Any Given Sunday - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Any Given Sunday Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 11, 2007
Super Reviewer
½ December 1, 2012
Oliver Stone brings his unique style to the sports drama in his 1998 film Any Given Sunday. The film wastes no time to get into the face of the action. Cinematographer Salvatore Totino plunges the camera right into it, and the movements are fast, confusing and all over the map. Despite this, there are still some interesting shots of in depth Football footage, and it's cool to see, if you can get past the frantic pace. However this is an awful sports film that had potential of being a great film. Unfortunately, the script lacks anything that is interesting in terms of a truly compelling sports film. Oliver Stone tries far too hard at delivering a film that all testosterone and no substance. There's nothing on-screen to appeal to viewers and sports drama enthusiasts. Any Given Sunday is forgettable in the long run, and it definitely doesn't stand out among other sports classics. Oliver Stone misses the mark with this movie, and he is better with conceiving kinetic action flicks like Natural Born Killers than making Sports dramas. This was really the start of a creative rut for Stone, and he would not recapture that energy until 2006's World Trade Center. This movie is just a collection of sports clichés and wasted talent. Oliver Stone has made one of his worst films with this one and it fails in terms of a truly compelling plot and effective performances. I really didn't enjoy this one, and though it had great Football footage, it wasn't enough to deliver a truly memorable sport drama. Stone is a good director, but with this genre, he should never touch another film like this. The material was lacking, the talent was there, but ultimately the execution was poor and ultimately not worth your time. At one point near the ending, we see a sports caster played by director Oliver Stone shake his head as if he realized his film was bad, and it is.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2010
Wonderful cast. Wonderful director. Woeful film.
I really thought I was going to like this, considering the talent involved and the fact that American sports tend to be good stock for film material. Sadly not on this occasion.
Al Pacino plays Tony D'Amato, a coach for the fictional Miami Sharks, a team who have hit a real slump in form and are struggling to hold their own on the football pitch. The team has too many Chiefs and not enough Indians and D'Amato not only has to manage the on-field antics of his players but also the off-field antics and spiraling ego's. This is all done with new hard-ass owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) breathing down D'Amato's neck demanding results.
There is such a brash in-your-face kinetic energy to this film that you dont get a minute to relax throughout it. Pacino has several of his usual in-your-face rants, Oliver Stone's direction and dreadful cameo are in-your-face, the sharp and edgy editing is in-your-face. The whole exhibitionist sport is in-your-face. So much so, that it becomes very abusive and quite frankly, tiresome very early on. Added to this, the film goes on for at least an hour over its recommended running time, bombarding us with some very high testosterone and machismo. The only positives rest with the impressive use of close contact football scenes, complete with disorientation and crunching tackles and the fine cast, particulary Cameron Diaz who shows she can match the rants and aggression of Pacino, who's one of the best in the business. It's just disappointing that the film couldn't supply the great ensemble with some material to work with.
On Any Given Sunday, I'd avoid this stinker.
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2009
Never before has something I have no interest in, been so exciting. I'm not a real fan of any sport and American Football is something I find mostly dull. Stone manages to create an instantly unforgettable opening. He knows sports movies will only play to a certain crowd, so he dives into the world of football, not just the sport itself. We're taken on a fast and frantic tour. We see the game itself, the commentators, the journalists, the business women, the coaches etc. It makes the game feel so technical and calculated that it really feels like a battle. Over the course of the film we also get glimpses of the medical aspect and even the religious side. The character drama is also present. Every ying has a yang and all sides are represented fairly. The editing and acting are both powerful and used sparingly. The script itself gives enough time to each character and situation and has some excellent dialog. All star cast in an all star film that isn't just for American Football fans.
Super Reviewer
March 27, 2008
"Looks like he got damage to his eye."

I watched this on a Sunday, on the eve of the Superbowl. I'm not a big fan of American football, mainly watched this because of the cast and Oliver Stone. Wish I wouldn't had.

"Any Given Sunday" is just another basic sports movie, only worse. All of the clichés are here; an injured legend of the game, a young player who thinks his the next big thing in the league, machobullshit player stuff etc.

For example all the women in the movie are portrayed as cheap bitches who are only after the money. The players have similar interests. Stone got me confused by adding stills and short clips of old games and legendary players. I don't know if he meant it like the game hasn't changed and its all about winning the last game.

Like in the quote that I put in the beginning, the editing made me feel exactly like that. One of the worst edited films I've ever seen. Short takes with a shaky camera. Just awful. The images are supported with one of the worst soundtracks ever made.

"On any given Sunday you're gonna win or you're gonna lose."

Well, I definitely lost. I still have fond memories of Stone. Just wish that I can forget this cliché filled movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2008
"Life is a contact sport."

Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), the head coach of the Miami Sharks, won back-to-back championships four years ago. But new team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) has little enthusiasm for the finer points of the game and is concerned only with the bottom line. The longtime strongman of Tony's team has been "Cap" Rooney (Dennis Quaid), a 39-year-old quarterback, but Christina balks at renewing his contract. When Cap is injured during a game, third-string rookie quarterback Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) goes on in his place and becomes a major star. But Beamen is mostly interested in fame and money, and he has little regard for Tony and his teammates.

Despite some great game footage, overacting by everyone from Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz to Oliver Stone himself as a sportscaster render this look at pro football trite and irrelevant.

An added disappointment is the lack of attention to details that lends a sense of authenticity to most of Oliver Stone's films. When is the last time anyone has seen a pro football coach wearing black blazers on the sideline? Moreover, character development happens because the screenwriter thought it would be cool, not because it was evolved from the story. For example, Jamie Foxx's Willie Beamen goes from a confused humble kid to trash talking homeboy in a matter of minutes.

All in all, Any Given Sunday is a must to avoid. If you want a great inside look at pro football, rent North Dallas Forty instead.
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2007
By the end - two and a half hours later - I still couldn't really tell if Oliver Stone likes football or not. He did a great job of showing football's grotesques, from the owner's box down to the fans in the stands, and of course Pacino and Quaid took the ball and ran with it (so to speak). But how is it that this film can be so evidently ironic, and yet among the favourites of some of the dumbest leatherheads I know? A couple of great performances and some classic Stone action sequences, I guess, but the fact that people can glory in this film astounds me. It's darker than The Program, but it's too glossy for us to notice; and on top of that, the sound mixing is so bad that, if the lines are any good, they're lost in the background noise of the crowd or what have you. I can understand that Stone was going for the same sensory overload he gave us in Platoon, but if his point was to say something about football, ideally, the dialogue would've been audible and not treated like the throwaway lines of every sports movie out there.

Treating the writing in such a way may prove that even the director didn't know what he was trying to do (or that maybe he was just trying to make an overly dramatized but still cliched sports movie), and it makes me wonder tangentially why these movies that can be said to have "something for everyone" in them are so highly praised. This one flip-flops from one direction to the other, and all in all it's a tough one to stick with. Every time you want to turn it off something just a little bit too interesting happens. It just barely passes, and a great performance by Pacino (one of his last before becoming essentially a cartoon character) goes to waste. Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz are both underwhelming, and though the former was on his way up, the latter was already declining... but hey, there is that famous Pacino pre-game speech!
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2008
Loved it! Loved the soundtrack, loved the brutality, loved the casting, the scripts and the acting! The image slaps were somewhat good but I think not everyone who'd watch this would understand the concept behind it.

John McGinley (Dr. Cox from Scrubs), Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for Smoking), Jim Brown (who I always confuse with Vinnie Rhymes) and Matthew Modine also had little roles in this film.

Even though this was an all star cast, I.. dont really see myself watching this again, unless its on HBO or something, but Ill definitely be hunting down the songs on the soundtrack!

Its a movie that you have to atleast watch once. A few of Al Pacinos speeches were good. Cameron Diaz, mmm I think she did a pretty good job, its just that.. the ending confused me a bit, but then again Im not a sports nut.. so I wont really bother in completely understanding that little scene at the ending.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2008
Stone tries to be the balls on football instead of government conspiracies, ehhh.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2007
Spectacular and heart-pounding. A hard rocking, hard hitting, head bashing drama. It's riveting, as good as it gets entertainment. A total powerhouse. The action hits on full impact. Director, Oliver Stone's most explosive work yet. Powerful, brilliant, utterly moving, incrediable and earth shattering. Al Pacino is electrifying. One of his most explosive and remarkable performances. Jamie Foxx is a breakthrough. He's a rising and charamstic star. Dennis Quaid is teriffic. The cast is outstanding and satisfying.
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2006
This flawed drama oozes passion, machismo, and spectacle as it leers at football team dynamics and the inner circles of big business.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2007
Stone + cocaine = this
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2007
A strong cast and decent performances can't make up for the fact that it's full of the usual sports movie cliches, and seems to go on FOREVER!
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2006
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Oliver Stone is a seamstress of visuals and visceral noise. 'Any Given Sunday' is perfect as he delves into the profesional world of football and how it becomes a dance of testosterone and fury. But after awhile all the audience feels is a pounding and a ringing in its ears.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]'Sunday's biggest stumbling block may actually be its focal point - there's too much damn football! The games last as long as actual games and there are multiple games through out. Though Stone captures the essence nicely that these spandex-clad athletes are the gladiators of today playing in a ballet of chaos, he just throws too many jangled cuts, quick shots, and extreme angles flashing around to hyperdecibled soundtrack fodder. After a while the viewer becomes dizzied by the rush of noise and flash of lights buzzing around their precious skull. It's enough to cause a concusion simply from watching.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Most of the action in 'Any Given Sunday' actually happens off the field with some meaty drama delivered by multiple players. Stone focuses in on the people behind the catches and blocks and how the game can control or transform their lives. Finally a drawn-out story that covers football with respect. Diaz and Pachino get into screaming matches for roughly most of the movie, but it's exciting to see two great actors throw the acting medicine ball back and forth trying to out-duel the one before. The supporting characters all have stories suitable to the game and interesting enough to warrant attention. Jaime Foxx has a nonchalant magnetism that keeps the audience pulling for him - even after he vomits for the third time on camera.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Stone lets the viewer into the game of football in a manner truthful yet exaggerated. But with all the whiz-bang he throws out in 'Any Given Sunday' one can't help but have wished for more constraint in the excess and more minutes for the drama in between.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: B-[/color][/font]
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2012
Oh yeah, I'm so surprised it took them so long to get Oliver Stone to do a sports film, seeing as how he really does fit him. Actually, I'm not really being all that sarcastic, because if anyone can make sports on film exciting, then you better believe that Stone Cold Oliver and his craziness can. Well, I say that, but I actually was going into this film a bit dubious that Oliver Stone could make it all that exciting, for although he made an over three-and-a-half-hour-long epic about Kevin Costner walking around and talking to people about John F. Kennedy exciting, football is an entirely different story and Oliver Stone is no magician. No, while I'm not interested in sports, football isn't all that boring (Lord knows it's no baseball), though you wouldn't be able to figure that out based on certain other football films, because making slow films about sports is as much of a pastime as sports like these themselves. I don't know, maybe the reason why this film and "JFK" were so exciting is because of the star-studded casts, because as we all know, a star cast can go a long way... or at least when they're backed up by a blaring soundtrack, relentlessly vulgar dialogue and camera operators who love crazy angles almost as much as the editor loves cutting back and forth between the aforementioned crazy angles over and over again, and that's good, because we can't afford to be bored when dealing with films this long. I love how the director's cut to this film is actually almost 15 minutes tighter than the theatrical cut (Speaking of Al Pacino, the director's cut to "Revolution" didn't cut that much excess material, though it probably should have), and yet, it's still too long. Eh, I don't mind too much, because I'm still "having a good time lazing to this sunday afternoon" (What do you say people? Biggest stretch of a reference to Queen songs ever?), yet it's still not quite "JFK", not just in runtime, but in quality, and for quite a few reasons.

Again, this film isn't as lengthy as "JFK", and lord knows it holds the potential to be more eventful, yet in execution, this film sometimes forces its runtime of two-and-a-half hour, or in the case of the... theatrical cut (Huh, I'm so used to saying director's cut or something), 160-something minutes, through excessive repetition and even some expendable material, and after a while, the film slows to a crawl and it becomes hard to pay attention, and this film isn't even mildly boring. However, within the film's not being boring surprisingly lays not just any other flaw, but one of the absolute biggest flaws, and one that can be found in just about every Oliver Stone film: overstylizing, which certainly wouldn't fit this film if it was at a minimum, let alone at near-maximum prevalence. Now, this film still isn't quite "Natural Born Killers" overstylized (I don't know what is), yet it surprisingly stands as one of Oliver Stone's most overstylized films, not necessarily throwing crazy imagery at you relentlessly, but going tainted by overemphasized cinematography, as well as wildly frenetic overediting that really does help in knocking you out of the film a bit, particularly during the dialogue pieces, which are made more overwhemling by sound design that is also wildly overstylized, to the point of occasionally rendering dialogue borderline incomprehensible, or at least until someone nearly throws his or her voice out shouting, or in other words, during every second or third dialogue piece. Still, the film's bluntness doesn't just end with the noisiness, because just when you thought that Oliver Stone couldn't get any more unsubtle with his critiques, he finds himself presented with a topic that's a bit hard to deconstruct, as made obvious by Stone's palpable stretching to make such a deconstruction. The film "tackles" (Football pun intended) the flaws of the American sports industry and overall culture, and Oliver Stone isn't about to let you forget that, blatantly hucking his messages at you with restless intensity that is often passable, sometimes overbearing and consistently present, thus diluting the film's substance, which in turns actually dilutes the messages that the film tries so hard press on you. The film is bloated, overstylized, noisy and unsubtle, same as any given Oliver Stone film (See what I did there?), yet those flaws are even more intense here, and for goodness sakes, this is a blasted football film, so on top of often being too much, the lengthiness, stylizing and blatantness doesn't really fit, thus making for a film that's all over the place, but eventually comes back to simply not striking as deeply as it should. However, with all of my problems with Oliver Stone - of which, there are many -, through all of his filmmaking faults... and being just so blasted left wing, he's still a considerably talented director, and further proves that with a film that ultimately transcends its many faults to stand as a really worthwhile watch, or if nothing else, mostly enjoyably stylish effort.

Before Ron Howard enslaved him, cinematographer Salvatore Tatino caught his big break shooting for this film, and doing a pretty fine job of it, for although Stone is overemphatic about Tatino's contributions to the point of occasionally rendering the film more style than substance, the photography on this film boasts that good old fashion Oliver Stone handsome haziness that's not terribly stellar, but catches your eye and breathes life into this film, much like most every other piece of style within this film. Again, the film is excessively overstylized, yet more often than not, the style really does amplify the engagement value of the film, with most great frenetic editing (Even if a couple of pieces of dialogue cut unevenly) giving the film a lot of flashiness and intense sound design giving the film a lot of pump, and when that style comes into play on the field, the result is some top-notch football sequences, which isn't to say that all of this style keeps the film from dulling out when our players take a break from bashing into each other. Again, the film is overwhelmingly lengthy and overstylized at points, yet make no mistake, this film is among the handful of wildly entertaining sports films, with consistent flare and even a soundtrack that's pretty hit-or-miss (The many then-contemporary mainstream '90s songs and "original" rap songs are, of course, terrible), but really hits hard when it does hit, really sparking a lot of fun energy in the film, sometimes too much so, but generally to where you'd be hard pressed to not want to stick with the film, as it is so rewarding as, if nothing else, pure entertainment. Still, that's not the only thing that Oliver Stone delivers on, because although he is such a messy filmmaker, especially here, when he hits, he cuts deep, and sure enough, there are quite a few potently well-directed moments in this film, as Stone will sometimes pull back to deliver on a degree of provocative messaging, as well as a few poignant moments of depth that really do bring this story to life. Sure, as much as I complain about sports films, plenty of them do have strong stories, and this film has a really strong one that is generally betrayed by the shortcomings of the execution, yet is generally played up pretty sharply, with plenty of style and some depth that will occasionally border on epic, and for that, credit has to go out to Oliver Stone for his extremely flawed, yet ultimately rewarding and inspired direction, as well as to the talents within this star-studded cast, or at least most of them. I would consider Cameron Diaz a fair actress, as well as not even terrible in this film, though she still turns in a certainly improvable performance with limited notes and moments of overacting, yet I still stand by statement that it is not a terrible performance, as Diaz, well, doesn't really slip up too much, and also wears a certain charisma, though one that is easily overpowered by every other talent in this mammoth star cast, with such cast members as Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Jim Brown, John C. McGinley and even a cameoing (Is that even a word?), show-stealing Charlton Heston delivering on colorful charm, made all the sweeter by fine chemistry that sells you on our characters and their relationships, making each and every one of them, to a fair extent, reasonably compelling. Now, with all of my praising, the film is much too faulty to keep consistent as enjoyable, yet the fact of the matter is that the film does still have plenty to praise, and that's enough for it to keep you going and enjoying yourself through thick and then, and at the end of the day, that leaves this film to, like the football players it studies, to go long... or far, or the distance, or whatever it is they say in football.

At the end of the sunday, or whatever day of the week you watch this, a promising project goes tainted by common Oliver Stone faults at pretty high intensity, whether it be the overlong runtime, or overstylzing, or noisiness, or simply the profound lack of subtlety that leaves the film's messages to bear down and intensify the overall overbearingness of the film, until by the end, it fails to make the touchdown it should have, yet in spite of that, this film still scores pretty big, boasting fine style - often overblown though, it may be - and livliness to spark consistent and wild entertainment value, while Oliver Stone establishes many a high, if not golden moment of effectiveness, really sold by the massive collection of charismatic performances within the star-studded cast, held together by razor-sharp chemistry, thus leaving "Any Given Sunday" to play an imperfect game, yet one that's still lively, generally interesting and ultimately rewarding enough to really win you over through thick and then.

3/5 - Good
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2011
From Oliver Stone, the man known for overblown, needlessly epic films, you get exactly what you'd expect in "Any Given Sunday". Cameron Diaz plays an owner who only cares about profits and not about it's legendary-but-over-the-hill coach (Al Pacino). She also expresses doubts about an aging quarterback (Dennis Quaid), whose injuries open the door for pig-headed third-stringer (Jamie Foxx) to rise to prominence. If that seems like a lot to keep track of, the uninteresting subplots keep piling on and include LL Cool J as a running back, James Woods as a creepy team doctor and the great Charlton Heston as the league's commish (why he agreed to do this movie I have no idea). To be fair, Stone does have an eye for capturing great looking, stylized movie moments, and that shows up for the most part in the well-executed game sequences. Those, however, take up less than an hour of screen time. Out of almost three hours total running time. You do the math - is it worth it to sit through loads of tedious interplay between boring characters to catch some hard-hitting stunts? I say no.
Super Reviewer
½ May 16, 2010
Al Pacino plays the coach for a team on a losing streak, trying to bring them back up to form. He's got a brand new player - Jamie Foxx - whose arrogance matches his skill, their veteran quarterback, Jack 'Cap' Rooney, played by Dennis Quaid and a manager, played by Cameron Diaz, who despite being quite the icy super bitch, also represents the business realities of modern day sports.

Any Given Sunday is well acted, and insightful of its handling of the financial and social issues facing the sporting arena. The full frontal male nudity, while in the locker room, caught me off guard but the solid performances all around in a stellar cast makes this well worth watching even if you are not a huge sports fan.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2008
Almost as good as the biggest game in february!
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2006
If you gave Al Pacino an instructional guide to knitting as a script, he could make it sound like Shakespeare. I will watch absolutely anything starring that man, because his acting is beyond great. It's transfixing. This is a hazily directed movie, and it only works on a few levels. The football game sequences are loud, repetitive and obnoxious instead of exhilarating, and the MTV - style editing is completely ineffective. However, Pacino's trademark power and Jamie Foxx's terrific performance make this a fairly enjoyable film.
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2006
The politics of American Football have never come across more clear than this. How much people would actually want to know is another thing, but Oliver Stone handles it all with style and substance.
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