Strongman

 (45)
6.51 h 53 min2013R
The real-life story of Stanless Steel-- the only man in the world who can bend a U.S. penny with his fingers-- as he attempts to transform the world around him with his mighty grasp.
Directors
Zachary Levy
Starring
Stanless Steel
Genres
Documentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Studio
DMGI
Rating
R (Restricted)
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
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Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

45 global ratings

  1. 32% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 32% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 14% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DMore1Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
An absolute waste of time
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Hats off to the filmmaker who spent the time to make this unflinching documentary about a subject who was as entertaining as watching grass grow. Truly, at times I thought the guy, "Stan," and various members of his family were actually mentally handicapped. This was a horror show, and I will be kicking myself for wasting that part of my life that took the time to watch; a huge mistake. What the heck was I thinking? Sometimes watching something just to see how it ends is just not worth it; such was the case with this film. What in the name of "air" made the filmmaker think this might be a worthy subject for a documentary? This story is about a guy who bends pennies, and lifts the ass end of pickup trucks, ahh, some trucks that is, off the ground just enough to fit a piece of paper under the tire--for a living. Sort of a living. I especially enjoyed listening to him eat ears of corn, in his kitchen, and on a flight to London. Yes, that was actually part of the film. If you've ever heard livestock eat, well, you should probably fast forward when you see this guy raise an ear of corn to his mouth, unless you like listening to that kind of grunting, sucking and moaning. Again, an unbelievable waste of time.
15 people found this helpful
Red Wine KlineReviewed in the United States on July 10, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Cringe Fest- Packed full of Unintentional Humour
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The heavy, joyless, mundane, rust belt malaise is palpable in every scene. You will hurt with embarrassment for these cigarettes as they struggle not so much with accepting, but understanding their lot in life. Incredibly depressing. Most unpleasant. For those weak enough to laugh when one weaker fails, there are laughs to be had. If you've recently been fired or lost a child to a piece of farming equipment; Maybe lost your legs to diabetes, this could be the boon in perspective you need.
7 people found this helpful
Happy Happy Joy joyReviewed in the United States on July 6, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
A train wreck of people with average abilities and intellect, but lofty aspirations.
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I am unsure what message or emotions one is to take from this film. It starts off like many low budget story's, but somewhere about 10-20 minutes in you realize that most of the people in this do not have two genes to rub together, the main lead is a nice guy, but the strange innocence and goofiness makes you start wondering about his IQ. The film seems to wander off and I must think the people shooting this realized this was not going to go well and needed padding and it focuses more on his family and relationships. The entire show culminates with him moving back home with his family and his drunkenly brother breaks out his crack pipe in the bedroom.

This is a depressing documentary, that I think the producers and people in it did not know was to end up like this, with the exception of Barbara, who is the only one you wish had it better.
5 people found this helpful
Adam WReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
I'm obsessed with how bad this film is, the characters are sad and and the story tragic
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I struggled through this despite how boring it was just because I was fascinated by how entirely detached from reality Stan seems. He is not a showman, and his feats of strength are boring. He can bend a penny, which is impressive, but not something I would pay to see (or frankly even care to watch, it's just him grunting). He can sort of lift a small truck off it's suspension. I don't know how much weight that works out to be. While it's a heck of a lot more than I could lift I bet it ranks in below a professional weight squat. Anyway, these couple of tricks are not interesting and are being performed by an uninteresting person. One scene that struck me the most was when a group of younger kids approached Stan in a store to ask him about why he was being filmed, he basically ignored and shooed them away. For someone who is NOT famous but is seeking fame, he shows zero ability to engage with people, even people who are interested in him! Also, he does not train enough or seriously enough to be a strongman, at least the film doesn't show it at all.

I wish him and his extremely dysfunctional family all the best but mostly I was left feeling sad and slightly depressed. I think in our early 40s where I am now, we all have some unrealized dreams. I respect him going after it but watching failure after failure is depressing.
2 people found this helpful
Original Toe KneeReviewed in the United States on February 18, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
timeless
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I think most people would be embarrassed to admit it, but this movie is about US. Us. I daresay it might be the MOST MEANINGFUL MOVIE EVER MADE. In about 50 years I suggest it will be a more important film than Citizen Kane. I'm serious.

I, however, could not finish it. It reminded me too much of my own life. Perhaps, maybe the same for you? I think this is why I am suggesting it might be a GREAT and meaningful film. This happened, we are here. we are just as much what this movie is about as Stan.

Evel Knievel jumped so many times, and showcased himself breaking all those bones over and over. He never admitted that he was just plain crazy, and perhaps should have just been a farmer, or a furniture mover. Yet, here in America, he was treated like a hero? And what he seemed to have achieved, mostly meaningless and wasted? In agony and pain most of his life doing STUPID... compare that life to Stan... see what I am saying? How are any of us living a meaningful life? You really think you are making incredible choices? really? Perhaps you watch parts of this, and think again... Who knows, his film might give you a reason to shift a few gears. it might evenSAVE YOUR LIFE or not. No? that's ok. I suggest that Evel Knievel was/is no different than Stan, and in an odd sort of way, neither neither are any of us! I am not suggesting that ANY path is anything I would try to ultimately define, except that it took me 30 years to realize Evel Knievel was a fool and I actually never wanted to be him, though the tv shows, and stunts, and the movie had me fooled into thinking very strange things about heroes...... When I was a kid, the hype had me wondering about it, though...At least I thought so... and looking at my life, what in the world is it worth, really, now that I am also almost done? ... Then again, most folks die in the most preposterous way, finish life having lived for reasons they cannot define. And then there's Stan... sort of showcases the absurdity, for God Knows What reason, for all to see? It's not an easy reflection. Just might be the most important movie ever made, even though I can't finish watching it. We may not think so, but,perhaps we ARE Stan... no more, no less.
One person found this helpful
Tim BaileyReviewed in the United States on July 18, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
DEPRESSING AND VOID OF ENTERTAINMENT
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I LOVE feats of strength, short unbraced bending, etc. I find the subject to be wonderful. However, if you want to be properly educated and entertained- seek out anything on Dennis Rogers, Slim the Hammerman, and the Mighty Atom. You can find a wonderful documentary on Atom here on Prime. I have the dvd on Slim that Dennis Rogers put out- I watch that over and over- it is that good. The highlight of "Strongman" was a brief cameo by Slim the Hammerman Farman. Stan is no question a strong man- that is the only positive I can find in this film. It had zero redeeming aspects to it. I found it to be utterly embarrassing. The show for the kids that Stan put on, was cringe worthy- after barely putting a slight kink in a horseshoe , Stan closes his show with ,"Kids, don't be bad". No speech , no question period, no interaction- just a brief blurb. The director should be ashamed to have released such a waste of time. I'm just glad it was free on Amazon Prime.
One person found this helpful
rockowiseReviewed in the United States on May 22, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Joyless Narrow Look at Stanless Steel
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I gave this film a shot but had to keep fast forwarding because it's a film that feels almost like raw footage that was never edited together and is missing structure of any kind which is not good especially if your subject is so joyless. I honestly don't know how it won anything at Slamdance (not Sundance I know) unless there were no other entries in the documentary category that year. It is just two hours of him doing mundane things like eating corn, smoking, criticizing people, living like a slob, and berating his wife/girlfriend (not sure) for various things.

It is low budget which is fine if it is compelling but nothing happens. We hardly even see him perform any feats of strength. There is no ultimate goal he's working toward. He's not warm nor engaging which one of his agents tries very gently to get him to realize that he has to craft a persona with showmanship to achieve worldwide success. But the film has zero structure: no beginning, middle, or end really. Just feels like you're watching the same scenes over and over: he tells his wife to announce him and the criticizes her for not doing it well, he criticizes competition, he hangs out with his family sitting around smoking and watching tv, he moves some scrap metal which apparently is his day job but even that's not very clear, and that's mostly it for two hours. The most engaging part was footage from a British TV show where he lifts some audience members but even then he doesn't come off as likable at all. You do NOT learn about Stanless Steel's past, his childhood, how he got into feats of strength, his training methods, how he met his wife, what his goals are, what makes him happy, etc. Those are the things that people want to see.
One person found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on April 13, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
I gave it my best shot
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I really tried to watch the whole thing but only managed to finish half. It was just too boring and the main character Stan was just not inspiring at all. You kind of rooted for him to succeed at the beginning but after awhile, you see it's hopeless. He's no show man and doesn't have the personality that is require to succeed in the entertainment industry, which is what his "talents" are best suited for. His story is like thousands of others who fail at stardom in Hollywood, but unfortunately his story is not that entertaining. But I guess at least he got a movie made about him which is better than 99.9% of those others.
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