Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jan 27, 2011
    90
    Though filming his hulking hero off and on for nine long years, he (Levy) has created a work that feels remarkably out of time, a snapshot of a man - and a relationship - running in circles.
  2. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Mar 25, 2011
    80
    A strange and strangely beautiful movie.
  3. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Jan 25, 2011
    80
    Levy's deeply sorrowful but wonderfully affectionate doc depicts the wistful link between humanity and celebrity.
  4. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 25, 2011
    75
    By the end, you don't entirely understand either of these people, but you come to understand why they need each other.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 2, 2011
    75
    Strongman is a tantalizing example of the kind of documentary I find engrossing: A film about an unusual person that invites us into the mystery of a human life.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jan 27, 2011
    75
    Though Levy's film feels shapeless at times, what it loses in structure, it gains in handheld intimacy, letting viewers get to know the mercurial but fundamentally sweet Pleskun.
  7. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Oct 14, 2013
    70
    Strongman is a heartrending character study of a man blessed with superhuman strength, but defeated and overwhelmed by the everyday bullshit of life.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Nilsen
    Mar 19, 2011
    70
    Strongman is a documentary Diane Arbus might have made: These are the wretched of the Earth, and our peeking into their lives feels intrusive.
  9. Reviewed by: Nikola Grozdanovic
    Nov 14, 2013
    67
    Though the ambition is commendable and the genuine depth of study should be applauded, Stan Pleskun is a character we'd ultimately scratch off our list after meeting him in Zachary Levy's Strongman.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jan 28, 2011
    60
    To use carnival lingo: Thrilling? Not quite; since Levi's film has no clear goal for Stan to reach. Spectacular? Truth be told, those skeptical of Stan's abilities may still walk out as nonbelievers. Fascinating? Absolutely, because if you take time to listen, everyone's life is a three-ring circus.
  11. Reviewed by: S. James Snyder
    Jan 25, 2011
    60
    Once upon a time, raw talent was enough to get your name in lights; as this look at the underside of showbiz reminds us, you also need to know how to sell it.
  12. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Jan 27, 2011
    50
    The movie's sympathy is often disarming. Unfortunately the director can be generous to a fault, repeating certain moments and letting others run on after he's made his point.

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