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Killian Maddox lives with his ailing veteran grandfather, obsessively working out between court-mandated therapy appointments and part-time shifts at a grocery store where he harbors a crush on a friendly cashier. Though Killian’s struggles to read social cues and maintain control of his volatile temper amplify his sense of disconnection amid a hostile world, nothing deters him from his fiercely protected dream of bodybuilding superstardom, not even the doctors who warn that he’s causing permanent damage to his body with his quest.  

Writer-director Elijah Bynum masterfully reveals the duality of Killian’s existence, depicting the toll of a toxic stew of self-imposed pressure to meet unrealistic expectations and hypermasculine role modeling while simultaneously conveying his genuine, if fraught, efforts to fulfill an underlying desire for human connection. Jonathan Majors, in a committed performance of tremendous physicality, powerfully embodies the lengths Killian will go in his desperate need to be seen. Magazine Dreams is a provocative film that respects the dignity of its protagonist as it pulls no punches in portraying the most physically and emotionally painful moments of his darkening odyssey.

Available in person and online.

Audience Advisory: This film contains strobe effects and may potentially trigger seizures. Viewer discretion is advised.

  • Year
    2022
  • Runtime
    124 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Elijah Bynum
  • Screenwriter
    Elijah Bynum
  • Producer
    Jennifer Fox,Dan Gilroy,Jeffrey Soros,Simon Horsman
  • Executive Producer
    Jonathan Majors,Luke Rodgers,Andrew Blau
  • Co-Producer
    Christopher S. Bryson
  • Cast
    Jonathan Majors,Haley Bennett,Taylour Paige,Mike O'Hearn,Harrison Page,Harriet Sansom Harris
  • Editor
    Jon Otazua
  • Production Design
    Freyja Bardell