Parents' Guide to

Ali

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Brutal fight scenes and frank racial issues.

Movie R 2001 157 minutes
Ali Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Will Smith does a superb job acting as Ali! A lot of great supporting acts as well. I am not a fan of boxing movies, but Smith is inspiring in his role and this is a movie I would recommend for families with older teens.
age 14+

"The Greastest"

This is Will Smith at his best. This is a true to life biography of "The Greatest" Ali. There are a few moments in this film that could come across as iffy, but they are there to show what really happened to Ali. (Sorry for the short review) 4 out of 5

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Will Smith delivers a knock-out punch as Ali in this outstanding film that follows the champ from his first heavyweight title to the "Rumble in the Jungle" when he defeated George Foreman in Zaire. Smith perfectly captures Ali's Kentucky drawl. Like his fighting style, it can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Director Michael Mann strikes just the right balance between the personal and the political, setting Ali's struggles in the context of the racial conflicts of his era but never losing sight of the fact that it is one man's story.

Even limited to only 10 years in Ali's life, the story spills out of the screen, with achingly brief glimpses of some of the key characters in Ali's life. This is a double loss, because these small roles are played by some of the most brilliant -- and under-used actors -- working today, including Jeffrey Wright as Ali's photographer, LeVar Burton glimpsed briefly as Martin Luther King, Joe Morton as Ali's lawyer, and Giancarlo Esposito as Ali's father. Jon Voight struggles under far too much rubber make-up but makes a fine impression as Howard Cosell, the sportscaster who was Ali's favorite straight man and one of his truest friends. Mario van Peebles is quietly magnetic as Malcolm X, and Ron Silver marshals his intensity just right as trainer Angelo Dundee. Mykelti Williamson is jubilantly entertaining as Don King.

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