Cinema: Startup.Com

Directed by Jehane Noujaim and Chris Hegedus

Once upon a bubble, a couple of high school buddies, smooth Kaleil and nerdy Tom, started a business called govWorks.com Their good idea was to end infuriating lines at places like the motor-vehicle offices by letting us pay routine fines and fees via the Internet. The company attracted giddy amounts of venture capital, employed 200 people at its height and went belly up inside of two years. This gripping documentary doesn't exactly say what went wrong, but the pain and puzzlement of its principals as things inexorably fall apart is palpable and saddening.

--By Richard Schickel

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