Opening

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Any Given Sunday Reviews

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January 12, 2012
Great movie. Great acting, kinda clichà (C) story and plot formula.
March 23, 2014
If Pacino were not so watchable, it would be a fairly jumbled bust.
March 8, 2014
The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert. -- Vince Lombardi
September 15, 2009
Oliver stone is the last person i would expect to make a football movie. This feels like he is simultaneously glorifying the sport while criticizing it. Maybe the first part is just a show so he could sneak in the second. I still don't think the multi cut sudo stream of continuousness style that was more present in natural born killers works. Cameron Diaz dosen't feel right. Jim Brown really surprised me actually, you don't expect a former pro football player turned actor for a career of mostly B movies to be good but i though he was great. I have lots of feeling on this average movie.
February 21, 2014
classic. best pro football film.
February 15, 2014
A very concise and I believe somewhat believable take on the NFL. This movie is great for sports fans and shows up on a lot of best of... lists. Al Pacino is a great coach with some memorable lines. Unfortunately, this is a Cameron Diaz movie. Movies that she is featured in tend to be horrid. Don't believe me? Look at her track record. I digress. Any Given Sunday is the ultimate football movie this side of Remember the Titans.
February 13, 2014
Back when Pacino still had it! One of Stone's most solid films! Amazing cast, delivering great perfomances. Beautifully shot and edited. Fine choice of music!
January 31, 2014
Would rate as a whole 3 stars but for whatever reason Cameron Diaz is terrible in this. Lot of both really good and really bad stuff in here.
January 25, 2014
While this definitely could have been better, I was thoroughly entertained and captivated by the movie despite its cliches. The cast is great, and the performances from main actors definitely enhance the overall quality of the film.
July 9, 2013
Maybe the last 45 minutes saves it (I didn't make it that far), but no audience should have to sit through this much shallowness and cliche.
December 7, 2013
I'm a football fan, not so much a fan of NFL with the way they've tried to tone down the violence in recent years. Figured I would watch this since Pacino's halftime speech is probably one of the most famous part of the movie. Pacino is a coach who is under fire under the new management of the team played by Cameron Diaz. His top 2 QBs go down to injuries, so he has to use cocky and arrogant Jamie Foxx. The game action is well done, however I felt it was way too overproduced. Too much shaky cam, filtering, motion blur, and other things that don't really add anything. It is a nice look at the down on the field action, but it also tries too hard to make it stylized. Also, there's not really much to the film beyond the conflict of Diaz and Pacino, their isn't as much of a focus on the football team like other movies, so I don't care if the team wins or loses. I know they tried to make it so everyone is savage, not just the action on the field, but the locker room politics as well as the top office politics. It just forgets to make it interesting. Should have been much better, it really shows its age and doesn't tell an interesting story.
December 2, 2013
Over the top acting and direction, but with some strong performances here and there. It had it's moments but it was overall sloppy and disconnected.
David B.
November 26, 2013
One of Oliver Stone's worst films. A fantastic cast, but the film seems to lose it's way.I normally love sport films, but this one is poor.
October 30, 2013
Gonna be mentioned amongst the greatest football movies ever.
Kilometers Davis
October 28, 2013
Will there be football? Yes. Will there be dizzying camerawork? Yes. Is Al Pacino screaming his monologues? Yes.
September 2, 2009
Oliver Stone given any subject matter can make a compelling film, hes just got that gift and he did so with this using one of the worlds best and entertaining past times as his centrepiece. Story about an underdog team who loses their starting QB and must entrust their third string. This film shows the battle each member of the organisation has to go through between tough and dumb decisions and still coming out and winning as a team. Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx were both awesome in this and they made you route for them at the end, inspiring stuff...definately the best sports related film ive seen
April 19, 2013
One of the most underrated realistic football movies ever! Al Pacino is brilliant as always and so is everyone else in this giant cast.
Mike L.
August 29, 2013
While Many People Don't Rate It Highly To Me Any Given Sunday Reigns As One Of The Best Sports Films I Have Seen The Scriptwriting Isn't Up To The Best Standards Oliver Stone Makes It Something Spectacular
August 9, 2013
With the N F L season upon us I decided to review any given Sunday! The good: One experiences the pressures of pro football with the media. The high stress level of on field performance. How coaching is second guessed, and the distraction of hanger-ons. The bad: director Oliver Stone loves to over sleaze/ over sensationalizes the story, which there is no need. Over the top antics devalue actors like Pacino! Stone has the 60's drugs induced direction which adds unneeded length to a long movie. I like the movie three and a half stars. I like the title Any given Sunday, Will Brady do it again, or will Tebow get his chance. Anything could happen on Any Given Sunday!
July 30, 2013
Any Given Sunday (Oliver Stone, 1999)
[originally posted 27Dec1999]

Forget the well-written script, forget the acting, forget Oliver Stone's best direction work in years, forget an almost-perfect ensemble cast, forget gorgeous (if overdone) cinematography, forget perfect sound. Well, don't forget it, I guess, because we'll come back to it, but put it in the back of your head for a while. The true star of Any Given Sunday is the incredible choreography. A good deal of this movie takes place on the gridiron itself as twenty-two men pound each other into submission every Sunday. Bones strain and crack, blood flows, muscles and ligaments tear, and it's all captured oh so lovingly on film. It's difficult to watch for a non-football fan like myself (don't know any football fans who have seen it yet, so can't comment), but even while flinching at the sound of a body hitting the ground after being battered by two even bigger bodies in midair, it's still visually stunning. Just the football scenes alone would be enough to lift this movie to above-average status.

That said, Any Given Sunday just plain rocks. It's the story of a whole lot of seemingly morally bankrupt people whose lives have been negatively affected by football. Coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) has been with the Miami Sharks since their beginnings, and quarterback Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid) has been there with him for well over half the team's existence. But Rooney is thirty-eight, well beyond the normal end of career for a football quarterback, and as should be expected, he goes down one too many times and screws something up in his chest. String 2 QB goes down after one play with a knee injury. That leaves D'Amato's third and last hope, a benchwarmer named Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). Beamen ignores the playbook, calls his own plays, and turns the team around. Of course, in favoring one receiver and trash-talking (deservedly, it should be noted) the team's defensive line, he makes a whole lot of enemies inside the club, with the expected results. Add to this shortlist the team founder's widow (Ann-Margaret), an alcoholic whose sole desire is to get away form the game, and daughter (Cameron Diaz), the team's present GM, who also wants to get away from the game, but with as much money as she can get for selling the team.

Despite the fact that every one of these folks gives an excellent performance (save the woefully miscast Diaz, who does the best she can with her role), the one person in this film who truly shines in the role of "person whose personality has been completely warped by football" is Cap Rooney's trophy wife, Cindy (Lauren Holly). The woman is a flaming, gold-plated, iron-balled, moneygrubbing psycho bitch from hell, and Holly plays the role to the hilt. This leads me to believe that switching Diaz and Holly would have been in the best interests of the film; Holly would have made a great shady GM. But you play with what you got.

Another person to single out is Jamie Foxx, who's always been relegated to minor comedic roles before this. Stone threw him in with the big boys here, and many of them (Pacino, Quaid, James Woods and Matt Modine as the team's orthopedists, etc.). Foxx holds his own. It's not an Oscar-caliber performance, but Foxx shows he's more than capable of playing a dramatic role and playing it well. Hopefully this will be the breakout role for Foxx. He's helped by a minor cast and a bunch of football-related cameos who obviously love being here. None of them looked familiar to me, save James Brown (yes, the guy from The World's Funniest) as the defensive coach for the Sharks and football great Lawrence "L.T." Taylor as a rival coach who spends more time taunting Pacino than he does coaching his own team.

As for Stone, what's he doing here? Maybe he finally realized what the rest of the world did, that he went way off the deep end after Platoon. If this is his attempt at atonement, he bought himself a few centuries' worth of indulgence. The politics here are the politics of teamwork, aside from a minor subplot with Cameron Diaz soaking Miami's mayor for money for a new stadium. There are no ludicrous conspiracies, no embittered war veterans, no high-profile politicians to be ridiculed, only a bunch of people who have been pushed to the limit by a sport. It's The Godfather without the Mafia, and Stone handles it as capably as he's handled anything. The style is the same-- lots of darkness, gloom, and somewhat glorified violence-- but it's nice to see it applied to something nonpolitical for the first time since his highly-underrated horror classic The Hand.

So having praised it to the high heavens, what's wrong with the movie? Why isn't it the greatest film of all time? A few minor things, mostly. I've already mentioned Diaz. And some of the cinematography-- if you cut out all of the slow-motion long bomb passes except for the first one, the movie might have been fifteen minutes shorter (and it runs well over two and a half hours). The soundtrack, while oddly effective, gets annoying after a while; you hear a lot of songs, and it's a great mix of stuff spanning the sixties to Kid Rock's most recent single, but you never hear more than a few seconds of any song. Even the now-banned "Rock and Roll Part Two" gets a few bars early on.

Excellent filmmaking, especially when held up against the last seventeen years of Oliver Stone's career. ****
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