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Bigger, Stronger, Faster* Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Richard James Havis

    This everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach not only makes for pacey entertainment, it also allows director Christopher Bell to delve deep into the matter at hand.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This movie is remarkable in that it seems to be interested only in facts.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Bell confronts Smelly, labeling him a cheater. But he also sympathizes with him, explaining, "There is a clash in America between doing the right thing and being the best."

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Bigger, Stronger, Faster is a portrait of a culture that claims to hate steroids but may, by now, be too pumped to do much about it.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Documentary minimizes harmful effects of doping.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary discusses the benefits and downsides of illegal and legal drug use and not in a balanced manner. Because the director interviews his brothers who use anabolic steroids and other drugs, his perspective is skewed and viewers will be able to tell that despite his reservations about drugs, the director admires his brothers regardless. Also, the dangers are played down, and the overwhelming statement that "everyone is doing it" smacks of justification. Drugs are shown being injected, and pills are taken to achieve a different state of being.

  • Families can talk about why being the best is so important in our society. Do you feel the need to have an edge over your peers? How far would you go to be number one? How does Smelly lie to his family and his students? How is he lying to himself? What does cheating really mean? Do the people who use anabolic steroids in this film behave differently than those who do not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The competitive spirit turns desperate. Cheating and lies are excused.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Lots of scenes from blow-'em-up movies, such as Rambo.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A porn star is interviewed about injecting viagra.

  • language false2

    Language: "Ass," "SOB"

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Supplements, pharmaceutical drugs, and Gold's Gym are highlighted.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: This is a film about drug use. Legal or illegal, drugs are shown to affect behavior and physicality.