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Based on 16 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 3 )
  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Yet as ridiculous as Hefner's life sometimes seems, he has been an exemplary citizen, as this documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman spells out. show more

  • 40
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    If any life story should make for a compelling biography, it's certainly Hugh Hefner's. Unfortunately, this love letter is so lacking in any edge, the end result is not just unsexy but unforgivably staid. show more

  • 70
    Michael Rechtshaffen The Hollywood Reporter

    The film is at its most potent delineating Hefner's role in the American civil rights movement, going beyond the pages of his magazine. show more

  • 50
    Michelle Orange Movieline

    At 84 he describes himself as being kept alive by young women's laughter and infernal baby-talk, marking off perhaps his final, groaning aspirational standard. Almost makes me feel sorry for those men still trying to keep up. show more

  • 80
    Jeannette Catsoulis NPR

    If your sole image of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is that of a lanky, silk-jammied sybarite strolling the grounds of his mansion with a jiggling blond on either arm, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel will knock your socks off. show more

  • 63
    Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    The Hefner we meet here is the likable rogue we already know. show more

  • 50
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    One wants to find enlightenment - or at least entertainment - in this reconsideration of Playboy and of Hefner. But it's tainted. show more

  • 50
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    The title – Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel – is fine as far as it goes. But if you leave out "octogenarian mammophile" and "calendar fetishist," you leave something essential out of the story. show more

  • 60
    Mark Keizer Boxoffice Magazine

    Hugh Hefner has earned the gift of a fawning, non-confrontational greatest hits package and that's exactly what he's received, even if it's not what we necessarily wanted. As such, this will only preach to the converted (and maybe the perverted) and is best suited to DVD or cable. show more

  • 40
    Joshua Rothkopf Time Out New York

    A proper profile of Hefner would start and end with sex, and not merely glance on casualties like Dorothy Stratten (and even the loveless Hef himself). The movie can't seem to get it up. show more

  • June 02, 2012 Robert Regan
    Report This User

    Let me remind Hugh Hefner that there is a heaven. And he has turned his back on it, which would go forever after his short time on earth is over. It isn\'t too late for him to confess his sins and ask God\'s forgiveness for his careless way of living. After all, the Milky Way has 300 billion shars and 50 billion planets and there are 170 billion galaxies like the Milky Way. And there is a God Who created it all and will judge Hefner one day. Peace, Bob Regan

  • August 26, 2010 Margaret Opine
    Report This User

    4-5* for its documentary value (and I won't disagree with what anyone else has to say about this film on the life of an American idustrialist in the porn industry but who wants to pretend he is instead in the "beauty" industry..., which gives certain young women a chance at a lucrative livelihood and, (get this), our capitalistic system where: IF IT SELLS, IT IS SOLD! the mantra. That's WHY the documentary is so important to Americans. We need to take a close look at the porn industry and see how incredible, likeable people can star in it as entrepreneurs. And, Hugh does that for us. One user-reviewer complains that so much of life is left out of this documentary...but isn't that the point we should notice about the porn business: family loves, family responsibilities, family life with real women are not in it? This documentary points out the point that people have been making all along: PORN IS EMPTY OF HUMAN CARING...and this way of feeling in regards to sex is addictive--you only want a paper-doll, costing $5 per dozen, to accompany you during sexual pleasures that seem perfect because they have no residual effects like: love, marriage and family responsibilities? [The addictive quality is this: It becomes a habit that disallows imperfections (and realnesses) when it comes to women.] --MO

  • August 25, 2010 starrs2020
    Report This User

    It feels like a glowing obituary without the real meat of his life. His intimate relationships are few and far between and omit his wives and child speaking freely about him. He wants a tribute for someone who appears removed from himself and others. What a waste of a documentary.

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