Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs, the iconic Apple innovator and groundbreaking entrepreneur.  This inspiring and entertaining film chronicles Jobs’ early days as a college dropout to his rise as the co-founder of Apple Computer Inc. and forced departure from the company. More than a decade later, Jobs returns and single-handedly sets a course that will turn the once-tiny startup into one of the world’s most valuable companies.  His epic journey blazes a trail that changes technology – and the world – forever. JOBS is a riveting story of a true American visionary, a man who let nothing stand in the way of greatness.  Co-starring Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, J. K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.As docudramas go, Jobs works better as a profile of an innovative company than of the demanding entrepreneur who cofounded it (Apple would have provided a more apt title). Director Joshua Michael Stern opens with the launch of the iPod, a notable development, but not an especially dramatic one, before backtracking to the college dropout days of the oft-barefoot Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher), who comes across as more of a ladies’ man than a visionary. His electronic expertise, however, leads to a job at Atari, while his friend Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad, whose comic timing enlivens the proceedings) ends up at Hewlett-Packard. When Steve finds out about the personal computer Woz has been working on at home, he sees the chance to revolutionize the industry, so he ropes in some fellow computer fanatics to construct motherboards, secures an investor (Dermot Mulroney), and launches Apple Computers. Meanwhile, his girlfriend (Ahna O’Reilly) informs him that she’s pregnant, and he kicks her out. Stern continues to alternate between professional milestones and personal misdemeanors, including Jobs’s hiring of marketing mastermind John Sculley (Matthew Modine), his ouster from Apple, and his return to shake things up with the Macintosh. Interesting stuff, except it plays more like a made-for-TV movie than a motion picture, and Kutcher’s attempts to stifle his innate charisma come close to caricature. There’s historical value here, but Stern never finds a satisfying way to reconcile his subject’s contradictory impulses, leading to a catalog of facts and figures without any underlying soul. –Kathleen C. Fennessy

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