Chariots of Fire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chariots of Fire Reviews

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½ June 28, 2015
Chariots of Fire tells an interesting story, but fails to make it as engaging as it should be, and modern viewers will have a difficult time understanding the dialogue through the actors' thick accents.
May 17, 2015
The inspiring,victorious real life story of champion in and out of the tracks.Check for Vangelis music score
½ May 10, 2015
With boring and flat characters, uninspired and weak story, awfully boring and dreadfully dull tone and overall bad approach, Chariots of Fire is a joke of a Best Picture winner and one of the worst ever to win the 'coveted' award. It is solidly made and the score is absolutely terrific with an extraordinary theme, but everything else in this movie falls apart, it is tedious to watch and it is one of the most overrated films of the eighties that proves how incredibly weak dramas were in this decade.
April 27, 2015
The action, the drama, the music, the costumes, and the fact that this is based on a true story always combine to give me a lump in my throat. Compulsory viewing prior to any Olympic Games. Inspirational. My favourite film of 1981. AAW 1001
½ April 11, 2015
"Chariots of Fire" may be slowly-paced, but it still holds up as the movie that every sports film aspires to be. It examines British society after the Great War through the eyes of Olympic runners Abrahams & Liddell and focuses on what drives both men to be greats. Ultimately Chariots of Fire is a look at two men who found ways to stay true to their beliefs in the face of what society expected of them.
April 9, 2015
S--------l------o-------w B-------u------Zzzzzzzzz-ahhh just forget it.
½ March 27, 2015
The British masterpiece movie portrays two contrasting young athletes who won the Olympic games in Paris. One is a devout missionary and the other is a Jew fighting against prejudice. It may be interesting to learn world in 1920s as it must be different from today's world. `Titles' by Vangelis is touching and beautiful screen music.
½ March 9, 2015
Hands down, the greatest sports film ever made. Sorry Raging Bull and Hoop Dreams.
½ March 7, 2015
Continuing my streak of past Best Picture winners, I took the opportunity to watch (for the first time) CHARIOTS OF FIRE. While it's about as unchallenging and "white bread" as you can get for this type of fare, it still remains an inspirational sports drama and character study that explores the reasons behind wanting to achieve greatness. The two points of comparison are Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), the former a British Jew and the latter a Scottish Christian. Both have intensely personal reasons for wanting to win the gold in the 1924 Olympics. Harold is in it for personal achievement as a way to transcend the anti-Semitism he experiences, while Eric runs for God. Although the film sets them up as rivals, they only ever compete against each other once, and not in the Olympics (they are in separate events). This actually works in the film's favor, though, as this allows the audience to root for the success of both. It goes without saying that the acting is all top-notch, and the cast contains a who's-who of famous British actors. Aside from the two leads, you have John Gielgud and Ian Holm in supporting roles as the Master of Trinity and Harold's coach, respectively. Then there's the iconic theme by Vangelis which is certain to inspire you. Even if this film isn't too well remembered, the theme music is, and it's one of the most stirring ever composed. There is also the excellent use of slow motion during the racing scenes. Although it's been parodied and spoofed dozens of times since, here it remains free of irony and is a brilliant way to showcase the physical form of the competitors. The only thing I can think of that really dampens the experience is how simplistic and "safe" the film is. It's not really a surprise that the Academy chose it as the Best Picture for its year, but it could have explored its themes of patriotism and spirituality with a little more depth. The story itself was also very predictable (as sports dramas often are) and its resolution a foregone conclusion. Still, what really makes the film worth watching is what happens in between, the journey to the Olympics that its two leads embark upon. Overall, it's not necessarily the best sports movie I've ever seen (nor the most memorable), but it's a wholesome and endearing film that should appeal to all ages.
February 26, 2015
If this was a movie just about spoiled white Cambridge kids who won a race, it would be a C movie at best, most probably shit. But this is a movie about religion, nationalism, and what it means to value where you come from. Problematic in multiple areas, but still very good. One thumb up, so to speak.
January 26, 2015
Hated this movie SO Boring! Beat out ET for best picture!
December 19, 2014
Just terrible. The religiosity (especially kowtowing to one guy) and nationalism are obnoxious, the jabs at elitism are too weak, the Vangelis fart-music is ill-suited and, true story or not, this tome can easily induce sleep. Although it is well-shot and well-edited, it truly is one of the worst of the Best Picture lot.

Also, they were able to use the Chinese "five-colored" flag for the 1924 Olympics, but not find a 48-star US flag for the club fair scene in 1919? Seriously?
½ November 13, 2014
Well deserved winner for best picture. Truly fascinating and honest true story of two great racers of great Britain. It's not about winning, it's more about pride and honour but most importantly it's about sacrifice.
½ October 13, 2014
A movie with glacial pacing that was best picture in a painfully slow year for cinema. The acting and story is perfectly passable but it's difficult to make yourself care for the characters or get over the ridiculous slow motion running faces. The iconic score is the only unforgettable thing about this film.
October 4, 2014
"Chariots of Fire" is a slow but moving film about the 1924 Olympics, making you hear Vangelis every time you run slowly.
September 20, 2014
It's one of those sports movies with good spirits that are a little at the high level with little uplifts and dramatic Best Picture quality-type moments; and it's also one of those movies that are hard to follow with its characters and a bit on its good plot. (B+)

(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
September 12, 2014
All in all the movie is ok. I truly enjoyed the performance of Ian Holm.
July 31, 2014
Interesting real story that shows the brittish soul in its purer essence. Notice how the Olympic games have changed since then.
½ July 28, 2014
This one is alright, but I certainly did not see the hype. The film is exceedingly slow with very little pay-off at the end, largely because the running took a backseat and then I could never be made to care about it at the end, even if it is considered the climax. In addition, Abrahams' story just did not interest me. It was well done and all, but I could not care less. Liddell's, however, was certainly more interesting and filled with more intrigue as you waited to see how it would turn out for him. Another plus was the integration of the spiritual elements, which are used very well and provided a nice backdrop for both runners and for when some events took place. However, as I said, half the story was not interesting to me and then the climax was anything but. At the end of the day, Chariots of Fire covers many pretentious people and tries to show how it is not the same as the people it covers, yet winds up feeling just as stuffy and self-important.
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