Here's one reason why the reviews were surprisingly kind: Kutcher apparently went full Daniel Day-Lewis for the movie, attempting to perform extreme method acting to properly fit into the Jobs role. The results, though, were less Day-Lewis and more Kirk Lazarus.
The (pretty funny) details from USA Today:
Ashton Kutcher might have gotten a little too close to Steve Jobs.
Kutcher says that he started a fruit-only diet to prepare to play the Apple co-founder for the biopic Jobs, which premiered Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.
The diet, which the film claims Jobs adhered to, ended up sending Kutcher to the hospital with pancreas problems.
“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to like severe issues,” Kutcher said after the film's screening. “I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain.
“My pancreas levels were completely out of whack,” Kutcher added. “It was really terrifying … considering everything.”
Kutcher finished that comment up with “considering everything” because he's a huge drama queen, and that was his way of making a coded reference to Steve Jobs' death from pancreatic cancer. This is hilariously over-the-top and should clue you in to what we're dealing with here concerning with Kutcher's intelligence level: Jobs didn't die from pancreatic cancer because he ate a lot of apples. He died from it because it's a particularly fatal form of cancer and he delayed getting treatment for nine months. To use a phrase that will probably make Kutcher throw up if he heard it now, this is an apples-to-oranges comparison.
But yeah, Kutch, tell Sundance that you almost died from being a fruitarian. We'll be over here laughing, waiting for the Aaron Sorkin treatment commissioned by Jobs himself, and skipping your “Jackie Jormp Jomp Goes to Computer.”