Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The coolest film in town offers industrial espionage, power struggles, thwarted romance, betrayal and suspense - and best of all, it's true.
  4. 80
    Deep and textured drama.
  5. 75
    As an inside view of the bursting of the Internet bubble, Startup.com is definitive.
  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. For sheer dramatic wallop outpowers virtually every fiction feature I've seen this year.
  8. 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.
  9. Reviewed by: Judith Lewis
    80
    Startup.com goes from being a mildly interesting true story to a ripping good train wreck in the making.
  10. Reviewed by: Robin Rauzi
    80
    Nimbly documents the rise and fall of a Web company through its charismatic leaders.
  11. 75
    If nothing else, Startup.com is a pointed reminder that mixing business and friendship never, ever works.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Some of the simplest shots give you the full picture of the price these guys paid for their dreams.
  15. 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.
  16. 75
    An unforgettable portrait of a testosterone-driven era.
  17. 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.
  18. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    83
    With no easy heroes or villains, Startup.com can be a Rorschach test for viewers.
  19. 80
    Delivers more suspense than a tombful of mummies.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 60
    The story of the business is historically interesting, but the story of a friendship tested to the breaking point is timeless.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    A cautionary tale very well-told.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. A thrillingly, thoroughly wonderful film.
  29. It also has heart and soul, two commodities all too often in short supply in the field of garden-variety cinema verite.
  30. 80
    Astute and entertaining documentary.

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