When We Were Kings Reviews

Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
September 7, 2011

Full Review | Original Score: A

Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
October 18, 2008

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
August 4, 2008

If anyone deserves an award, it is Ali; his charisma makes the film.

Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic
March 26, 2007

Enormously entertaining.

Rita Kempley
Washington Post
Top Critic
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.


Time Out
Top Critic
January 26, 2006

A penetrating emotional analysis of the boxing which is nothing short of inspired.

Lawrence Van Gelder
New York Times
Top Critic
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
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
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
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

By the time the fighters enter that ring, the excitement factor is almost uncontrollable.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
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
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

Anyone who sees it and still thinks that the sport is two guys beating each other up just ain't paying attention.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

There is a palpable tension, as the two men step into the ring, that is not lessened because we know the outcome.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
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
Mike Clark
USA Today
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

Immeasurably enriched by extensive location footage shot by director Leon Gast 22 years ago.

| Original Score: 4/4

Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
October 25, 1996

Full Review | Original Score: A