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Ali (2001)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  25 December 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 74,679 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 379 user | 171 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A biography of sports legend, Muhammad Ali, from his early days to his days in the ring.



(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cassius Clay / Cassius X / Muhammad Ali


In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favour of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that he could easily agree to a sweetheart deal that would have meant an easy tour of ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 December 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Али  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,216,625 (USA) (21 December 2001)


$646,787 (Germany) (16 August 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reunites "Enemy of the State" co-stars Will Smith and Jon Voight. See more »


Around 25:30 into the movie, Cassius Clay celebrates his victory over Sonny Liston by leaning over the ropes at the side of the ring, arms raised and yelling at the crowd. He has his mouth guard in and clearly visible from the side of his head. The film quickly cuts to a straight on shot, the mouth guard has disappeared and we see his teeth, his arms still raised above his head. See more »


Drew 'Bundini' Brown: I'm the only normal one left around here. I'm a black Jew, I'm half drunk and I cant read.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, as the main title fades away the A of Ali lasts a little longer than the other two letters. See more »


Referenced in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #14.23 (2008) See more »


(Don't Fight It) Feel It
(Sam Cooke Medley)
Written by Sam Cooke
Produced by Trevor Horn and Michael Mann
Performed by David Elliott
Published by Abkco Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not a boxing movie, a landmark film
3 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

Well, if you went to Ali to see an boxing movie you might have been disappointed, but if you went to see a great film you hit the mark. The hype was due. A conglomerate of great acting, great direction, and a great story has made Ali a landmark film. This film is socially important because it raises up one of the most notable and underappreciated figures of the twentieth century, Ali. Many considered Ali just a boxer with a big mouth, but this film finally exposes him for what he truly was, one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time. The film makes subtle but amazingly-done comparisons between Ali and other civil rights leaders, notably Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and highlites Ali's influence with theirs. This theme is climaxed in the beautiful scene of Ali (Will Smith) running down streets in Africa with local chidren chanting his name. At this moment in the film, we understand as viewers that Ali did not fight for fame or fortune, but he fought for his rights and the rights of all black people in the United States and the world. No other film has exhalted Ali's influence in such a way. It was beautifully done. Ali will become one of my favorite films of all time, and I believe will be remembered years from now as the crowning achievement of both the main actor and the director. I applaud their efforts

63 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A naive question perhaps, but... Polygraph
Why did this movie cost $100,000,000? loophole41
Those Chinese guys thanking him.... edmond_yn
Nae of the song at the beginning bigk_wallace
Help with a song R.Kelly - Hold on filip-ng007
Probably the hugest piece of failed Oscar bait jkikianis
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