When We Were Kings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

When We Were Kings Reviews

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Scott Renshaw
January 1, 2000
Gast should have known Ali was the best thing he had going for him, but often it seems that the real fight in When We Were Kings is between Gast and his material.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
June 9, 2016
A film that answers why Ali's death is so significant. [Full review in Spanish]
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
August 14, 2005
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
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
James Rocchi
November 7, 2002
A piece of history that touches and inspires.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
March 26, 2007
Enormously entertaining.
Renee Schonfeld
Common Sense Media
June 28, 2016
Thrilling boxing docu covers race, politics; some profanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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
Jimmy Chertkow
Film Threat
December 6, 2005
This is the real deal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
October 17, 2002
| Original Score: 4/5
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
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
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
By the time the fighters enter that ring, the excitement factor is almost uncontrollable.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
January 1, 2000
Immeasurably enriched by extensive location footage shot by director Leon Gast 22 years ago.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
August 4, 2008
If anyone deserves an award, it is Ali; his charisma makes the film.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: A
Carol Cling
Las Vegas Review-Journal
September 5, 2003
Read More | 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+
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