Few recent movies are as dialogue-rich as The Social Network — Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-winning script is rich, dense and utterly dependent on an actor’s ability to sell the lines while delivering them at the rat-a-tat pace that gives his scenes their sparkling energy. Timberlake more than holds his own in scenes with seasoned pros like Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield (the next Spider-Man). He gives a preening cocksure swagger to his playing of Sean Parker, the billionaire entrepreneur who became a mentor of sorts to Mark Zuckerberg. It may not be a particularly sympathetic (or fair) portrayal, but it certainly shows how the Facebook founder so easily succumbed to Parker’s predatory charms.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCE(S): He was good playing a low-life thug in Alpha Dog. While his frequent appearances on SNL demonstrate a real gift for comedy, he has yet to film a role that showcases those talents.