Alexander (2005)

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Alexander (2005) Movie Poster Image
Alexander the person was great. This movie isn't.
  • R
  • 2004
  • 245 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Intense and graphic battle violence, many deaths, lots of blood.


Nudity, explicit sexual gay and heterosexual references and situations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A lot of drinking, characters get drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has extreme and explicit battle violence with many impalings and other graphic injuries. Alexander is portrayed as bi-sexual. There are very explicit heterosexual sexual situations and references and male and female nudity, plus references and implications of gay sex and some same-sex kissing and a mother-son kiss on the mouth and an attempted rape. Some exotic dancers perform in skimpy attire. Characters drink, sometimes to excess.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIM Wondering February 19, 2021

Lots of Noise

If Alexander did as much talking and scenery chewing as Colin Ferrell does in this movie, he'd never have had time to leave Macedonia, and his own soldiers... Continue reading
Adult Written bymrconnor33 February 21, 2013

Meh. Its alright

As someone who is really fascinated by ancient history I had to enjoy this movie, but honestly it was sort of hard too. The movie has its downs, and by downs I... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byROR_60 November 26, 2018
Teen, 17 years old Written byhere'saclown August 6, 2017

What's the story?

Alexander (Colin Farrell) is the son of Philip (Val Kilmer) and Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and at the center of a firestorm of political intrigue and bitter personal feuds. His parents despise each other, and each urges Alexander to be bold and to trust no one. Alexander grows up to be very competitive but also sensitive. He tames the wild horse Bucephalus, gaining his father's approval. But then Philip, who wants to make Olympias less powerful, takes another wife. He is about to name her infant son his successor when he is assassinated, making Alexander the king. Alexander takes his armies on a quest to conquer the known world over eight years and 22,000 miles.

Is it any good?

Alexander the person was great; ALEXANDER the movie is not. It is horrendously bad, a genuine 40-car pile-up of literally epic proportions, a three-way head-on collision of bad writing, bad acting, and bad direction. The one watchable part of the movie are the battle scenes. Writer/director Oliver Stone can stage a battle. The fights with the soldiers of Persia and India are striking and the confrontation between horse- and elephant-riders is exceptional. But the rest of the movie is dreadful, a mish-mash of a clunker script delivered in a mish-mash of accents. It's bad enough when one of the Greek soldiers speaks with the actor's own Scottish burr. It is even worse when Roxane (Rosario Dawson), the wife Alexander chooses from Bactria, uses the kind of faux all-purpose foreign pronunciation usually reserved for native maidens in 1940's B-movies set on tropical islands. She sees him with Hephaestion (Jared Leto) and hisses "You love chhHEEEM!!"

The accents may be all over the place, but the Classic Comic-style dialogue is consistently terrible. No one could make these lines sound believable: "You must never confuse your feelings with your duties!" "Your life hangs in the balance!" "You can run to the ends of the earth, you coward, but you will never run far enough!" "We are most alone when we are with the myths." "It was here that Alexander made one of his most mysterious decisions." "They forgive you because you make them proud of themselves!" "What have I done to make you hate me so?" "You're a king -- act like one!" Perhaps most disappointing of all is that there is not one performance with any authenticity or appeal. Even Farrell and Jolie lose all sense of perspective and resort to snorts and eye-rolling histrionics.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Alexander's influences. What did he learn from his father and what did he learn from his mother? Why did he marry Roxane? What was most important to him? What is best remembered about him? Why?

Movie details

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