Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court debates the conscientious-objector status of boxer Muhammad Ali, who was stripped of his heavyweight title and banned from the sport for refusing to be drafted based on his religious opposition to the Vietnam War.
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Written By:
In Theaters:
Rainmark Films

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Benjamin Walker
as Kevin Connolly
Christopher Plummer
as John Harlan II
Danny Glover
as Thurgood Marshall
Ed Begley Jr.
as Harry Blackmun
Frank Langella
as Warren E. Burger
Harris Yulin
as William O. Douglas
Fritz Weaver
as Hugo Black
Barry Levinson
as Potter Stewart
John Bedford Lloyd
as Bryon "Whizzer" White
Peter Gerety
as William Brennan Jr.
Pablo Schreiber
as Covert Becker
Ben Steinfeld
as Sam Edelstein
Kathleen Chalfant
as Ethel Harlan
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Critic Reviews for Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (5)

All in all, it's a worthy subject to be sure. It just probably isn't the subject you might have expected.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
USA Today
Top Critic

Whether the film gets all the nuances right is hard for civilians to say. But round for round, the fight is surprisingly lively.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The actors make Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight seem better than it is, but the real Ali, with all his youth, vigor, bravado and passion, convinces us that he and his case deserved much better.

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's a Supreme Court movie that even the most fervent SCOTUS junkies might find underwhelming.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

Filled with interesting tidbits, director Stephen Frears' film never quite coalesces - floating like a butterfly, all right, but delivering so little sting as to barely leave a mark.

Full Review… | October 2, 2013
Top Critic

A bland Benjamin Walker and a scowling Pablo Schreiber add little depth to their roles as mouthpieces for either side of history.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Bloomberg News

Audience Reviews for Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

As someone who was not familiar with the case this movie was so intriguing and educational. It was also delightful to see the performance by such great actors as well.

Akemi T
Akemi T

I'm sure the moviemakers decided to leave off the second half of the real title they wanted to put in because it would've made it too long: "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight⦠And the Doddering, Out-of-Touch, Old Farts That He Decided to Fight Against". Yeah, sure. Is this a great topic to pick apart in a movie in the modern era? In the modern era? Sure. Is it a good idea with this topic to splice archival footage with current portrayals of the powers that be? Yes, it is. But spending the first 45 minutes of the movie doing nothing but painting the Supreme Court Justices of that era as narcissistic reasons for mandatory early retirement completely eliminated the objectivity factor for anyone wanting an accurate portrayal of what was going on at that time for this movie. Is it possible that the justices were as hoity-toity, closed-minded, racist, and secretly horny as the movie portrayed? Surely. Is it possible that Ali was as perfectly honest and innocent in his motives as the movie wanted you to believe? Yes. But unfortunately, if you didn't do your homework on this topic prior to watching this, then the slanted propaganda that you witnessed over this hour and 45 minutes won't do anything to properly form a decision on this subject in your head.

Jim Howell
Jim Howell

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