In the tradition of the contemporary muckraking documentary — of which director Michael Moore is the most recent accomplished practitioner — “Super Size Me” entertains serious sociological and political questions.
Boston Globe, Ty Burr:
Morgan Spurlock’s outrageously amusing “Super Size Me” is the redheaded stepchild of Michael Moore and “Jackass,” a low-budget nonfiction stunt with a sharp point of view, a sheaf of alarming statistics, and the willingness to entertain us until we cry uncle. Like “Bowling for Columbine,” it’s less a documentary than a provocumentary, and, like Moore, Spurlock is a born showman.
Chicago Tribune, Mark Caro:
Spurlock is a lanky thirtysomething Manhattanite taking a Michael Moore-type approach to a subject previously surveyed in Eric Schlosser’s non-fiction bestseller “Fast Food Nation.”
USA Today, Claudia Puig:
Riveting and darkly comic Super Size Me is a whip-smart documentary in the tradition of Michael Moore‘s Roger & Me.
Dallas Observer, Robert Wilonsky:
The movie was a big hit at Sundance and beyond; it’s turned Spurlock, an aspiring filmmaker and graphic designer, into Michael Moore, an agit-prop star proselytizing about the greed of a company that doesn’t care about the content or impact of its unhealthy and potentially deadly product. Like Moore, he tries repeatedly to talk to someone at McDonald’s corporate headquarters about the nutritional value of its food, and of the results a monthlong diet has taken on his body. But he’s given the brush-off in a game of never-ending phone tag, and it feels like a page lifted from the Moore playbook of how to make a company look decidedly evil.
The Onion (A.V. Club), Nathan Rabin:
An irresistible combination of muckraking activism and populist entertainment, Super Size Me takes a page out of the Michael Moore playbook by using a David-vs.-Goliath-style personal quest as a starting point for an irreverent and impassioned critique of a pressing social issue.
Village Voice, Dennis Lim:
Indeed, Spurlock, whose affable-doofus persona is somewhere between Johnny Knoxville and Michael Moore, was responsible for MTV’s cash-for-stunts series I Bet You Will, and is preparing an SSM-modeled show called 30 Days.
Washington Post, Michael O’Sullivan:
A gonzo documentary in the Michael Moore mold — but without Moore’s grating presence — “Super Size Me” is an anti-junk-food screed that manages to entertain even as it informs and alarms.
New York Times, A.O. Scott:
Mr. Spurlock, originally from West Virginia, works in the good-natured, regular-guy populist style of documentary rabble-rousing pioneered by Michael Moore. He is a bit less confrontational than Mr. Moore (as well as thinner), but he similarly relishes letting polite, well-scrubbed corporate flacks entangle themselves in bureaucratic doublespeak.