6.8/10
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Ali (2001)

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A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Gregory Allen Howard (story), Stephen J. Rivele (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,204 ( 324)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... Cassius Clay / Cassius X / Muhammad Ali
Jamie Foxx ... Drew 'Bundini' Brown
Jon Voight ... Howard Cosell
Mario Van Peebles ... Malcolm X
Ron Silver ... Angelo Dundee
Jeffrey Wright ... Howard Bingham
Mykelti Williamson ... Don King
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Sonji Roi
Nona Gaye ... Belinda Ali
Michael Michele ... Veronica Porche
Joe Morton ... Chauncey Eskridge
Paul Rodriguez ... Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
Bruce McGill ... Bradley
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Jabir Herbert Muhammad
Giancarlo Esposito ... Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.
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Storyline

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 favor 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony [DVD] [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Swahili

Release Date:

25 December 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Али See more »

Filming Locations:

Ghana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,216,625, 23 December 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,203,105

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,510,720
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The project lay in "development hell" for more than a decade. Several directors attempted to make the film, including: Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, and Norman Jewison. Stone's first choice for the role of Muhammad Ali was Denzel Washington. When Washington signed on to The Hurricane (1999), Stone opted to make Any Given Sunday (1999). In the end, Jewison made The Hurricane (1999). Lee had previously directed Washington in Malcolm X (1992). See more »

Goofs

When the FBI is setting up the wiretaps, the cigarette and ashes jump around in the ashtray between shots. See more »

Quotes

Drew 'Bundini' Brown: Now I'm Jewish and he's Muslim, and because of that he tells me I need to give up certain things, like pork and white women... I can give up the Pork, but the white women? God Damn, how the hell do you do that?
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Crazy Credits

The Columbia Pictures logo rolls backwards. See more »

Alternate Versions

Michael Mann announced in an interview with Steve Weintraub (on January 16, 2015 for 'Collider') that he is planning to release a third version of "Ali" on BluRay: "I did a re-edit of Ali for television that I really liked and I'd like to put out a Blu-ray of that edit. That was a significant re-edit. (...) It happens to move better and it's longer. (...) It's more complete and moves better. Much more dramatic." See more »

Connections

Featured in Boxing at the Movies: Kings of the Ring (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ali Pre-Fight
Produced by Tom Vedvik
Written and Performed by Martin Tillman
Published by Colpix Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Rather Boring Bio of Muhammad Ali
26 July 2010 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Michael Mann is a very hit-and-miss director for me. His movies either blow me out of the water ("The Insider," "Heat"), or they leave me cold ("Miami Vice," "Public Enemies"). Unfortunately, "Ali" belongs to the latter category.

Mann's filmmaking is always very assured, so when his movies miss, I'm never exactly sure why. There's just something boring about "Ali." It tells Muhammad Ali's story, and it does so with what could be mistaken for passion, but it just felt rote and lifeless to me, and far too long.

Will Smith and Jon Voight were honored with Academy Award nominations for playing Ali and Howard Cosell, respectively, but clearly I'm not the only one to be underwhelmed by the film, as it bombed with audiences and couldn't even crack 7.0 here at IMDb.

Grade: B-


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