4.0 10
Director: Michael Mann

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Michael Mann's biopic Ali rightfully earned Will Smith the best reviews of his career as well as a nomination for Best Actor from the Academy. Mann has added scenes and extended other sequences to create the director's cut that appears on this disc. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect…  See more details below


Michael Mann's biopic Ali rightfully earned Will Smith the best reviews of his career as well as a nomination for Best Actor from the Academy. Mann has added scenes and extended other sequences to create the director's cut that appears on this disc. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by Mann. His comments tend toward commenting on the historical events depicted in the film rather than to the filmmaking process, but he does offer much insight into his intentions with the film. A newly produced making-of documentary rounds out this solid release.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Not quite as flamboyant as its subject, this engrossing biographical film offers a serious, thoughtful look at legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, whose appearance and mannerisms are replicated to an uncanny degree by 2002 Academy Award nominee Will Smith. Ali doesn’t attempt to chronicle the champ’s entire life; it focuses on a ten-year period, beginning in 1964, when Ali (still known as Cassius Clay) wins the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston, and ending after the famous 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman. Ali’s relationships with confidant Drew "Bundini" Brown (played by Jamie Foxx), sportscaster Howard Cosell (Jon Voight), activist Malcolm X (Mario Van Peebles), and trainer Angelo Dundee (Ron Silver) are never completely spelled out, and the primary women in his life during that period -- played by Jada Pinkett Smith and Nona Gaye -- also get short shrift from the screenwriters. This elliptical approach might have stymied a lesser director, but Michael Mann (The Insider) manages to capture Ali’s essence even as he skips over interesting facets of the champ’s career. Mann’s Ali is not merely the spontaneous jokester or the comically arrogant self-promoter many people remember: He’s also seen as subdued and meditative, and deeply committed to his religious beliefs even after his Nation of Islam allies turn against him. Smith, who bulked up considerably for the role, is quite convincing in the scenes re-creating Ali’s famous title bouts, but Ali isn’t a boxing movie. It’s the fascinating story of a man who both changed his times and was changed by them.
All Movie Guide
Always a technician at the top of his craft, Michael Mann proves it again with his visually alive take on the boxing life of Muhammad Ali, starring Will Smith in the role naysayers doubted he could play, and featuring all manner of virtuoso work inside the ring. While both director and star were generally praised, the film itself failed to appear on year-end ten-best lists, due to what might be described as an impenetrable emotional distance from its subject. Even with Smith silencing his critics through an effective combination of impersonation and nuance, his Ali is an unexplored curiosity, seen mostly through a handful of his most famous fights. Still, the visual achievements, including the precise performances, are undeniable. Mann's handheld camera and off-center compositions again give that palpable p.o.v sense of a life spied upon, teleporting viewers into the detailed world he creates. Mann is king of setting the scene without expository overkill, letting the soundtrack or a telling image speak louder than the dialogue. This approach is particularly noteworthy with the character of Angelo Dundee (Ron Silver), Ali's trainer, a key recurring figure whom the ever-judicious Mann blends into the narrative without having to rely on a big speech or other device to distinguish him. Jamie Foxx, Mario Van Peebles, and Jon Voight are also terrific in supporting roles, particularly Voight's scene-stealer as the appropriately plastic-looking Howard Cosell. Ali may float like the most technically accomplished butterfly out there, but because it fails to sting like a bee, thematically, it can't keep pace with Mann's best work.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
Filled with vivid cameos and set to an infectious soul beat that effectively covers the underlying hum of calculated precision.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
Mann's first movie with feeling; his overwhelming love of its subject will turn audiences into exuberant, thrilled fight crowds.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Revised scenes and never-before-seen footage; Commentary with director/co-writer Michael Mann; Exclusive new documentary on the making of the movie

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Will Smith Muhammad Ali
Jamie Foxx Drew "Bundini" Brown
Jon Voight Howard Cosell
Mario Van Peebles Malcolm X
Ron Silver Angelo Dundee
Jada Pinkett Smith Sonji
Jeffrey Wright Howard Bingham
Mykelti Williamson Don King
Nona Gaye Belinda
Michael Michele Veronica
Joe Morton Chancy Eskridge
Paul Rodriguez Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
Bruce McGill Bradley
Barry "Shabaka" Henley Herbert Muhammad
Giancarlo Esposito Cassius Clay Sr.
Lawrence Mason Luis Sarria
LeVar Burton Martin Luther King Jr.
Albert Hall Elijah Muhammad
David Cubitt Robert Lipsyte
Ted Levine Joe Smiley
Candy Ann Brown Odessa
David Elliott Sam Cooke
Shari Watson Woman Singer
Malick Bowens Joseph Mobutu
Michael Bentt Sonny Liston
James N. Toney Joe Frazier
Alfred Cole Ernie Terrell
Charles Shufford George Foreman
Victoria Dillard Betty Shabazz
Brad Greenquist Marlin Thomas
David Haines Rudy Clay/Rahaman Ali
Doug Hale Judge Ingraham
Kim Robillard Jimmy Cannon
Gailard Sartain Gordon Davidson
William Utay The Doctor
David Hess Actor
James Gilbert Sparring Partner in Africa
Maestro Harrell Young Cassius Clay
Wade Andrew Williams Lieutenant Jerome Claridge
Millard Arnold Doc Broadus
Jean Bikoi Additional Aide to Mobutu
Edda Collier Blond French reporter
Vincent Cook Jimmy Ellis
Lee Cummings Hunter Thompson
Rufus Dorsey Floyd Patterson
Themba Gasa Idi Amin
Marc Grapey Bob Arum
Andrew P. Jones Don Kings Aide
Cimanga Kalambay Additional Aide to Mobutu
Nathaniel Malekane Archie Moore
Marc Kulazite Mboli Additional Aide to Mobutu
Henrikennyo Mukenyi Bula
Mark Mulder Reporter
Zaa Nkweta Foreman Fight Announcer
David Prudham Madison Square Garden announcer
Robert Sale Jerry Quarry
LaDonna Tittle Bundini's landlady
Maya Van Peebles Malcolm X's daughter
Morgana Van Peebles Malcolm X's daughter
Guy Van Swearingen Induction FBI man
Damien "Bolo" Wills Ken Norton
Wei Yi Lu Chinese Delegate
John Ortiz Madison Square Garden reporter
Brandon T. Jackson Actor

Technical Credits
Michael Mann Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Marcos Alvarez Set Decoration/Design
Roy Anderson Stunts
Paul Ardaji Producer
Christopher Bass Art Director
Howard Bingham Executive Producer
Pieter Bourke Score Composer
Greg Cannom Makeup Special Effects
Lee Caplin Producer
Gusmano Cesaretti Associate Producer
Lynn Christopher Set Decoration/Design
Sound Dogs Sound/Sound Designer
David Dontoh Casting
Kim Du Plessis Costumes/Costume Designer
Dihantus Engelbrecht Costumes/Costume Designer
Jim Erickson Set Decoration/Design
Lisa Gerrard Score Composer
William C. Goldenberg Editor
Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson Set Decoration/Design
A. Kitman Ho Producer
Beverly House Makeup
Gregory Allen Howard Original Story
Jim Kent Set Decoration/Design
Graham King Executive Producer
Lynzee Klingman Editor
Cathy Kukard Costumes/Costume Designer
James Lassiter Producer
Jonathan Lee Art Director
Reza Levy Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Lexsee Stunts
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Alison E. McBryde Casting
Catania McCoy-Howze Makeup
Paulo Mondlane Set Decoration/Design
Oliver Moore Animator
Kevin Morrow Stunts
John Myhre Production Designer
Lee Orloff Sound/Sound Designer
Gina Panno Costumes/Costume Designer
Jon Peters Producer
Ebow Prah Art Director
Captive Audience Prods. Makeup Special Effects
Bill Rea Art Director
Stephen J. Rivele Screenwriter
Stephen E. Rivkin Editor
Eric Roth Screenwriter
Carolyn Schnitzer Costumes/Costume Designer
John D. Schofield Co-producer
Nicholas Scott Set Decoration/Design
Kathleen M. Shea Associate Producer
Audrey Soodoo-Raphael Art Director
Richard Sprawson Sound Mixer
Marlene Stewart Costumes/Costume Designer
Nadia Sultanegy Set Decoration/Design
Larry Tankson Stunts
Victoria Thomas Casting
Jon Townley Art Director
Darkowaa Tsibu Costumes/Costume Designer
Tomas Voth Art Director
Michael Waxman Asst. Director,Co-producer
Christopher Wilkinson Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:21]
2. Liston Vs. Clay [15:32]
3. The People's Champ [12:13]
4. Clay & Malcolm X [1:54]
5. Elijah Muhammad [4:01]
6. First Time in Africa [5:28]
7. Sonji [5:25]
8. Martin Luther King [7:35]
9. "They Shot Malcolm" [3:08]
10. Ali Vs. Liston II [4:31]
11. "Wide World of Sports" [4:46]
12. War Comes Home [2:24]
13. Ali Vs. Terrell [7:07]
14. The Sentence [1:31]
15. Belinda [1:12]
16. Exile in Chicago [1:59]
17. Historical & Momentous Moment [3:44]
18. Joe Frazier [10:12]
19. Ali Vs. Quarry [2:18]
20. Supreme Court Ruling [3:33]
21. Ali Vs. Frazier II [4:28]
22. Don King, Promoter [1:41]
23. Welcome to Zaire [7:55]
24. Roadwork [2:18]
25. "George Had and Accident" [2:32]
26. Veronica [9:15]
27. The Rumble in the Jungle [4:39]
28. Winner By a Knockout [14:34]


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Ali 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My family saw ALI, and we thought it was very well done. Will Smith's portrayal of Ali was so close to being authentic. His mannerisms, his speech, and the boxing scenes--well, we could go on and on, but the gist of it all was that we were not disappointed, except for the ending. Hopefully, there will be an ALI II, and that will make up for the poor ending that left us sitting there in our seats thinking, ''You've got to be kidding! This is how it ends--it was not the greatest!! My husband, David, who was an amateur boxer, idolizes ALI. He would give the movie 5 stars *****! David has followed Ali throughout most of Ali's career and life. He feels Will Smith was perfect for the part, and did an excellent job. Everything about the movie was great! David would love to meet Ali again. David's father and David met Ali when David was 14 yrs. old. They shook Ali's hand. (Ali's hand was huge!) I feel as if I know Ali, because I have heard so much from my husband about Ali. If anyone is a fan of Ali, he/she will not be disappointed with this movie, but again, the ending should have been better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is like two different films. One is a commentary on the sixties and racial relations, the other is Ali's historic career. Altogether, it's a great movie. I saw it at the theatres two days in a row during my Christmas break. The first time was because I am an Ali fan, the second because a friend wanted to see it and I loved it the first time so much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ali is one of the best biographies there could be about a legendary boxer. Will Smith has done the best acting of his career. It's amazing to see how Smith could come out of his comic roles in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air', 'Men in Black', and 'Independence Day' to become an Oscar nominee for Best Actor. Some of the scenes were very powerful. It gives us a clear idea about the life of Muhammad Ali.
Guest More than 1 year ago
in the movie ali will smith plays the roll of muhammad ali. will is a good actor but in ali he looked amazing. i know the story but i did not know that was as big headed. It makes a change for will to act like it. i hope that ali lives long
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie I ever saw. It was an exciting movie with great acting by Will Smith.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Best movie i ever saw
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