The Alamo Reviews

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Time Out
November 16, 2011
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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 13, 2004
It's dull, talky, and sometimes maudlin.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 12, 2004
Thanks to the skills of director and co-screenwriter John Lee Hancock and a deep cast of reliable veterans, this is an authentic and rousing version of the most famous battle in Texas history.
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
April 9, 2004
Absorbing yet ever-so-slightly jaundiced retelling.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 9, 2004
With the notable exception of Thornton's Crockett, none of these characters engages you.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
April 9, 2004
Although handsomely mounted, and boasting some historically immaculate dressing and impressive battle sequences, it's a movie that ultimately can't convincingly get behind the idea of sacrifice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 9, 2004
It may be history, but it's too meticulous to be believable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 9, 2004
They may have gotten the history more or less right. But this is an Alamo that could have used a little more Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
April 9, 2004
Comes off like a stodgy lecture rather than a rousing saga.
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
April 9, 2004
Alamo buffs will be delighted, and everyone else will be treated to something that feels like Old Hollywood crossed with new sensibilities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 9, 2004
It offers no great insights into the majority of its characters or the politics of the time; it is not the proudest or most shameful moment for any member of its cast; and it is neither overly long or dumbly abrupt. It's simply what it is.
| Original Score: C
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 9, 2004
A deeply compromised film, if not a broken one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
April 9, 2004
A valiant but losing effort.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 9, 2004
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
April 9, 2004
Despite Thornton's yeoman efforts and a remarkable 52-acre set, you're more apt to forget The Alamo than to remember it.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 9, 2004
A crushing bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 9, 2004
An ambitious mix of history lesson, politically correct speculation, character sketches of American icons and pretty scenery, but it winds up without much of a point of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
April 9, 2004
A mediocre achievement despite the scale of its ambition.
| Original Score: C
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
April 9, 2004
[Hancock's] Alamo may be flawed, but it tells a tale that still has the power to stir our souls.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 9, 2004
A drama mired in the mundane.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 9, 2004
As talented as the cast is, not a one makes this an Alamo worth remembering
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 9, 2004
Succeeds in taking those pop-culture brand names like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie and giving them human form.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mike Clark
USA Today
April 8, 2004
The movie is a mild compeller for history buffs, and occasionally it's better than that. But the teenage mall rats, on whom box office success largely depends, are more likely to zoom away in Alamo rental cars.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
April 8, 2004
For all the gun smoke, the image of the fort's defenders silhouetted against a blood-red Texas sky and the unrelenting bombast of Carter Burwell's score, the filmmakers never make the case why we should remember the Alamo.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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April 8, 2004
This is a profoundly ahistoric movie -- a definitive Hollywood muddle.
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
April 8, 2004
In re-enacting the actual events surrounding the storied 1836 battle, this oppressively solemn historical-action movie is both elegiac and trivial.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 8, 2004
More intellectually rewarding than emotionally satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
April 8, 2004
The battle, when it finally comes, is brief, admirably non-gory and rather dull, chiefly because Hancock has neither the filmmaking brio it takes to let a camera fly madly into battle nor bad taste enough to enjoy the fight.
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
April 8, 2004
An action film of intelligence and compassion.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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April 8, 2004
In addition to the way the now-mythic characters are brought down to a human level, the best thing about this production of The Alamo is that Hancock has made everything look and feel so authentic.
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
April 8, 2004
A stilted, unemotional affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 8, 2004
A historically credible but overly prosaic account of the most celebrated episode in the creation of an Americanized Texas.
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
April 8, 2004
Yes, a lot of The Alamo is chauvinistic hokum. But what entertaining hokum it is!
| Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 8, 2004
Except for a handful of scenes, Hancock's film isn't good enough to be memorable.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
April 8, 2004
While the battle scenes Hancock conducts are symphonic in their concussive confusion and chaos, it's in the characterization that the film achieves some gravitas.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
April 8, 2004
Plays like your standard-issue modern war movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 8, 2004
A superlative character-driven epic that honors both the varied truths and the varied myths surrounding a battle that pitted less than 300 Texans and Tejanos against General Antonio López de Santa Anna and several thousand Mexican troops.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
April 8, 2004
A respectable and at times an exciting film that should appeal to males of all ages, history buffs and -- yes, it's inevitable -- patriots.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 7, 2004
Never harmonizes into a cinematic experience any more resonant than the average, manly, why-we-fight pic, or coalesces into a stirring cry for freedom.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 6, 2004
Emotionally inert and poorly paced, The Alamo transforms one of Texas' best-known events into an uninvolving bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4