The Trials Of Muhammad Ali (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Trials Of Muhammad Ali (2013)



Critic Consensus: Director Bill Siegel doesn't explore any new boundaries of the documentary with The Trials of Muhammad Ali, but his subject is so inherently fascinating that the movie proves gripping in spite of its familiar beats.

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The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a conventional sports documentary. Befitting its extraordinary and complex subject, the film examines Ali's life outside the ring, beginning with the announcement of his deeply held and controversial Islamic religious beliefs, and the decision to change his "white man's name" of Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. The film explores his refusal to serve in the Vietnam war, even after his status as a conscientious objector was denied, on the grounds of protesting racial injustice at home, while capturing his passion and anger in interviews and television appearances culled from a rich variety of rare archival sources. (c) KinoLorber

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Critic Reviews for The Trials Of Muhammad Ali

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (20)

As with the best stories, "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" puts one man's story within a greater context. This is Ali's story, but it's America's story, too. Here, it's well told.

Full Review… | December 19, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

The Trials of Muhammad Ali allows us a chance to see Muhammad Ali not as an icon but as a man willing to take a stand, even an unpopular one, for something that he believed in.

Full Review… | November 11, 2013
Top Critic

Conventional yet fascinating.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Ali's life has been recounted so many times that you'd think no one could come up with a fresh angle on it; documentary maker Bill Siegel succeeds, primarily by delving into the religious story, largely downplayed by the mainstream.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

If you have fond memories of David Susskind's talk shows from the golden age of 1960s television, prepare to have them blasted away by this revealing documentary.

October 31, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

There is history as it's remembered, and then there's history as it happened. This documentary gives us the latter, and it's a true education.

Full Review… | October 24, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Trials Of Muhammad Ali

Or "Say My Name!" Focusing on the person of Muhammad Ali through the different opinions people had of the figure, The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a captivating biography of a controversial and complex figure in American history. With a wealth of news and sports footage, director Bill Siegel is able to transport the viewer back to the 1960s as he examines the career and life of one of the most famous sports icons of all time. As someone who only knows about Ali's life from his famous quotes and achievements, I was captivated by his political life. Siegel does a great job of objectively portraying Ali's convictions, and allowing the audience to draw conclusions about his motivations from there. With current interviews with friends and family of Ali, we see what those closest to him thought of his ideas, but we also see what people in the 60s thought of him as well. We, of course, are lead to view him as the amazing figure he was, but are given enough information to draw are own conclusions. If you're a fan of history or of sports documentaries, you will find this biographical documentary fascinating.

Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin

Fascinating look at aspects of Ali's life which have been ... well, whitewashed ... in our collective memory. Documenting how Cassius Clay became Mohammad Ali, evolving an identity and creating a place in the world, also reveals a lot about how others built their own idea of Mohammad Ali based on their own needs.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

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