A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Magic Mike is an ensemble drama about a group of male strippers (played by Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, among others), so there's a great deal of nudity. Although there's no complete "full monty," every dance sequence includes the guys stripping down to tiny thongs that show their butts and highlight their genitals. In one scene, a penis is briefly pumped before a man goes on stage, and several sex scenes feature topless women. Language is also quite strong, with "f--k" used in almost every scene. There's also lots of drinking and some drug use; an underage character nearly dies from an overdose. And two henchmen rough up someone they're trying to intimidate. Bottom line? The amount of nudity, language, and substance use make this drama too mature for anyone under 17.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Based on his own pre-Hollywood experiences as a male exotic dancer, Channing Tatum stars as the titular Magic Mike, a Tampa-area roofer, car detailer, and furniture maker by day and stripper by night. After meeting 19-year-old Adam (Alex Pettyfer) on a construction job, Mike brings "The Kid" along to the Xquisite Male Revue, where he's the star performer. At Mike's urging, the owner, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), invites Adam to join the crew, which also includes veteran strippers Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Ken (Matt Bomer), and Tarzan (Kevin Nash). Although Adam starts raking in the cash, his older sister, Brooke (Cody Horn), is skeptical about the gig and his new friends. As Adam gets more out of control with access to cash and women, Mike longs to prove that he's more than his lifestyle to the Kid's straight-edge sister -- and ultimately himself.
Is it any good?
The main draw of the film, naturally, is Tatum, who shows off not just his physique and dance skills, but also his considerable talents of charm and seduction. Steven Soderbergh has a way with directing ensembles of men, and whether the cast is fully clothed -- like in the Ocean's Eleven films -- or mostly naked (and writhing around on a stage) like the Xquisite men of MAGIC MIKE, they definitely know how to put on an entertaining show. While it may be Tatum's story, he owes a great deal to McConaughey, who was simply born to play Dallas, a spandex-and-leather showman who truly believes in his mission of shilling guilt-free stage sex to his dollar-bill-waving audience.
Along with Tatum's irresistible turn and McConaughey's terrific scene-stealing performances, the rest of the cast sells both the excitement and the mundane nature of trying to please the women of Tampa. Manganiello, who plays werewolf hunk Alcide on True Blood, is hilarious as the aptly named Big Dick Richie, whom viewers first meet while he's sewing a decorative trim to his metallic thong. In fact, if there's one false note in the movie, it's the romance between Tatum and the uptight Horn. With Brooke's perpetual frown and judgmental jibes, it's hard to see why she inspires so much devotion from Mike. Unsurprisingly, Magic Mike shines brightest in the sequences on stage or behind the scenes. When the Weather Girls start singing "It's Raining Men," it's hard to resist joining in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Magic Mike depicts the male strippers. Is their lifestyle glamorized? What are consequences of being a stripper for Mike?
Is the nudity in the movie gratuitous or is part of the plot development? Is there a different standard for nudity/sexuality in movies versus violence? Should there be?
Does knowing that Tatum started off his career in entertainment as a stripper in real life change how you think of him?
- In theaters: June 29, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: October 23, 2012
- Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey
- Director: Steven Soderbergh
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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