‘Jobs’ is eye-opening, but still a less-than-complete biography

Ashton Kutcher in ‘Jobs.’ Rated PG-13, 122 min. Open Road Films, 2013.

While “Jobs” attempts to present a balanced portrait of Apple co-founder and driving creative force Steve Jobs, a script packed with inspirational speeches and heartfelt moments feels much more reverential than the intricately detailed authorized biography (not connected to the film) written by Walter Isaacson.

The casting of Ashton Kutcher seems surprising, until you see the uncanny resemblance to the real Jobs. But similar facial features cannot carry an entire performance, and Kutcher’s own smirking persona still seeps through. Josh Gad plays the comic foil as geeky partner Steve Wozniak, and Dermot Mulroney brings a gravely serious note as money man Mike Marrkula.

Since its focused narrative must fit within two hours, the film necessarily glosses over huge swaths of time. Jobs was pushed out of Apple in ’85 and returned in ’96 – but we see nothing in between – and the movie ends with the development of the iPod 10 years before his death, leaving Jobs’ story incomplete.

This is ultimately a simplified, feel-good movie with made-for-cable-movie heartstring-tugging sprinkled throughout, so for the real no-holds-barred scoop, pick up the book instead.

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