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What professional football is really like...
Lucas Ellis9 October 2005
Tony D'Amato(Al Pacino) is the head coach of the Miami Sharks who are owned by the Christina Pagniacci(Cameron Diaz) who is using the Miami Franchise only for profit. Trouble stirs up after long time star quarterback Cap Rooney(Dennis Quaid)is injured along with his back up bringing in third string quarterback Willie Beamen(Jamie Foxx) who becomes the face of the franchise after having great game after great game. The only problem is that he plays only with his head and not with his heart, with an aging team that needs an emotional leader to guide them to victory. Also Starring: James Woods, Matthew Modine, LL Cool J, Bill Bellemy, Lawrence Taylor, Charelton Heston, Aaron Eckhart, and John C. McGinley.

In a cinema that rarely produces pro football movies, this is the cream of the crop. It captures the reality along with the heroic story of a nobody rising to the top. The movie is humorous, dramatic, and a thriller for all sports fans.

This is not only one of Oliver Stone's best films but this is also the start of Jamie Foxx's "good" acting career. Forget what the critics said about Collateral or Ray being the beginning for Jamie Foxx. It was Any Given Sunday. Willie Beaman is a complex character and Foxx nailed the part. He was magnificent. He played the part to perfection and out shined the great Al Pacino. The supporting cast was also incredible with great performances from Cameron Diaz, LL Cool J, James Woods, and surprisingly John C. McGinley. It is very rare to find a great dramatic football movie but this is definitely one those small few.

Overall, this is one of the greatest sports movies of all time and it is highly enjoyable for adult audiences.

I highly recommend this movie.
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Very Underrated and Well Overlooked
alexkolokotronis22 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It seems that many people dislike this movie and I can see why. First of all it shows that professional athletes are far away from being perfect. A lot farther than we would like to believe. The movie shows that many athletes as we know are just out their for the money. It also shows the corruption in the owners and politicians. But for me, all of this is good thing. I like seeing a movie that does not include glory in sports.

Another aspect of the movie was the cast. I thought the cast that was put together was very well put together. I was especially surprised at the performance of Cameron Diaz. I thought she played very well as the viscous and corrupt owner. Specifically in the part were she black-mails the mayor into giving the team money for a new stadium. Jamie Foxx also gave a very well played performance as the new upcoming quarterback. His role shows that he has become sick with fame and fortune and has seem to forgotten who helped to reach his superstar status. For example when he ignores most of the plays called in and decides to run the game the way he wants to. He reaches as point were he just flat out ignores everyone. For example he says: "I'm trying to win coach. I ain't trying to disrespect nobody, but winning is the only thing I respect." I think Oliver Stone shows that this is the problem we have in our society, that everything is about winning. His relationship falls apart with his girlfriend and seems to believe that their is nothing that could stop him. He almost reaches a point were he believes he is like a god. But, he realizes he needs a wakeup call or he will end up like the some of the people around him. I liked the way Dennis Quaid played as the long time starting quarterback who nearly becomes paralyzed. Now my initial reaction after he got hit was that his family would want him to immediately retire. What happened was the opposite, his wife wanted him to risk being paralyzed and brain damage so he can get one more contract although Dennis Quaid was trying to explain to her that he is worried about what might happen to himself. Or one of the confrontations between wife and husband when he mentions to her that they should put the kids to bed and the wife responds by saying:"Why can't we hire a maid?" This also adds on to Jamie Foxx's role and shows that the players are pressurized by their families towards good decisions and bad decisions and that the families have also lost touch with what is important in life. As well with Lawrence Taylor's role which shows the player-doctor relationship and the role that age and lack of education forcing players to push themselves over the limit for that last bonus, knowing after they retire they may not survive in the real world. LL Cool J's role as the star running-back shows that he no longer cares about the team or the game itself and feels threatened by Jamie Foxx because he has brought a new style of playing to the team and they tend to not agree with each other but above all with this new style of play may not let him reach a certain amount of rushing yards to reach his bonus. Again Jamie Foxx comes into this part of the movie at the end when he hurts his arm but does not tell anyone worried what might happen to his career. I think overall this show that their is too much emphasis in sports and I'm saying this even though I'am a big sports fan.

A very interesting part of the movie is the Al Pacino's role as the head coach. His ongoing fighting with Cameron Diaz shows the relationship between owner and coach. The coach wants to win games and have control of the team but the owner wants the money, the power and the credit for building a team. Pacino has fallen into a slump and doesn't like the ways are looking for the future of the his job and the sport. For example when he says: "It's TV, it changed everything, changed the way we think forever. I mean the first time they stopped the game to cut away to some commercial that was the end of it. Because it was our concentration that mattered, not theirs, not some fruitcake selling cereal." He believes the game no matters any more it is the money and this is what I believe is the main point of the movie. It is no longer the game that matters it is the people who put the money into it and this is what has been or what will be the downfall of sports or really anything.

I think that a good message through all these downfalls is that if you stick together and focus on your goal you will succeed no matter how big the obstacle, hence the title "Any Given Sunday".
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Sports in its most brutal moments
Agent1015 May 2002
Wild and outrageous, Any Given Sunday gives the viewer a glimpse into an athletic world not too far from the real thing. While some of the scenes were a little too over the top, it proved to be a very enjoyable experience. As a major football fan, I was disappointed in the fact the NFL did not allow Stone to use their logos and stadiums. Oh well, I seemed to enjoy the fictional league even better, even if some of the team uniforms were a dreadful. Jamie Fox portrayed Willie Beamon perfectly, epitomizing the selfish athlete with a cultured ease. While the speed of Beamon's rise proved to be a little too quick, the message in the rise and fall of stardom was more poignant than anything.
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Not quite a touchdown, but at least Stone is back
Sean Gallagher12 January 2000
Oliver Stone is one of the most, if not THE most, passionate filmmakers working today. He's also a talented filmmaker, which a lot of people seem to forget. When both his talent and passion are at full strength, the results are impressive(SALVADOR, PLATOON, JFK, NIXON). When the passion is still there, but the talent is tripped up by his passion and ambitions, he makes flawed movies which are still powerful(WALL STREET, TALK RADIO, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, HEAVEN AND EARTH). But when he goes outside of his passions, for either experiments(NATURAL BORN KILLERS), or to make "mainstream" movies(U-TURN), he misses wide. NATURAL BORN KILLERS, to me, was a worse film, but U-TURN was, in a way, even more dispiriting, because the former you could at least excuse as an experiment gone wrong, whereas the latter screamed "Cash-in!" You felt after watching Stone was too tired to fight anymore.

Well, as ANY GIVEN SUNDAY proves, Stone, like his on-screen alter-ego, Tony D'Amato(Al Pacino), may look tired, but he's still got fight left in him. Many have seen football as war, so it's appropriate Stone has long wanted to make a movie about football. And as Spike Lee did with HE GOT GAME, Stone wants us to see not only the glory of the actual playing(as well as how tough it is to earn that glory), but also the corrupt forces which are pervading it today. After all, we decry flashy players, and then complain about those who are too boring, we talk about tradition out of one side of our mouth and demand the game be updated out of the other side, we call white players who exhibit boorish behavior "colorful" while calling black players who exhibit similar behavior "punks"(and that's putting it mildly), we complain about players who are overpaid while thinking nothing of owners who spend lavishly on themselves and move teams around, we complain about football being too dominated by TV yet sit around like couch potatoes every Sunday and Monday night, we react with horror when players get hurt badly and get addicted to drugs, yet we yell at them to murder each other on the field and call those who don't chicken(to put it mildly), and so on.

This is a wide canvas to cover, and yet Stone does a pretty good job of it. Especially good is how the relationship between D'Amato and his new quarterback Willie Beamon(Jamie Foxx) encompasses a lot of that canvas. There are two scenes in particular which stand out; one where D'Amato sits with Willie on the plane and tries to talk to him, but can't think of anything which doesn't sound patronizing from Willie's point of view(like music, where D'Amato thinks the fact he's mentioning black jazz musicians is supposed to mean something), and the scene at D'Amato's house, where Beamon talks of how, in the past, "playing for the team" was code for "Know your place, boy," and have things really changed? Willie has to learn that playing for the team really does mean, as quarterback, getting them to respect you so they'll play for you, and Tony has to learn that tradition can't be stodgy, that it has to accept change.

Stone is less sure in other aspects. Cameron Diaz does a good job as the team's owner, but her character is a little too one-dimensional at times. It would have been more interesting to have here not just talk in terms of money, but that the game, to her, really is more interesting the way Willie plays it(maybe I'm biased, but I'm a fan of more pass-oriented games). And while I don't think Stone is as misogynist as he's been charged with in the past, certainly it's evident here. It's one thing to say there are groupies in football, it's another thing to delight in showing them. There are sympathetic woman here, particularly Ann-Margaret as Diaz's mother, who shows what being a football wife costs, and Lela Rochon as Willie's girlfriend, who is unwilling to have that happen to her(the scene at the party, where she feels both isolated from Willie and the other wives, is nicely drawn). Finally, Stone can't resist the ROCKY-type cliches near the end.

But though it's flawed, there's still a lot of power here. Except for Lauren Holly, who I'm not a big fan of, the acting is all around excellent, particularly Foxx. I was particularly impressed with how well the athletes did as actors, particularly Jim Brown(though he's an actor, so this isn't surprising) and Lawrence Taylor. And, of course, all the football scenes are terrific and feel real. It's always good when you see on screen what you can't see watching the game on TV, and Stone accomplishes that here. Call it not quite a touchdown, but a film which convinces us Stone still has fight left in him.
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A Dizzying, Entertaining Peek Into Pro Football...Stone Style
Donald J. Lamb14 January 2000
Sports movies are tough to make. Creating the essence of the actual event is the toughest. Most films fall short in the editing process of the event or through sheer carelessness and lack of knowledge. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY is somewhat of an exception. It is hard-hitting and bloody like NORTH DALLAS FORTY. It is actually conventional when you think about it, like a warped RUDY. It is a hell of a lot more realistic than say, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS. These are all football films with varying degrees of success (except ROUGHNESS), but Oliver Stone, in his usual over the top way, throws a dizzying, mind-splitting film at us, much like the sport itself. This is why I liked it.

Oliver Stone began a wicked spell of filmmaking with JFK, evident in its editing style. Fast-paced, black and white mixed with color, documentary-like methods ensued in NATURAL BORN KILLERS, NIXON, and the ghastly U-TURN. Nothing is new here with ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. Football is a battlefield Stone chooses to depict and depict it he does. Even the most ardent fans of the sport do not really know what it is like for a quarterback to drop back and get rid of a piece of pigskin before 11 players maul him. You certainly get the idea watching this.

Al Pacino is the dried up head coach of the fictional Miami Sharks and he barks out the usual coaching cliches you hear in press conferences after real games. Pacino also seems to be sleep-walking through the picture. At times, he appears drunk even when he is not supposed to be. Cameron Diaz's character, a young chick owner, (yeah right) destroys any credibility the film may have had going in (Even the NFL would have nothing to do with this movie). Her constant bickering is so over-done, you almost feel like hurling much the way Jamie Foxx does every time he enters a game as the team's 3rd string quarterback. Realisticly speaking, this is not a very sane film about football. It is a maniacal celebration of the game. The scenes on the field are the ones I cherished. Beware of the locker room or domestic sequences.

No one has ever put such energy into football scenes in a film before. He definitely had some good consultants. There are some comical cameos - Johnny Unitas and Dick Butkus play opposing coaches. Lawrence Taylor can actually act a teeny bit and Jim Brown shares the film's best off the field scene with Pacino in a bar. Stone tries to show us how the game has changed. He resonates past glory with quotes from Lombardi, dissolves showing Red "the Galloping Ghost" Grange, and even Unitas handing off to Ameche. TV has changed everything, says the coach, and he is right. It seems to be all about the money nowadays.

That is the message, but you'll find yourself losing that idea in the lunacy of ANY GIVEN SUNDAY and the bone-crushing, ear-damaging football scenes. They are filmed and cut with such raw intensity, you feel like playing afterwards. This is definitely a film for football fans only unless you like big, sweaty men. Is there a big game at the end that needs to be won? Yes, and this surprised me considering how unconventional Stone usually is. Basically, surrender your senses and thought process to Stone's most entertaining film in quite some time.

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Charles14 March 2006
Any Given Sunday is one of Oliver Stone's most enjoyable movies. Sunday is pure entertainment, an action-packed spectacle that will delight even the most ardent sports enthusiast. Stone draws on the usual assortment of sports movie clichés, but he directs his actors, including Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, and LL Cool J, into such passionate and intense performances, that the movie is able to transcend its familiar material. While its 160-minute running time is a bit of a detriment, AGS works overall as a superior piece of escapist entertainment. Also, the locker room scene, which showcases a confrontation between Cameron Diaz and a football player with a giant penis, is a classic.
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Professional Football Meets Its Match in Oliver Stone
noralee21 December 2005
I thought what a great combo for "Any Given Sunday" - Oliver Stone and professional football -- excess meets its match.

So I grabbed a chance to go to the movies with my sons. They got a lot more out of the first and third thirds of the movie that are football games, which I couldn't follow at all, knowing zilch about football so I missed any references to significances of plays and strategies and didn't recognize the zillion football players past and present in bit parts, but I got other visual and music references they didn't.

The football field is explicitly a jungle, with the sounds like an elephant herd crashing. Of course Stone never says or shows once what he can get across 5 times, so the jungle fever point of the primalness of sports as a venue for male violence is accompanied by Native American chants, aboriginal and Asian Indian mystic strains as well. I don't know enough about rap to judge those selections -- I could tell there were lots of lyrics about "niggaz" working for The Man type of thing.

The second third should have appealed to me as that's when the huge ensemble has personal interactions and we learn all their selfish, dastardly, unpleasant motivations, but I was on sensory overload. Example: Al Pacino as the Old Guard Coach calls in Jamie Foxx as the suddenly first string quarterback (in a terrific performance), for a tête a tête on the pro's of Jazz over Rap, as a metaphor of the old football of finesse (what? all those flashbacks to black & white football games were of a subtle sport?). But when Foxx walks in Pacino has "Ben Hur" playing on a wide-screen TV. As if we didn't get the point Foxx actually says "The old gladiators, huh?" If we still didn't get the point the conversation keeps intercutting with the chariot race. And if we still didn't get the point of any reference in the conversation to racial issues then intercuts to the galley slave scenes from "Ben Hur" THEN on top of that, the NFL commissioner who puts the Bitch Owner in her place for trying to play with the Big Old Guys is none other than Charlton Heston.

No one just has a conversation -- everyone shouts, usually at the same time, so I had to close my eyes and I'm not sure if I missed something.

This is Sunbelt Football of expansion teams where the sport is not a Fall/Winter season - so the women were everywhere in tank tops, cleavage, midriffs bare and hips swinging, even Cameron Diaz as the Bitch Owner. Though all the women are really high priced prostitutes (even usually sweet Lauren Holly is a hardened cold Football Wife).

What I don't think I missed was Stone's outsize determination to ignore the homo-erotic aspects of male sports violence that "Fight Club" reveled in. Aw come on Stone, not a single gay player in the closet? He crowds the behemoths into locker rooms and showers that can barely contain their bodies--but he's so afraid of showing them in contact that he even at one point has one throw a baby alligator into the shower so they scatter.

Everyone is criticized-- including the sportscasters, which Stone revels in playing one (I think in general this movie is a show down between Stone and Spike Lee as it takes on more racial issues than he's done in the past). What a coincidence that ESPN is continually bad-mouthed when there's a big legible credit at the end to Turner Sports Network when this is a Time Warner movie and ESPN's a competitor.

Stone of course goes out of his way to link football with war, to fit into his oeuvre, with battle quotes from Vince Lombardi and some sort of link with Pacino's father dying in WWII that was irrelevant it seemed to me.

I think this is Dennis Quaid's at least third football movie and in the genre of such movies as "North Dallas 40," "Longest Yard," "Great American Hero," etc. and this joins that pantheon as a terrific football movie.

The music selections were by Robbie Robertson (with Paul Kelly but I'm not sure which Kelly that is) and he did as seamless a job as he's done for Martin Scorcese. The music credits at the end were impossible to read -- in 3 columns of a vertical font that was like watching the credits on TV - plus the movie continues under the credits so all those who bolted missed the ending.

Professional football deserves to be Oliver Stoned. But if I never saw any more football that'll be fine with me.

(originally written 12/27/1999)
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A strange, almost dreamlike experience
tomroman30 September 2005
The beauty of this film lies in its almost abstract presentation, and for some strange reason ANY GIVEN Sunday is possibly my favourite film ever.

The film has different levels so that it can not only be viewed as enjoyable for different demographics, but can also be viewed as a completely different movie altogether - depending on the mindset of the viewer.

The fact that this film has been said to include a cheesy ending is a mistake, seeing as the timing and setting of the final match is very different to any other sports film. The action scenes combination of rabid mayhem mixed with dreamlike calm and hallucinogenic focal points in the key plays really work.

ANY GIVEN Sunday at first glance seems to be a film about how off field actions (wether it be player/manager/owner related) have effected the game of football itself, but it is also about how the game has warped people and corporations around it.

JAMIE FOXX is the star turn here, with AL PACINO strong as ever, delivering a memorable and very different speech (typical of the film).

If for any other reason, watch this film for the music.
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Of Sharks and Men.
Cloud205 February 2006
Any Given Sunday (1999)

Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, LL Cool J, James Woods, Matthew Modine, Lawrence Taylor, Jim Brown, John C. McGinley, Aaron Eckhart, Charlton Heston, Oliver Stone, Elizabeth Berkley. Directed by Oliver Stone. Spoilers herein.

"Any Given Sunday" is a film that is a feast for the eyes, but not the mind. Stone does a great job for creating a dizzying direction, eye-opening visuals, and extremely loud sound, and he does all of this with the 2 and a half+ hours that he has to spare with the film but never does go deep into detail on the characters.

The story consists of a professional football team struggling with their season. The film opens with a quote from football legend Vince Lombardi, and then fades into a football game, where the starting quarterback for the Sharks, Jack Rooney is hurt in the middle of a game, unknown third string quarterback Willie Beaman is sent in for the rest of the season. As Beaman starts rising to fame, aging Coach D'Amato and Rooney begin to question if Beaman is worth risking the rest of the season and their chance for the championship as he is trying to make the team win by himself.

The performances are pretty good and powerful. Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx do great with the lead characters, and other familiar faces such as Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine and John C. McGinley in the supporting performances.

One thing I did really like about "Any Given Sunday" is how the action during the games is very realistic, gritty, and fast. It ultimately captures the intensity and hard work from the sport of Football. But like "Natural Born Killers" and "U Turn", the sound is so unbearably loud and images are so fast and dizzying that the film could give some viewers a headache. Stone has been known to cause controversy among his films, and this is a way that he seems to do it, but it didn't bother me so much as haters of the film. Despite of some of the strengths, "Any Given Sunday" does have a few flaws. The film is unnecessarily overlong, overly stylish, and underdeveloped. Stone really could have made the film about 20-30 minutes shorter, and with most of the time the characters are either playing on the game field or yelling at each other. Some scenes showing Willie's rise are no more interesting than a Nike Gridiron commercial or a Michael Bay film. Another thing Stone forgets to do is add emotion to the film, and he replaces that with mostly sports action.

Overall I really did enjoy this film a lot, for it's realistic football scenes and the living hell that the players go through in order to win. But at times it really does try too hard, especially when it's absent with a great script and follows clichés of older Football (or even gladiator) films. But I would recommend it to Stone fans and football fans especially. A very considerate 4 stars out of 5.
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One of the best sports movies ever made.
CharltonBoy4 January 2001
Let me start by saying that i dont like or even understand american football and i personally think it does not come close to soccer but with this film it did not matter a jot. Oliver Stone had directed a film here that crosses all bounderies. You dont have to like the sport or understand it to appreciate how brilliant this film is. It is shot so well ,it makes you fell you are in the game and as for the soundtrack well that just adds to a mesmerising showpiece. Stars such as Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid,James Woods and Cameron Diaz star but for me the real Star of this film is James Foxx who plays the Quaterback who begins to believe his own hype but ultimately understands that it the team that matters. One of the test of a good film is that if you start to look at the clock throughout the film is usually means its not good , this film lasted 2 and a half hours and i never looked at the time. Brilliant. 9 out of 10.
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One of the best of the year
tenbob-227 December 1999
I don't intend to add to the many positive comments about this movie. I agree with them. But from another perspective:

First, I have never been a football fan. However, any movie that combines Oliver Stone and Al Pacino has to get my interests. I loved it.

One thing that did impress me more than anything else was the quality of the sound design. The 3 dimensional noises in the huddle, on the line, from the grandstands; the growls and other sounds from the players; these things made the movie live and my blood boil. I was breathless.

Then these things interspersed with dead silences and slow motion dreamlike sequences gave the action a spiritual quality.

I stayed for the credits to see who had done this sound work and I think Wylie Stateman will get, at the very least, an Oscar nomination for sound design. If you ever wondered what this credit meant, see this movie and you will know. This movie would have lost a great deal of its punch without that sound designer's talent.
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Loved It!
tiffybop9 January 2000
I think the movie as a whole was excellent. Oliver Stone did a great job, I felt as though I was inside the screen. The almost 3 hours didn't even feel like it, it felt like watching a Football game on Any Given Sunday. Jamie Foxx did a great job, you loved him at times and hated him at times, and he gave you great reason to do either. And of course Al Pacino was the man as always, playing a coach with heart and blowing you away at the end. Cameron Diaz was the best wicked witch, just a hard-core display of a woman of the millenium. All in all, anyone who thinks this movie had no plot, wasn't paying attention. All you have to do is see the change in the characters throughout the movie, and what the game meant to each one of them: from the owner, to the coach, to the players, to the doctors, to the families. Perfect example is the characters of both Ann Margaret and Lauren Holly. There is a lot of meaning in this movie. Kudos!
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You want a top notch football movie??, look no further then this one, it's wonderfully acted, with exciting football action!
callanvass21 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
You want a top notch football movie??, look no further then this one, it's wonderfully acted, with exciting football action!. All the characters are fantastic, and the story is excellent, plus Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz are simply amazing in this!, and Jamie Fox is fantastic!. It's loud, trashy, violent and in your face, and you know what I absolutely loved it! plus Al Pacino's speech near the end was truly moving!. Jamie Fox and Al Pacino had some very powerful scenes together, and being a huge Football fan, I was highly pleased with this film, plus it even has a cameo from that idiot Terrell Owens!. Oliver Stone put out another fantastic film here in my opinion, and never in my life have I seen, such violent football! plus it's extremely well made and written as well. I saw the Directors cut version, and I can't see why so many people dislike it, sure it's a little over long, but never is it boring! plus I loved how it wasn't afraid to go over the line either!. You want a top notch football movie??, look no further then this one, it's wonderfully acted,with exciting football action, and I say Go see it now!. The Direction is fantastic!. Oliver Stone does a fantastic! job here, with excellent camera work, outstanding angles, great slow mo shots, cool POV shots and plenty of other cool shots as well, plus he kept the film at an extremely engrossing pace. The Acting is wonderful!. Al Pacino is amazing as always and is amazing here, he is extremely likable, very intense, delivered some great lines as always, was fascinating to watch, was really into his role, carried the film at times, and had some wonderful scenes with both Fox and Diaz,he was amazing. (Pacino Rules!!!!!!!). Cameron Diaz is stunningly gorgeous and actually does an amazing job here, she goes toe to toe with Pacino in heated arguments, which is pretty damn impressive if you ask me, this proves she really can act when she wants too, I loved her performance. Jamie Foxx is surprisingly fantastic here, and uses his cockiness to his advantage, he is very unlikable at the start, but turns out to be not a bad guy after all,, he gave a fantastic performance. Dennis Quaid is really good here as the QB Jack Rooney, I dug his character, and he was quite likable. James Woods is OK here but didn't have much to do as the Doc and was kind of wasted. LL Cool J is pretty good here, and as I said before I think he is a good actor. Lawrence Taylor is actually good here too!, I was really surprised. Jim Brown is OK in his small role, and did what he had to adequately, he is one of the best RB's of all time though!. Matthew Modine (Dr. Powers),Bill Bellamy(Jimmy Sanderson),Andrew Bryniarski("Madman Kelly"),Lauren Holly(Cindy Rooney),Ann-Margret(Margaret Pagniacci),Elizabeth Berkley(Mandy Murphy),Charlton Heston(Commisoner.),John C. McGinley(Jack Rose),James Karen(Ed Phillips),all do what they have to do well. Rest of the cast do fine. Overall Go see it now!. ***** out of 5 (barely)
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almost perfect!!!
brokenman28 December 1999
this movie was a story of blood guts and a way to see football the way it is really run. the actors were great. al pacino was amazing and should get some kind of recognition for this, possible academy calling? the blend of camera work and the football scenes were great. oliver stone has swallowed that frog in his throat that has been stuck the past 10 years. a movie of christmas season to remember and will be remembered for even more.
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Ready for some football?
stalag927 December 1999
Being a long-time resident of south Florida, I found the story of this most excellent movie familiar. Stone surely must have based the QB (Randy Quaid in one of his best roles ever)on the aging Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins. Whatever his inspiration, Mr. Stone has done a wonderful job (again). This exposé of Football, as it were, is craftily and beautifully executed.

You feel what it must feel like to be on the field on any given Sunday: the utter confusion, the terror of knowing that three 250 pound line-men are rushing at top speed to take you down, the need to concentrate beyond your overpowering fatigue, the constant ebb and flow of confidence as you line-up against your opponents. All of these components of the gridiron has been captured in a captivating manner by the great Stone, who, as usual in his movies, has a small part. There isn't a single actor I can fault. Nigh perfect casting followed nigh perfect performances.

The potential for a confusion is neatly and simply averted; the flow of the movie, in spite of Stone's signature cutaways, is logical so you don't feel overwhelmed by the action. The behind-the-scenes look at Football management is not only enlightening but thought-provoking. Al Pacino is excellent and so is Cameron Diaz. Their scenes together are fraught with tension. Lawrence Taylor, Jim Brown and some of Football's greatest players and coaches lend even more credence to the "Footballity" of this movie. You also get to see how this game affects the families and friends of the players, for good or usually, for bad.

I love this movie and think it is the best Football movie of the century.
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Unbelievably awesome with a great cast of characters, inspirational plot, and great camera work. A must see whether you like football or not!
crackspice27 December 1999
This was one of the best movies I've seen in long time and I don't even like football. It was just plain good. Jamie Fox did a tremendous acting job as did Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz. It ends with a twist and just kind of leaves you in awe. The camera work was awesome too along with the great music played in the movie. You've gotta see it!
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What football is all about...
JSHS0127 December 1999
This movie by Oliver Stone takes off exactly where movies Varsity Blues ends. It deals directly and solely with the inner workings of what football is at it's core. FOOTBALL. This movie is football, everything football was and has become. Excellent camera work. Excellent choreography (especially the football scenes in terms or realism,) Great Script. Oscar worthy sound. Pacino, Quaid, Diaz, Woods, LLCool J, Foxx, L. Taylor all give noteworthy performances. The structure of the movie is extremely long. Be prepared for classic Oliver Stone fancy camera work on the lengthy football field scenes. Thankfully this does not distract from the movie experience in my opinion. Movie buffs and football fans should be prepared to walk out of the theater entranced.

Grade - A
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Doesn't Get Any Better Than This..
Rich198020 December 1999
Before Any Given Sunday, my favorite football movie was The Program, which I thought was bone-crunching excitement, but now that I've seen A.G.S., the Program looks more like a Pop Warner take on the gridiron. Oliver Stone takes you straight into the action, and it never lets up. When I caught the trailer before Three Kings, I knew this was the movie to see. The best thing about this movie is Al Pacino, who uses all his bravura to bring to life a role that was tailor made for his over the top excitement. Any Given Sunday is the movie all football fans have been waiting for. The only thing that bugs me is that it didn't use NFL teams, which I had earlier heard were going to be involved. But it doesn't take away from any of the excitement, which is aplenty. Go see it again and again and again.
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Pure Sunday Thrill
imall719 December 1999
Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx star in this Oliver Stone masterpiece. Pacino once again unleashes yet another landmark performance. Diaz produces one of her two great supporting performances this year - the other in the critically acclaimed Being John Malkovich. The story and plot are all above average. AGS rapid photography and realistic camera angles are distinctive of 1999 filmmaking - BWP, BJM, others. The dialog and casting are great as well. Definitely one of the ten best movies of the year. Grade: 10/10
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Kick the fieldgoal Johnny U !!!
tmeyer27 December 1999
Warning: Spoilers
I just got back from "AGS". After seeing it, I'm convinced that no matter how much it's written how he extensively researched the film, Stone NEVER has watched an NFL game in his life. Great cinematography ? Give me a break. The game montages were almost unviewable and 90% of the other shots in the film were close-ups. Was there ANYTHING in this movie that wasn't brought up in "North Dallas Forty" ?

Aging star player ... check. Young hot shot .... check. Painkillers .... check. Owner who doesn't "get it" .... check. Crazy off-field behavior .... check

Also, it's the playoffs in Dallas (i.e Dec or Jan) in an outdoor stadium, yet people sitting there in tank-tops and shorts ! And what was with those lights ? Were they playing in a Japanese Kabuki theater or a sports stadium ?

And the strategy shown in the game was laughable. It's fourth & 1 inside the "Sharks'" 30. Dallas leads 35-31. KICK THE FRIGGING FIELD GOAL. Not only would this had made sense football-wise, but you'd then have an even better final sequence where they could have scored and had to go for the two-point conversion. Hell, tie the game w/ the extra point and Stone could have made it an even 3 hours with overtime.

Were the lame montages of "old time" football players supposed to be a tribute to the game ? Give me a break.

And the script ... ugh. More cliches than you can shake a stick at .. oops, there's another one.

"Slapshot" was better than this movie. By far.


Skips this at all costs.
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Good cast, but too much of a soap opera
jeremy329 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The positives in the movie was a good cast. I don't like Cameron Diaz in most roles, but this was her best one by far. She is very good as a woman owner of a football team trying very hard to do it as a woman. In addition, at times the football action was entertaining. It is the "off-field" dramas that mar the film substantially.

First of all, it was a professional football team. In the real world of pro football, the quarterback doesn't puke on the field. There are fans watching the game. James Wood's role was largely comical and irrelevant. Since pro football is a multi-billion dollar business, "amoral" doctors are not going to be hired or tolerated. It was also almost playoffs. As bad as the sport's world seems, players don't party openly, do drugs, and hire prostitutes right before the playoffs. Even the most irresponsible football players are not that dumb, because at that point of the season they wouldn't want the entire team and city hating them. The coach of a football team would be planning plays after the game, not drinking at bars and being propositioned by prostitutes. A coach wouldn't openly scowl, when his quarterback deviates from the play slightly, if it results in a win. Pro football coaches are celebrities, and wouldn't scowl when their team won as a result of a player being independent minded. The coach may after the game in the locker room remind the quarterback that there is a game plan. That was another major wrong with this film. There was only a play called in the last few seconds of the final regular season game. Pro football is all about plays. All the coach did was give pep talks.

So, the film was basically ruined by unrealistic, exaggerated scenarios. Stone should have spent more time studying the real game of football, instead of some Hollywood interpretation. The acting was good, and at times there was an attempt to show that football is a very rough sport. However, I can not really recommend this film, other than being slightly entertaining, and possessing a good cast of actors.
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This movie doesn't make any sense
jayaram529 December 1999
Another lame attempt to make a movie "gritty" and "thought provoking"- whatever the hell that means. They have Al Pacino say a lot of words like - "Television killed football." Yeah whatever. This is another movie that showcases Oliver Stone's Delusions of Grandeur. If Stone is trying to show us that football will be our downfall or something, why does he insist on romanticizing the sport with his stilted camera movements and Kid Rock songs? He even throws Cameron Diaz into the fray for purely aesthetic reasons. It's a shame that Diaz and Pacino have to meet in a movie that is so bad.

Ever since "Scent of Woman," writers and directors have used Pacino to romanticize their pathetic lines. His characters are nothing more than loudspeakers - their voices covering up what would normally be redundant and trite. He needs to reinvent himself, showing how he can act without yelling. He has to stop feeling sorry for hokey scripts with cheesy lessons like "Organized football is messed up," and act out a good story.
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Every Possible Cliché
gtyj199028 February 2010
That this movie is pretentious, nonfactual, overdone and riddled with tired sports clichés shouldn't surprise anyone, especially those that know it's yet another of Oliver Stone's fantasies purporting to be otherwise. What's astonishing is how little the executive producer-screenwriter-director knows about football; there were so many errors (e.g. in the movie, each touchdown adds 7 points instantaneously, the second a player crosses the goal line!). In fact, it's almost unwatchable and many will feel cheated out of (nearly) 3 hours of their life. Since the story lines are entirely predictable, Stone and his editors present it with unrelenting quick cuts and assault their audience with a soundtrack that's mostly too loud, yet too soft at other times (perhaps to keep 'us' from hearing more of the inane dialog?). The movie contains too many unrealistically silly scenes to mention them all, but these stood out: when Diaz's character is confronted with full-frontal male nudity and "the eyeball".
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It puts you right there in the huddle
Lursa24 December 1999
I'm not a big fan of sports movies. But this one made me change my mind. It jerks you in by the throat and puts you smack dab in the middle of the huddle not safely up in the stands with your beer and your hot dog. You get hurt. You get bloody on this one. I have a new respect for athletes after seeing it. It's amazing the attention to detail and realism that Oliver Stone brings to this film. I kept noticing football legends in the cast. That added another layer of realism...actually blurring the line between movie and reality. I liked Oliver casting himself as a commentator. Go see this one, you won't regret it. It's one of Stone's best.
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Buddha-2724 December 1999
Any Given Sunday is the best movies I've seen this year. The cast was excellent and AL Pacino gives one of his greatest acting performances since The Godfather and definitely deserves an Oscar nomination for best actor. Oliver Stone's brillance comes out in every aspect of this movie. Stone brings together a superb cast along with a great plot to create an accurate protrayal of on the field and off the field actions of not only football players but the coaches and management. A definite highlight of the movie was LL Cool J character of Julian Washington. LL Cool J gave an outstanding performance and his true acting ability was able to shine. Jamie Fox was able to show his versility as an actor by playing the role of a no name third string quarterback who suddenly comes to fame after the injury to the other quarterbacks. The rest of the supporting cast plays their roles to wonderful success. The movie was a delight to watch and was definitely worth the 6.75 price i had to pay for it.
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