This 31-year-old Oscar winning true-life drama climaxing at the 1924 games proved a winner all the way. And it still is.
| Original Score: 10/10
Vigorous but rather scattered.
Chariots is a film for the ages.
| Original Score: 5/5
Sir John Gielgud and Patrick Magee head up -- but don't show up -- director Hugh Hudson's excellent cast of mostly unknown British actors. The cinematography, too, is splendid.
Granted, this is a British film and so you expect a restrained, understated reaction from the runners, but it's this decided lack of fun that makes the movie drag so much.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
What fails as drama are the races themselves, shot front-on so that we don't know who's winning until the tape is breasted, but Hugh Hudson's decision to use slow motion and David Watkin's beautiful lighting lend them a proper heroic burnish.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's an uncomfortable reminder of how the memory can cheat and the Academy Awards can favor nostalgic sentimentalism over strong storytelling.
| Original Score: 2/5
Although it is extremely well made, I frankly don't understand what the shouting is about. Good, yes; great, no.
| Original Score: 3/4
Is it possible to run in slow motion and not hear Vangelis? This is the signature of all great films, a classic scene forever imprinted in your imagination.
| Original Score: 8/10
As world events have proved time and again, this is a timeless story, rooted in an era long before anyone had thought of Spandex or terrorist attacks.
Vangelis was the secret weapon that Riefenstahl didn't have.
The cast is impeccable from top to bottom, and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat reliably go for the gut. [Blu-ray]
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Unfairly dismissed by some as an empty exercise in cheap schmaltz, this has an old-fashioned innocence that celebrates the human spirit with a lot of careful detail.
Even after 31 years, Chariots of Fire doesn't simply impress; it inspires.
To be clear, there's no way -- no way -- this should have won the Best Picture Oscar over Warren Beatty's magnificent Reds, but it's a far better movie than its detractors claim.
In my opinion it stands on the podium of sporting movies just below Raging Bull.
The reason it succeeds with audiences around the world is that it's a stirring tale about inspiring people.
A bold, intelligent, romantic film with all the lineaments of a classic, and a score by Vangelis as instantly hummable as the music for Jaws.
An odd, malformed antique that still manages to retain a certain surface-level charm.
| Original Score: 3/5
Enhanced considerably by Vangelis's stirring score - has a film ever owed so much to its music? - the picture also works as a poignant paen to youthful hopes and the passing of time.