Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. 75
    Tries to have it both ways -- as a kitschy ode to bodybuilding culture and as a tragic story of a man who was persecuted for his dreams.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Fanciful and highly entertaining docudrama.
  3. There's an undeniable energy, originality and -- most hearteningly -- optimism here that makes Beefcake well worth your time, shortcomings and all.
  4. Reviewed by: Jim Sullivan
    It leaves you with an odd, sweet-and-sour taste - nostalgia painted in pastel colors, streaked with black smears.
  5. 63
    Much to enjoy in this potpourri of silly fun and forbidden games, but a bit less ambition and a tad more focus might have helped.
  6. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    As a mix of nonfiction and wafer-thin drama, however, it's a genial mess in which both elements emerge undercooked
  7. An illuminating and engrossing look at the life and times of pioneer Los Angeles physique photographer Bob Mizer
  8. Reviewed by: Vince Aletti
    Beefcake's messiness has real charm, and its tribute to Mizer is both appropriately complicated and poignantly sexy.
  9. A fascinating double-edged portrait of 1950s Los Angeles.
  10. A heady, impressionistic mixture of biography, fantasy and social history in which it isn't always clear which is which.
  11. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Like the melancholy remininces of an old relative who lived through an exciting, even harrowing time, but no longer possesses the mental faculties to really flesh out the tale they're spinning.
  12. This movie's attempt to reinvent Mizer as a First Amendment hero isn't as effective as its triumphant display of beefcake, which is, after all, the movie's raison d'etre.
  13. 40
    Ultimately this is a sharp-focus issue movie, decrying intolerance as it explores the effects of labeling, the complexity of fetishizing, and the differences between business and crime.
  14. A campy docu-drama about the secretly gay world of 1950's muscle magazines.
  15. Reviewed by: Chuck Stephens
    Dull, tacky docudrama

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