Biopics are a tricky beast. They can be vivid, galvanizing depictions of real life figures that bring their subjects to life with vigor and relevance: i.e. Milk. They can also be hackneyed, cliché messes that turn complicated lives into a series of familiar, screenwriter friendly tropes. Mapplethorpe, which casts Matt Smith as the legendary homoerotic photographer, isn’t immune to these pitfalls, but an outstanding cast, superior production values, and a heady dollop of sexuality make it an engrossing and entertaining movie from start to finish.