Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by
If the imagery is less racy than TOF fans may be used to, Pekka Strang’s quiet turn as Laaksonen has a simmering power.
A good, strong movie, but never threatens to be great. One salivates at the adventurous directions the film could have explored.
Having taken such pains to establish Tom’s Finnish background and its attendant dangers, Karukoski hurtles through the sketchy American section without exploring any of its crucial issues in sufficient depth.
An interesting film rather than an engrossing one, and it’s hard not to wish it was a little more energised by its subject’s enduringly transgressive spirit.
Tom of Finland is imbued with playfulness but not the cutting edge, and bravery, of its eponymous leading man.
The Playlist
While often hamstrung by genre conventions, particularly in the picture’s first half, Tom of Finland is a passable entry into the LGBT film canon and largely successful in selling the subcultural relevance of the eponymous artist’s beefcake drawings.
Its lively finale is heartening, given the patience that Laaksonen was obliged to exercise before he could live his life out in the open. But the insights of the movie are too scant for much of a real impression to take hold of the viewer.
Village Voice
The film is jammed with incident and detail but there’s little flow to the storytelling.
Tom of Finland is a film about a man who was famous for very dirty drawings, but it is unfortunately restricted by a dehydrated kind of good taste from ever being very dirty or very sexy.
While Mr. Laaksonen devoted his life (1920-91) to challenging conventions, the film is committed to honoring them.

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