More Boogie Nights than Showgirls, Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike showcases the dark side of the high life, in this case, the nonstop party of a male strip club in Tampa, Fla. Taken (one assumes somewhat liberally) from star Channing Tatum’s own background as an exotic dancer, Magic Mike has a few stripping sequences, but Soderbergh always manages to make each dance less about strippers getting tips and more about the emotional content of the film in that moment. It’s a tricky way to go about showing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey in thongs, but by and large, the sequences in the club act in the service of a film that is a lot darker below the surface than its opening moments suggest. Tatum has found his mark; McConaughey is solid in what may or may not be self-parody; and Soderbergh again demonstrates his skill when he’s deeply invested in a project.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Nick Wechsler, Gregory Jacobs, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn, Matt Bomer, Riley Keough, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, James Martin Kelly, Reid Carolin, George Sack, Micaela Johnson and Denise Vasi