When We Were Kings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

When We Were Kings Reviews

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May 30, 2014
Almost too concentrated on Ali, but the story plays well with an exhilarating pace and plenty of well-remembered expositional details.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
March 3, 2011
Gast never makes a mistake by turning the camera on Ali-he comes through like a champ
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
August 4, 2008
If anyone deserves an award, it is Ali; his charisma makes the film.
Richard Luck
Film4
August 4, 2008
A film as deserving of respect as its subjects.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
May 24, 2007
Wonderful sports documentary covering the 1974 heavyweight championship fight in Zaire.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
March 26, 2007
Enormously entertaining.

TV Guide's Movie Guide
March 26, 2007
The intersection of sports, politics and culture enlivens Leon Gast's entertaining documentary about the heavily promoted 1974 heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
March 26, 2007
No comedian was ever funnier, no fighter ever faster than Muhammad Ali, who is caught at the top of his game in Leon Gast's valentine, When We Were Kings.
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
A penetrating emotional analysis of the boxing which is nothing short of inspired.
Jimmy Chertkow
Film Threat
December 6, 2005
This is the real deal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
April 9, 2005
This is a great documentary film and a must for fans of the sport and Ali.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
June 25, 2004
I pick it to win the Oscar for best documentary feature.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lawrence Van Gelder
New York Times
May 20, 2003
When Muhammad Ali achieved victory in Kinshasa on Oct. 30, 1974, he did far more than win a prize fight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum
April 30, 2003
Powerful. Provocative. A "must see."
| Original Score: 5/5
James Rocchi
Netflix
November 7, 2002
A piece of history that touches and inspires.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002
When We Were Kings has given us a joyous, poignant portrait of a man and a time steeped in pride, soul and high hopes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
By portraying the young Ali as hero -- and moving beyond the media image of the poetry-spouting peacock -- Gast reminds us that Ali didn't follow the path of earlier black superstars or earn his stripes by conforming to white society's expectations.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Dale Winogura
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002
This is a most rewarding picture, full of delightful anecdotes and even touches of suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
You don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy this.... All you need is an appreciation of recent history and a desire to learn more about an event that had far more importance in the world's eyes than any other heavyweight bout in the history of boxing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2000
With the odds seemingly stacked against him, and surrounded by press, performers, crooks, and charlatans of every stripe, Ali triumphed, and he did so by staying true to his vision and trusting in his own talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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