I think I've started every Soderbergh snippet I've written for this site in the last few years with a mention of what a roll he's on – but as he's entering the twilight of his career as a film director, it's just time to say that the whole damn thing has been one long roll. Magic Mike is an excellent film to go out on, even though he's decided he's not going to – from the vintage Warners titles leading into it, there's a heavy 70s influence all over this, but it becomes great not because of nostalgia, but because of the original choices Soderbergh makes that other filmmakers would be either too fearful or too inept to pull off. I guess most people will come away from this film wowed by the cartoonish (in a good way!) performance by Matthew McConaughey – his purpose in life is to be in this role, in this film. He's in almost preternaturally good shape, like a walking twisting oak tree comprised of 99% muscle, and whatever his flaws might typically be as an actor, Soderbergh decides to hone in on them and turn them into tremendous strengths. This is a performance comprised of pure energy and exuberance, but not without an underlying sociopathic uncaring, a menace that McConaughey never forgets to leave out, even in his goofiest moments. All of the casting here is just perfect – it should go without saying by now how much of a pure screen talent Channing Tatum is, but the supporting roles (in particular, a wholly real person played with such light brush strokes by Cody Horn) all just do exactly what they need to do to make this film come together the right way. It's redundant to discuss any more of the strengths of Magic Mike because they're the strengths of all of Soderbergh's films, even those that don't quite work – he's got an eye for realistic settings and an ear for genuine conversation that no other filmmaker can match. The final conversation of the film is an amalgam of the two hours that preceded it – despite the fact that it's adorable, mawkish, and wickedly funny; it's something we just don't see too much of at the movies anymore. Correction: not just anymore, ever. Magic Mike is a minor masterpiece and the third mainstream release in a row that reminds the public (even if they weren't in the mood to listen with the underrated Haywire) that Soderbergh is a national treasure. In the words of the film critic Michael Phillips, “It's not a major movie, but it's majorly entertaining.” We need more movies like this.