Alexander Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
Note: this review covers the theatrical version of the film.

Oliver Stone's epic portrait of one of the greatest figures in history had the potential to be as epic, mythic, and great as the person it is about. What it turned out ot be instead was a bloated, hollow, unfocused mess filled with bland dialogue and some really out there and stilted performances. It's certainly not for lack of trying though.

For this should have been masterpiece, Stone at least assembled an awesome and talented cast that includes Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, and an all too short appearance by Christopher Plummer. Farrell was a decent enough choice, but I' not sure I really like the characterization all that much. Kilmer was okay, but seemed to be channelling his take on Jim Morrison a bit much. Jolie started off fine, but could have stood to dial it down quite a bit, and go for something more subtle and nuanced. Same goes for Rosario, and once again, Stone makes a film where women unfortunately get the short end of the stick. Hopkins was okay, but seemed better suited for a better film. Leto was likewise fair, but sorta came off as a bit too fey.

I liked that the film tried to tackle many facets of Alexander the Great's life, personality, and career, and had some decent themes to it, but it all comes off as really overblown, a tad pretentious, and actually rather boring and meandering. For someone as colorful as Alexander, this shouldn't be the case. The battle scenes are epic, really well done, and some of the best parts of the film, but sadly they are too few and far between, which is a problem when the film has a 175 minute running time and all the other stuff, which good at times, becomes really difficult to sit through.

I will give the film props for having a historical advisor on board (though oddly uncredited for whatever reason), and the costumes, period details, and all that are top notch, as are the cinematography, and Vangelis's score (which is atypical of what he usually does). Overall though, I'm not on board, even though I really wanted to be. I'd like to think that I knew what Stone was going for, but I can't really figure it out. Maybe I need to see one of the other cuts he came out with, since those are supposedly better.

As this one stands though, it's not a failure, but it's still an average, out of control and unbalanced mess.
Clintus M.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2011
The version of Alexander I'm reviewing is the second or director's cut, which may or may not have some bearing on whether I influence anyone else as to whether or not they want to view this film. To be concise, this really stunk. It's a ponderous train wreck of a film, and I couldn't wait for it to end. Whether or not Oliver Stone took liberties with the truth as we know it is irrelevant. It is an incoherent, terrible movie. It is dull and ridiculously over-acted, especially by Farrell and Jolie. Normally I like Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, and even Val Kilmer sometimes but not much here. I felt sympathy for Dawson's character as well as the actress herself.

The action plays something like the sword and sandal epics of the 1950s, and the battlefield scenes are passable. The "rousing" speech delivered by Farrell on the eve of battle is silly and pretentious though, just like this over burdened film. Stone does aim high, much too high, and maybe that's why this movie crashes. Alexander's story is a compelling human as well as historical story, but Stone doesn't do him justice here.

Many say that the longer, final cut is markedly better, that it is more coherent. I don't know, not having seen it, but in the interest of fairness, I do not dismiss it. If you are into epics like Gladiator, Troy, and Kingdom of Heaven, you may want to consider watching it. If you end up with an Oedipal complex though, don't say I didn't warn you.
Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2011
Being a die hard history buff, I was quite looking forward to seeing this. Well, when I did I was very disappointed in what I saw. Alexander is a total mess of a film. Everything about the film misplaced. Oliver Stone crafts a film that's based more on fiction than fact. The film is filled with inaccuracies. Considering there is so much documentation on Alexander the Great at hand, you'd think they would at least create a film based on facts, right? But this is Hollywood, so they'll take as much creative liberties as they want without staying true to the historical facts. There are some truly dreadful performances here such as Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer. Colin Farrell isn't that great either, but he's better than Kilmer and Jolie. Alexander has decent action scenes, nothing great, and the film doesn't really do anything exciting. I thought that Troy was a superior film and that Alexander missed the mark in trying to deliver epic battles scenes. Considering that this film is after all based on Alexander the Great, they could've done something spectacular with the film. Instead, the film misses the mark, and fails to delivers anything grand and interesting on-screen. As a person who's interested in history, I really can't recommend this film because it's really flawed, and above all it has awful acting, and the film drags far too long for this story to be told. If it would've been told right, then the length of this film wouldn't have been a problem, but this is a badly acted and directed mess that just fails to get the facts right.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2011
Don't remember much of this movie, only that it made me pretty tired.
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2010
wow is this film aweful. I friend gave me the "final cut" - what would have been appropriate in such a cut would have been an empty film case!

Every single aspect of this film reaks, bad acting (except perhaps Angelina Jolie, who here finally finds a role in which her botoxed lips look apropos), terible makeup (what the heck are all these manly men doing with dark eyeshadow?) and "epic" battle scenes that are nothing but a mess of masses. If the point of the excercise was to show that war was hell and not glamerous, but simply carnage on a wide spread scale, then why bother adding all the titles ("left phalanx, etc.)?

Stone's direction in this "final cut" is all the more mystifying - jumping back and forth - "Bablyon 9 years earlier" - was simply lazy. He could have easily connected the dots with flashbacks (as he attemped to show with the catacomb scene where Philip showed his son Alexander wall paintings of mythological events that showed the gods messing with the fate of men).

The entire enterprise seemed as pointless as Alexanders' continuing to quest into India after conquering Babylon; including the vapid, overly long, tag ending where Anthony Hopkins waxes poetic (in theory) about the titan of a man, who was loved, misunderstood, hated, misunderstood, idolized, and did I mention misunderstood? It was comical watching the scribe following Hopkins around the garden, with the scribes' second holding the ink pot - you've got to be kidding me!!!!! Lost in the detail - perhaps that would have been a better title.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2008
Alexander Revisited (DVD Final Cut)Macedonian Left, Macedionian Right, Macedonian Center! I enjoyed watching the battlescenes in this film! Although it is said to be historically inaccurate, and the jumping from present to past was used too much, I still found it to be a good movie. Alexanders other relationships in the film just made me feel all weird and awkward, it took me a while to get used to the idea. The cast was good, the story I found somewhat weird but entertaining anyway. I havent seen the original film version so Im not sure if thats why some people rated this low.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2006
A times flawed and very over-acted, which could of become both Colin Farrells oscar demanding performance and Oliver Stone's finest hour or three has just become a brutal, man on man and paranoid historical epic
Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2008
This was also a joke....right?
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2006
I have read so many bad reviews about this movie, and that isn't a myth... Alexander was a historic movie about the world conquerer, Alexander The Great. But the story of this movie didn't make very well... Sometimes it is so long and looks that it wants to show us how detailed it is, and sometimes it goes to fast without any explanation... But the fact is that this movie is so boring... I even yawn so many when seeing this movie, but luckily for this movie, I stay awake... Oliver Stone, i don't know why he is so famous but as far as the movies that directed by him that I already seen, it's just a standard. No good even excellent, but just standard.. Sometimes even worse... Maybe he have a decrease years after years for his movies.... But one that I admire is how he can get so many stars for this movie... Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Hopkins, even my favorite Jonathan Rhys Meyers also played in this movie, which I also shocked... But choosing Colin Farrell as Alexander, and Jared Leto as Hephahaitos were a mistake... Their act was terrible... Colin looks very gay in this story, yet Leto acts was like a beginner student in the acting academy.... And the most disturbing scene in this movie was when Alexander lost to a battle in India.. When it was a bloody battle, but I thought you don't need to color the background of the scenes with red color too... It just makes me sick... And Oliver should gave another acting lesson for all of the cast of this movie, because most of them were looks very clumsy. Maybe he thinks that many peoples involved in this movie, even they have so many people attend in one scene but it just looks like that Oliver met them in the street and say that 'I give you few dollars if you want to join us in this the next hit movie', but he was wrong.. This movie was too far to be said as good, even as the same story like 'Troy'. Not because Troy have Brad Pitt so Alexander can have Jolie, but even the story itself is a real jerk... I just hope that if Alexander The Great wants to be filmed again, none of the crews that works for this movie joins again on that movie... Because nothing better on that movie, except Jolie, Kilmer, and Hopkins I thought. But a big no for Colin Farrell...
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2008
The movie itself was great. Actors did good, and it was very close to what they say is historically accurate. The battle scenes were amazing too.
The narration, rather then actual showing what happend kind of sucks - but, there was really no way around it.
Alexander should be happy he got put in a hollywood film, because other then being portrayed in a movie - he really was not that great.
And he certaintly did not out due Achelles, like he wanted to so bad in his lifetime.
He was a power hungry, land hungry fool, who kept nothing in his life in check or even in stone, for his entire kingdom fell only years after his death.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
This project could have been such a masterpiece. A great director, many big actor names and quite a budget. The result, however, is rather disappointing. On the plus side the movie is visually really beautiful and there are two pretty cool battle scenes. As for the rest, Stone takes the story and turns it into a gay pride parade with mostly rather unlikeable characters, dialogues that do not get the points across and just a really odd way of storytelling. I can't say how historically accurate this movie is, but I wanted to see him cut the Knot and not have Stone speculate about Alexander being gay, bi, or having daddy issues. Additionally, the lame and sentimental soundtrack is working against the pictures really often. Too bad, this could have been huge. Now it's just pretty silly with few good parts.
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2007
More of a history docu-drama than a riveting epic. It's a visually impressive modern account of the classic story of Alexander the Great, but I couldn't help but be distracted by the Irish accents of the Macedons! The Vangelis score was a bit too subtle too.
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2007
Although I gave this film a low rating. Please's one of my favorite bad movies. When you watch look for Colin Farrell's weak attempt to make a meaningful speech in every single scene of the movie. And have a few laughs because Angelina looks ready to make out with everyone in the film..maids her son, a snake...good times!
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Very long and tired to hard. Not convincing as Alexander.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2007
We always expect an odd hotch-potch of accents in a Hollywood epic, but witnessing ancient greeks ALL (with the notable exception of Angelina Jolie, who seems to be impersonating Ivana Humpalot from Austin Powers) sporting a broad Irish drawl is just SURREAL. Anyway...Oliver Stone's historical epic is pretty much what you would expect; sumptuous costume design and photography, impressive battle scenes on a massive scale, the fact that it takes itself a little too seriously and it's too long. But the main drawback lies in the pitch of the film;many pivotal historical events are not only skimmed over, but often even happen off-screen. I didn't feel that I knew Alexander the man any better than I did at the start, Stone being far more interested in who he was shagging than his psychology or motives. The way the chronology of events keeps skipping back and forth only served to confuse, and the score is intrusively pompous. But having said all that it's worth a watch for the sheer spectacle. And the accents. "Top o' the mornin' to yer Mr. Plato" "Begorrah to be sure Mr. Aristotle..."
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2007
About an hour and a half in to it, the DVD burn I was watching gave out and went all digital-chunky. However, I can't say I was all that upset about it... real rating pending.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2007
It was an ok movie but Colin Farrell was not the right Alexander, it should have been Russell Crowe.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2007
I heart many bad comments about this movie... and I wasn't really interested to watch it. I was disappointed after I watched Troy. As a Greek it really bothers me when Americans change our Greek history to amuse the people and make more money. Of course nobody would like this movie because they want to see Alexander to pick up big rocks like Hercules and to kill some dragons and gods on his way. They want to see blood and action and some heroes who will have a happy or at least bitter-sweet end. I admit that Oliver Stone overdid it a bit with the commentary but this movie was historically accurate and this commentary was very useful for people who didn't know the history. I am very proud as a Greek watch the history that i was reading in books in the big scene. Of course it could be a better as any movie could be better but the technique of this movie is unique and I believe all the historical movies in the future should be based on the same pattern. As for the bisexuality it is true that in ancient Greece this word didn't exist. The word homosexuality appeared in the 20th century. There were no taboos in the ancient years and it was not considered bad for males to share pleasure. There were no taboos. I disagree with the lawyers and everybody who wants to press charges for that movie because it's clear that the writer doesn't try to show a homosexual or gay Alexander. We saw his wife and his marriage. He just wants to show the pleasure and the freedom between genders in ancient Greece. The movie kept me every second on the screen and I really enjoyed it much more than Troy. I was also very proud for such a movie as a Greek and a Macedonian because I am born and raised in the Macedonian region of Greece.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2007
what happens when a talented director and cast go completely astray.
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2007
A tragic true-story and Collin really played well!
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