doesn't exactly say what went wrong, but the pain and puzzlement of its principals as things inexorably fall apart is palpable and saddening.
  14. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    80
    Topical film, which goes beyond its potentially dry diet of facts to incorporate the juicy human drama of Machiavellian manipulations, ambition, torn loyalties and crushing betrayal.
  15. Reviewed by: Jeff Stark
    80
    A story about risk, about hubris, about youth, about the old way and the new way, and about what happens when you trade everything for something that really isn't there.
  16. 80
    Delivers more suspense than a tombful of mummies.
  17. 80
    Deep and textured drama.
  18. 80
    Moves slowly and grimly toward the moment that for the audience is the most engrossing though filled with dread: when things begin to unravel and the participants are no longer aware of the cameras. That is when your shoulders tense and you lean toward the screen.
  19. It also has heart and soul, two commodities all too often in short supply in the field of garden-variety cinema verite.
  20. Some of the simplest shots give you the full picture of the price these guys paid for their dreams.
  21. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    75
    If nothing else, Startup.com is a pointed reminder that mixing business and friendship never, ever works.
  22. 75
    An unforgettable portrait of a testosterone-driven era.
  23. 75
    As an inside view of the bursting of the Internet bubble, Startup.com is definitive.
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    A cautionary tale very well-told.
  25. 75
    The giddy excitement of Startup.com comes from feeling as if you're inside the bubble as it soars into the stratosphere - and pops.
  26. The story of the business is historically interesting, but the story of a friendship tested to the breaking point is timeless.
  27. There's something a bit condescending about how the movie devolves into a falling-out-between-friends scenario, as if the only way our attention could be held by this subculture were if it was presented to us sentimentally.
  28. The filmmakers no doubt had a hell of a time whittling the material down; unfortunately, what they came up with was something long on the mundaneness of GovWorks.com and short on the personalities behind it.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    Some people are finding it difficult to live with the idea that Kaleil could put his employees through hell, lose $60 million of other people's money, and wind up a movie star.
  30. For a general audience the entertainment factor is quite low. The project may best serve us not on the screen, but in a time capsule.

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