Type to search

Soundtrack review: The social network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – 2010)

Film scores perfect scores

Soundtrack review: The social network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – 2010)


„The Social Network” is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, the other principals involved in the website’s creation. Neither Zuckerberg nor any other Facebook staff were involved with the project, although Saverin was a consultant for Mezrich’s book. I saw the movie a few times and absolutely loved it. Aaron Sorkin’s trademark sharp and addictive dialogues and David Fincher’s dark direction made this one a winner.

And then there was the score; for me it was one of the most anticipated ever because it was the first time my favorite musician, Trent Reznor was venturing in a film scoring. He has contributed with songs to a lot of soundtracks and his NIN compositions have been used for the darkest moments of movies like „One hour photo”, „”The fan’” or „Man on fire” but this was the first time he and Atticus Ross were writing a proper film score. Before even getting to the music I have to mention the cue titles. If for their previous collaboration for Nine Inch Nails the two musicians wrote 36 instrumental pieces titled Ghost 1 through to 36, this time each of the 19 cue titles is a poetry in itself I could mention them all but „The gentle hum of anxiety”, “Complication with optimistic outcome” or “Hand covers bruise” are among my favorites.

I am rarely objective when it comes to this sound, I admit. It’s also hard to be objective when Trent Reznor is involved because his music guarded my formative years. But regardless of this, “The social network” is a special kind of score. It’s one of those compositions that work just as well both in the context of the movie and as a standalone listen. For Nine Inch Nails fans this is a perfect continuation of “Ghosts I – IV”. They will even recognize two of the ghosts reworked for this score. But that’s just a bonus. The dark ambient mood of this score compliments perfectly David Fincher’s vision. The music also moves just as snappy and urgently as the dialogues for which even native English speakers needed subtitles. The back and forth of the sound effects, the quick turn in tone and the intelligent pace make me remember the movie every time I listen to the score. The breaks the music takes are reflective gems that work for every occasion. Just listen to “It catches up with you” and see what it brings to surface from inside you.

If I was to choose a favorite cue it could be “Painted sun in abstract” because aside from the ambient sound it also brings me 80s nostalgia for some reason. But highlighting separate cues wouldn’t do justice to an album that works better as a whole and even better complete with the movie. For me “The social network” has become a classic and it never misses from my iPod.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 66 / 66

Album excellence: 100%




Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.