Brutal fight scenes and frank racial issues.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that in addition to brutal fight scenes, the movie includes a character who is a drug addict, drinking and smoking, a sexual situation and sexual references (including adultery), and some strong language. The issue of racial and religious intolerance is forthrightly presented.
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What's the Story?
Will Smith stars in ALI as the title fighter. The movie covers the champ's personal and professional lives, including his conversion to Islam and his refusal to fight in Vietnam.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the conflict Ali faced when he was drafted. How did he decide what to do? How did he stay true to himself? What was the biggest challenge? When his wife told him not to trust the fight promoters who "talk black, act white, and think green," who was right?
- In theaters: December 25, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: April 30, 2002
- Cast: Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Will Smith
- Director: Michael Mann
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Run time: 157 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some language and brief violence.
- Last updated: February 2, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
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