The Cost of Brilliance: A Review of ‘Steve Jobs: Man In The Machine’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 21, 2015
The Cost of Brilliance: A Review of ‘Steve Jobs: Man In The Machine’

As a society, we almost find it hard to genuinely understand genius.  We either adore or we rebel against it.  Steve Jobs was certainly that kind of figure and in Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine we get  exactly that, a driven and unique visionary who really didn’t care about pissing people off in the protection of what his legacy (both perceived and actual) really was.

In his black turtleneck and blue jeans, Steve Jobs was a ubiquitous and enigmatic public figure all at the same time, especially since we only ever saw him hovering beneath the iconic Apple logo that became as household and common as a stop sign in modern life, but what made the man himself tick.  Described as a genius and as a tyrant, this film looks at his legacy, his legend both personally and corporately and the effect that it all had ranging from Silicon Valley to the very lexicon of our pop culture universe.


Yet another effort out of the Alex Gibney doc factory he is getting a little scary at how coldly efficient he is making these things, but in this instance it actually works out very well as it crafts a portrait of a brilliantly cold man who got a lot of people to adore him based on the various technologies that he played a key role in inventing.

As a director, Gibney knows how to frame a narrative in his goddamn sleep and he lays out the rise of this unflattering man in no uncertain terms.  It’s a clear argument and even without the input of current Apple execs, it is more or less a confirmation of what we already knew.  Jobs was a brilliant man that was and still is an inspiration to many, but to say that he could not be very nice to colleagues, friends and even family is probably an understatement.  The narrative doesn’t take any broad jumps as we see how we as a planet got sucked into his hand held devices in an almost cult like status and while it doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know before, the shocking clarity in which it is all laid out is kind of marvelous to behold.

Ultimately the kind of man that we as a society love, but also love to hate as Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine shows us the unequivocal drive of the genius behind Apple computers, and the fact that quite often genius has to step on a few people along the way in order to get where it needs to go.  Leaving us to ask if the one side of the man can ultimate forgive his own shortcomings on the other side of the coin.  It’s a story that falls right in director Alex Gibney’s efficient wheel house and deserves to be seen by Apple devotees and naysayers a like.


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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.