Super Size Me
(PG-13, 1:39:56, Released 2003)
|Genres:||Documentary, Special Interest|
|Release Date:||May 7, 2004|
|DVD Release Date:||Sep 28, 2004|
|Starring:||Morgan Spurlock, Dr. Daryl Isaacs, Alexandra Jamieson|
|Directed by:||Morgan Spurlock|
|Synopsis:||First-time director Morgan Spurlock takes a look at the subject of obesity in the United States, specifically zeroing in on the business and culture surrounding the nation's fast-food industry in this 2004 documentary. In addition to studying the marketing of fast food to American children and unsuccessfully attempting to gain an interview with McDonald's executives, Spurlock attempts to become one of his own subjects by documenting a one-month binge during which he survived only on items from the McDonald's menu, forcing himself to eat three meals a day and try every offering at least once. Super Size Me premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
fb733768972June 12, 2013
This film showcases the true facts about fast food restaurant chains globally and it does it to perfection. The first half of this film is mostly focussed on exploiting these fast food places (mainly McDonald) by using true facts that they came up with themselves. Everything about this documentary is natural and is pretty fascinating to see just how bad fast food really is if it is consumed in large portions continuously. I must say that the second half of the film is kind of hard to watch and it had my gut turning is many portions. On a technical level, the film is greatly shot for what it is and the sound department did a very good job making everything sleek. I highly recommend watching this film. Is it weird that I want a Big Mac right now?
August 14, 2012
An open eye documentary.
fb619846742July 1, 2012
An effective, entertaining, original documentary concerning the subject of fast food and one tenacious film-maker's experiment of eating nothing but McDonald's food for thirty days. While it is flawed in more ways than one in order to skew the odds in his favor, Morgan Spurloch's bravery with the subject matter is arresting all the way to the end. The film can not be deemed a failure by any stretch of the imagination when one considers its release eternally banned "Super Size" meals being sold at McDonalds establishments ever again. Though it is entertaining and education, most importantly, it is a testament to the power of the medium of film and its ability to produce results that alter businesses and lifestyles forever.
February 4, 2012
Somehow, we are shocked when Morgan Spurlock informs us how gross we are. A must for every American.
January 18, 2012
Super Size Me is not a great documentary, but it definitely is a documentary that needs to be seen. Director Morgan Spurlock eats a diet of McDonald's for 30 days. Though the film is an an interesting idea, I found Spurlock's attempt to be impulsive. Though I understand why he did it, his results at the end of the month were due to the fact that he didn't exercise and he didn't do any other physical activity. Spurloch though shows how eating a lot of fast food with no exercise can damage the body in a very entertaining way. The film is flawed of course, but it does succeed at delivering good entertainment. If anyone would do what Spurlock did in this film, they'd end up the same way. This is a good documentary, but it shouldn't be construed as a valid documentary on the subject only for the fact that Morgan Spurlock deliberately did this to himself. The film is entertaining, and is an eye opener, however the film is full of holes, one being the fact that Morgan Spurlock didn't exercise. An entertaining glimpse on obesity, Super Size Me is a good documentary, but is also reckless in proving the arguments. For what it is, the film is entertaining, as we see Morgan Spurlock enduring.his McDonald's diet to hilarious results. The film does a good job at exposing obesity, but in the end it plays out more like a comedy by delivering a serious subject matter. Either way you look at it, Super Size Me is worth watching. Flawed, but entertaining.
November 6, 2011
This man is a legend. I would have never have done what he did, in fact, I would have a heart attack in week one. 1 Month, it's just McDonalds. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Yummy, but painful. Also, he SUPER SIZES everything he orders! He forces himself to eat. Doctors are like "No! Don't do this!" he does it anyway. What would happen if you had nothing but McD's for 1 month, for everything you ate. Weather it was a snack or a meal, maybe a bottle of water at night, it's from McDonalds. Watch this film, it's very educational (though quite violent at times), and very truthful.
fb729949618September 30, 2011
One of the most incredible and influential documentaries i've seen.
September 22, 2011
Cinema is full of food-related scenes which are guaranteed to turn one's stomach. We have La Grande Bouffe, in which rich people eat themselves to death; Peter Greenaway turning cannibalism into an art form with The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; and the famously gross Mr. Creosote sequence from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. And now we have Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock's appropriately queasy documentary which is up there with Touching the Void as one of the decade's best films.
Super Size Me follows Spurlock as he attempts to survive on nothing but McDonalds for an entire month. The rules are simple: he must eat three meals a day, he can only eat what is offered at McDonalds, he must try everything on the menu at least once, and he must answer yes if offered a super-size meal. In between tackling his alarming diet, Spurlock is closely monitored by a small army of doctors, and the only exercise he undertakes is walking the same daily distance as an average American.
Although it's an intensely personal, first-person documentary, the film has none of the self-obsession or navel-gazing which has dogged Michael Moore or later Nick Broomfield. For starters, Spurlock is a lot more likeable than either of these: we don't just enjoy his company, we get the impression that the film crew did as well. He is populist, rational and refreshingly self-effacing, in complete contrast to Moore who, in the words of Mark Kermode, seems mainly concerned with inflating his own ego.
Furthermore, Spurlock is pursuing a subject matter of great importance but getting under the surface with a bigger intention than scoring political points. Where Fahrenheit 9/11 frequently went off the boil for the sake of making Moore look good, Super Size Me keeps its eyes on the prize, being thorough and comprehensive in its investigations. In one of its best moments, Spurlock gets under the skin of a spokesman from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, getting him to admit that the lobbyists he represents are part of the growing problem of State-side obesity.
Like the films listed in the opening paragraph, there are a number of scenes in Super Size Me which make you want to throw up. On Day 2 of the challenge, Spurlock orders a Big Mac and throws up in the car park. The camera looks away as he does it, but then shows the horrid yellow mess left on the tarmac. Equally disgusting are the close-ups of the food before it enters his stomach; suffice to say, it's nothing like the pictures. Worst of all, about half way through we get to witness keyhole surgery on a gastric band operation, set to the main theme from The Blue Danube.
Critics of Super Size Me have pointed to these scenes as evidence of the film's partisan approach. Their argument goes that since Spurlock didn't test other restaurants or brands of fast food, he has a particular grudge against McDonalds and is using the film as a form of propaganda. The camera's lingering on Spurlock's discomfort, or his claims about his sex life suffering, are means of manipulating people into boycotting one company rather than exposing deeper truths about the industry as a whole.
While the documentary may paint a far-from-rosy picture of McDonalds, such criticisms are unduly harsh. Spurlock makes clear from the start that this is not a clinical trial or a hard scientific experiment. He chose McDonalds for the reason that it has the most outlets across America, with the largest number of customers, and therefore would provide a more representative sample than a study of any other single chain. The evidence produced by Spurlock is conclusive but not medically binding, which makes it all the more extraordinary when we discover in the epilogue that McDonalds has withdrawn its Super Size options.
The documentary is very even-handed in a number of points that it makes. At one of the schools examined in the film, the students are given a presentation by Jared Fogle, who lost a large amount of weight by eating Subway sandwiches. The crew then interview a teenage girl who admires what Fogle has done, but who cannot afford to eat Subway three times a day. The positive goals which celebrities like Fogle are setting are as unhealthily unrealistic as the impossibly airbrushed bodies of girls in magazines. In terms of self-esteem among teenagers, role models of any kind are portrayed as doing more harm than good.
Super Size Me identifies three areas in which there has been neglect, ignorance or cynical foul play with regard to the consumption of fast food. The first, unsurprisingly, is with McDonalds itself. Spurlock sheds light on the immense amount of money spent on advertising, which far exceeds the national budget for promoting healthy eating. The prevalence of TV advertising means that no parent, no matter how responsible, can guarantee their child isn't being poorly influenced, and individual McDonalds chains (at the time of making the film) are not displaying adequate levels of information about the nutrition content of their meals.
The second area which has fallen short is the government. More recent documentaries such as Waiting for Superman have detailed the years of neglect and underfunding in the American state school system in a more thorough and comprehensive way. But Super Size Me does show how the use of outside food contractors to provide school meals has led to a race to the bottom, in terms of price and in terms of quality. So much of the food served in schools requires no preparation other than reheating, and because the choices are limited children are brought up to accept nothing better, let alone healthier.
But thirdly, Super Size Me has the balls to point the finger at the individuals who consume McDonalds so frequently. Having made a very solid case against fast food companies and lobbyists, and spoken about the frightening extent of fast food advertising, the film concludes by saying that it's as much down to us not making the effort as it is the society in which we are constantly exposed to such food. This might seem like a cop out, considering how much righteous anger the film generates through its arguments against the industry. But it is refreshing that a documentary has the balls to 'blame' the public without guilt-tripping them in the process.
On top of everything else, Super Size Me is a very entertaining piece of work. As well as making you feel angry or sick, there are at least as many moments in the film which will provoke laughter - and genuine laughter at that. Hearing Spurlock's girlfriend talk about their disappointing sex life is hilarious; she comments, for instance, about how she always has to be on top since he started his diet. On the day that we see him throw up, Spurlock cracks jokes about the side effects of fast food on his system, muttering about "Mc-twitches" in his arm and other such complaints. Such scenes are pleasant interludes which make the experience more bearable and counteract any negative feelings we may have, e.g. shouting at Spurlock to stop it, lest he should kill himself.
Super Size Me is a great example of populist documentary filmmaking which is a near-perfect balance of entertainment and information. Its impact will be greater the less one knows about fast food in general or McDonalds in particular, and many may be bothered that it doesn't go into enough detail when it needs to. But as an introduction to a subject which many have barely considered, it is both admirable and successful. One hopes that Spurlock's latest film can emulate both of these qualities.
July 13, 2011
Super Size Me is an entertaining and pretty sickening look at what would happen to a person if they ate nothing but McDonalds for a month. Morgan Spurlock went to disgusting and dangerous lengths to see just how the body and mind would be affected. Everyone knows fast-food is bad for you, but I don't know that everyone thought it was this bad.
Actually doing the McDonalds binge does accomplish something that just talking about the issue couldn't. It shows how the food can affect your life in many different ways. It doesn't only make you fat. I think watching this does have some sort of affect on people for at least awhile. Since seeing this I don't really want to eat at fast-food restaurants more than 1 every 2 weeks.
Morgan Spurlock: My body... officially hates me.
June 23, 2011
It's amazing to see what this man did. A perfectly healthy man and to really see what McDonalds does to your body. He gave us a real insight but in a mad way. Credit goes to him and I hope he's back to his normal weight now. A must see documentary! He's really off his head!
fb732260458March 22, 2011
A hilarious kick in the nuts to the corrupt and manipulative fast food industry, Super Size Me should be considered mandatory viewing for every fatty hobbling around in our nation. This is an accessible and affordable wake-up call people - heed its warnings.
January 22, 2011
Morgan Spurlock's film here is perhaps the best mainstream documentary out there. By "mainstream," I mean that it panders to a relatively wide audience. Few are likely to reject this film on the basis of personally finding the subject matter to be uninteresting. Spurlock excellently crafts the pacing and content of the film to create about as compelling and entertaining a documentary as anyone working with a mainstream topic can get. As we now see nearly eight years after its release, this film has become a classic of the documentary genre, and rightfully so.
July 7, 2010
Fantastic documental about fast foods specially about the McDonald's industry!!! What you saw in this film is all true and you should be aware of this, do not go overboard buying fast food, you will only take out more of your life then what it's such a quick life you live.
Several legal suits have been brought against MacDonald's Restaurants that they are knowingly selling food that is unhealthy. Some of the court decisions have stated that the plaintiffs would have a claim if they could prove that eating the food every day for every meal is dangerous. As such, documentarian Morgan Spurlock conducts an unscientific experiment using himself as the guinea pig: eat only MacDonald's for thirty days, three meals a day. If he is asked by the clerk if he would like the meal super sized, he has to say yes. And by the end of the thirty days, he will have had to have eaten every single menu item at least once. Before starting the experiment, he is tested by three doctors - a general practitioner, a cardiologist and a gastroenterologist - who pronounce his general health to be outstanding. They will also monitor him over the thirty days to ensure that he is not placing his health into irreparable damage. He also consults with a dietitian/nutritionist and an exercise physiologist, the latter who also deems him to be above average fitness. As it mimics the lifestyle of those who eat fast food, he will also do no exercise for the thirty days, limiting himself to under 5,000 steps per day (the approximate equivalent of 2½ miles). These health and medical experts have some predictions about his general health and wellness by the end of the experiment. His vegan chef girlfriend also has some predictions about how this experiment will affect his mood and therefore their relationship. As he goes through the experiment, he speaks to a number of people - many experts in their respective fields - on the pros and cons of the fast food lifestyle. Just over halfway through the experiment, it is evident that even the experts can be wrong, and not in a good way.
July 6, 2010
Thesis: America is fat and stupid. Haha but damn that Big Mac looked good on the big screen. Solid doc for Ray Kroc.
April 12, 2010
There's something that really angered me about this documentary. First off, it went to such lengths to prove how evil and disgusting McDonalds is. Well, it was pretty obvious to begin with that fast food is terrible for you. It would've been more effective had they just read the nutritional values of the food itself. However, they had to show the throwing up and the lifestyle changes. It just got to the point where I couldn't take it seriously.
September 16, 2009
I think it's wrong to call this film a documentary due to what it set out to and what it actually did achieve. It had a huge impact on the fast food industry and how a lot of people now eat, for that, Morgan Spurlock has to be congratulated!
June 14, 2009
Yeah, Spurlock does go purposely over the top to make his point, and he certainly succeeds there. Gets some shock points along the way which also helps. The bottom line is that in the end, it's all about personal responsibility and having a good sense of moderation and sensibility. You don't have to do exactly what Spurlock did to find out or prove if too much fast food can damage you, but this film emphasizes what will happen to you should you decide for yourself that you wanna eats lots of junk food and not get much if any exercise.
May 13, 2009
I know what you're thinking. 30 days on nothing but MacDonalds? I can do that. Trust me. You wouldn't want to.
This man puts himself through a lot of punishment to prove what almost everyone already knows. Eating fast food all the time is bad for you. Eat it for every meal for a month and that might kill you.
This flick didn't make me stop eating fast food but my consumption of it went down a lot.
The flick is interesting and well put together. It's also not just a lot of footage of this man eating either. They also talk about how the food is made and prepared. There is a lot of good info in here.
May 2, 2009
it's not a real movie, simply a sensible warning presented as if it were a documentary. with occasional flashes of humor spurlock does make his point, which was obvious at the very beginning: fast food is not good for you. he does have a creative way of making his point though, and this bit of cultural phenomena enters the national conversation legitimately.
September 21, 2008
One of the finest and funniest documentaries of recent years.
March 29, 2008
If you went on a milk diet, and drank only milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you'd develop problems too. What was the point of this?
December 11, 2007
If I eat fast food for a week it's bad for me....how American of you.
November 28, 2007
Spurlock did a solid job of making his point which is much more than just "dont try this at home kids, even though you do it at home all the time." No, it went further than that talking about how the cards are essentially stacked against us. Not only do you have a mighty marketing machine "branding us" and conditioning us as kids to come eat bad food, there is a whole industry using every opportunity to convince us through giant lobby groups, massive advertising campaigns and countless product tie-ins, that its fun, its great, its a part of our lives and its always the real thing.
November 11, 2007
a great documentary film, written, direcyed and "starring" Morgan Spurlock, who completely changed his lifestyle (and his body) and compromised his sanity for this film that went on to grab an Oscar nod. It's funny, but also serious and informative, even scary... good film, maybe a little exaggerated...
October 25, 2007
A gross movie which made me cut down greatly on my fast food consumption. The scene where he pukes out the side window of his car was very powerful; I could almost smell it. I think he ate too much at each meal; if he had limited his portion size, and ordered a variety of menu items, it may not have been so bad. I still have ocassional Big Mac cravings every six months, so this movie hasn't done a total jobbie on my thinking.