"Magic Mike": What critics are saying

(L-r) ADAM RODRIGUEZ as Tito, KEVIN NASH as Tarzan, CHANNING TATUM as Mike, and MATT BOMER as Ken in Warner Bros. Picturesâ Claudette Barius

From left, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer in a scene from "Magic Mike."
Warner Bros.

(CBS News) "Magic Mike," the Steven Soderbergh-directed flick set in the world of male strippers, is dancing its way into theaters today.

Channing Tatum stars as the titular dancer in the film, inspired by his stint as a male stripper in his late teens. The drama also stars Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Cody Horn and Olivia Munn.

The film has been well-received by critics overall, earning it an 82 percent "Fresh" rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Here's what some reviewers had to say:

Pictures: "Magic Mike" premieres in Los Angeles
Pictures: Summer films 2012

"In 'Magic Mike,' Channing Tatum's pre-Hollywood experience as a male stripper has inspired not only one of his better roles but also arguably the raunchiest, funniest and most enjoyably nonjudgmental American movie about selling sex since 'Boogie Nights,' its obvious if considerably darker precursor," said David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter.

"The movie is Mike's story, and Channing Tatum proves himself a true movie star. His Mike glides through the world with the ease of a god, and on stage he's electrifying," Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote. "But Tatum, like John Travolta in 'Saturday Night Fever,' gives him glimmers of doubt and fear - anxiety about the future - that make him intensely sympathetic."

The New York Times' Manohla Dhargis said, "What could have been an embarrassing misfire hinted at by the movie's misleading trailers is instead a smoothly distilled collaboration that balances Mr. Tatum's heat and charm -- and ambitions that are as transparent as Mike's -- with Mr. Soderbergh's cool, cinematic intelligence and ongoing preoccupations."

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "'Magic Mike'" starts as fun and grows steadily darker; Soderbergh and cast tell a realistic, vivid story."

"'Magic Mike' slowly degenerates into a simplistic cautionary fable. I didn't see that coming from a sharp observer like Soderbergh," said Rolling Stone's Peter Travers.

"Tatum, Soderbergh and team appreciate the real reason audiences showed up, and the film provides just enough character and plot to validate the plentiful pecs and abundant buns that serve as its main attraction," said Variety's Peter Debruge.

"Tatum displays charisma and style, but he and Horn have less chemistry than Abe Lincoln and the vampires he hunts," wrote Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times. "If filmmaker Soderbergh had paid as much attention to relationship dynamics as he does to dance number mechanics, this film would have gotten closer to living up to the magic in its name."

"Anyone who's seen "Step Up," the 2006 movie that put [Tatum] on the map, knows what a gifted dancer he is," said Christy Lemire of the Associated Press. "But here, he's just mesmerizing: confident, creative, acrobatic and, above all, seductive. 'Cause that's the whole point."

Tell us: Do you plan to see "Magic Mike"?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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