Alexander

User Score
4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 223 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 223
  2. Negative: 98 out of 223

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User Reviews

  1. Krish.T
    Jan 16, 2005
    4
    Failed to impress, for all the talk that it created. Its a blend of exotic locations,beautifully crafted lens,horrible choice of characters and rather a flimsy portrayal of alexander the greats personality. He is portrayed as egoistic,short tempered and confused,none of the qualities of a person who conquered 90% of the world when he was 22.
  2. Ja
    Jan 23, 2005
    5
    Average. Great visual effects, art direction, cinematoraphy, sound and costume desigh. The scrip is a desaster by portraing an Alexander like a homosexual really drunk. Olimpia was this weird medusa-kind-of enchantres full of snakes.
  3. [Anonymous]
    Aug 15, 2005
    4
    (Theatrical version) Majorly dissapointing. It leaves you completely uninvolved witht he charactersz, forcing you to take or leave the mess you see on the screen. Stone made a movie only he could love, and he seemed to forget about his audience. Battles, though decently staged, pale compared to Troy, and i couldn't stand the cliched lines about greatness that popped up every ten (Theatrical version) Majorly dissapointing. It leaves you completely uninvolved witht he charactersz, forcing you to take or leave the mess you see on the screen. Stone made a movie only he could love, and he seemed to forget about his audience. Battles, though decently staged, pale compared to Troy, and i couldn't stand the cliched lines about greatness that popped up every ten seconds. If you wanna show the world how much you admire Alexander the Great, Oliver Stone, you gotta prove it with more than just meaningless greatness blather and mediocre battles. Also, if you're trying to prove his greatness, I think his sexuality is something best left out of the picture, and yo9u should focus more in his character viewpoint: why does he feel the need to conquer the world? what does he really gain from it? what does it give him? what's he really trying to fight? Yes, you've proven how much YOU like ALexander the Great, Mr. Stone. Now tell us why WE should agree. Cinematography and Vangelis's score were good, though. Expand
  4. TonyB
    Aug 25, 2005
    4
    Though not nearly as bad as had been anticipated, the film is not nearly as good as it might have been. Its major asset is an awesome production design, with cinematography (when it's not pretentious) costumes and scoring right behind. The acting is, for the most part, over the top, with Farrell, Jolie and Kilmer seeming to be in another film, but Hopkins and Plummer are fine. Though not nearly as bad as had been anticipated, the film is not nearly as good as it might have been. Its major asset is an awesome production design, with cinematography (when it's not pretentious) costumes and scoring right behind. The acting is, for the most part, over the top, with Farrell, Jolie and Kilmer seeming to be in another film, but Hopkins and Plummer are fine. Alexander's worst flaw is that it is one of the worst edited major films to come down the pike in a long time; some sequences have no apparent connection to what precedes or follows them. Expand
  5. EricS.
    Nov 24, 2004
    6
    Intermittingly brilliant and yet oddly unfocused. This is, to be sure, one of Oliver Stone's weakest films. At the very least, it will make the audience really appreciate the rest of his body of work that much more. Many of the dialog scenes take the long way around, as if the screenplay was paid for by each word that was written. These scenes stand in stark contrast to similar ones Intermittingly brilliant and yet oddly unfocused. This is, to be sure, one of Oliver Stone's weakest films. At the very least, it will make the audience really appreciate the rest of his body of work that much more. Many of the dialog scenes take the long way around, as if the screenplay was paid for by each word that was written. These scenes stand in stark contrast to similar ones done much more direct, concise, and immeasurably better in Stone's "Nixon". The acting is above-average, with the exception of Jolie and Kilmer who are really able to embody their roles, mostly through their physicality, since the screenplay is of little help. The strong points are the overall look and feel of the production. This is one of the 4 or 5 most expensive films ever made and it looks as if every cent went up on the screen. The first battle scene is well handled from a strategic point-of-view. The cinematography is great, of course, with Rodrigo Prieto behind the lens. But there is some disappointment in the failure to get Stone & Richarson to re-team one more time. The Vangelis score is surprisingly well suited and very effective. The sets, costumes, and locales are all first rate. But the movie is just too darn long for its overall lack of depth. And when the movie forces you to think that Anthony Hopkins' narration is running too long, it must really be running too long. The most fundamental problem with the film is that it never emerges as a coherent whole. Other than narration, there is nothing to hold all of the set-pieces together. There is a huge narrative mistake made when a first act scene isn't revealed until the third act, in what is otherwise a chronological film. Perhaps the scope and breadth of the material was simply too much to create a coherent narrative and human characters in which to populate it. Stone definatley swung for the fences with this film and although he failed to connect, there is still a lot here to admire. Expand
  6. ChrisH
    Nov 26, 2004
    4
    It was at least 1 hour too long. I looked at my watch and realized there was still an agonizing hour to go. Also, the sexuality seemed too contrived?I can?t speak to its accuracy or lack thereof. Although I?m sure the ?enlightened? will appreciate the Freudian psycho-sexual smorgasbord offered by this colossal waste of time, the rest of us might rather be served more substance less It was at least 1 hour too long. I looked at my watch and realized there was still an agonizing hour to go. Also, the sexuality seemed too contrived?I can?t speak to its accuracy or lack thereof. Although I?m sure the ?enlightened? will appreciate the Freudian psycho-sexual smorgasbord offered by this colossal waste of time, the rest of us might rather be served more substance less beefcake. However, I will give Mr. Stone credit for some stunning cinematography, hence the 4; but overall the experience was painful. Expand
  7. KerryD.
    Nov 26, 2004
    5
    Coming out of the film I felt disappointed a word I have never used to describe an Oliver Stone film. The camera technics starting battles were combat cam & too shakey; once into the battle it worked wonderfully. The narrative was dull, boring & the scribe wasn't even writing half the time.The rose colored battle in India when Alexander was almost mortally wounded was pure Arthouse & Coming out of the film I felt disappointed a word I have never used to describe an Oliver Stone film. The camera technics starting battles were combat cam & too shakey; once into the battle it worked wonderfully. The narrative was dull, boring & the scribe wasn't even writing half the time.The rose colored battle in India when Alexander was almost mortally wounded was pure Arthouse & out of place. The soundtrack was distracting & consistently pulled my focus out of the story. The acting was uneven by Colin Farrell but he definitely had Oscar worthy scenes with his generals & troops. He went to the wall with Jared Leto in the emotionally intimate scenes; I cannot say I saw the same from Leto, he seemed to be holding back & not totally in the moment. Angelina Jolie hit the mark playing a survival driven Mother dependent on her son as heir. Rosario Dawson was good as the contempt filled discarded first wife of Alexander, I wish I could have seen more between them. Val Kilmer was twisted as Phillip manipulating his son from whatever mood he was in to make himself feel more in control & I'm King not you. Stone worked very hard to get the history correct & for the most part succeeded. He also did his famous Conpiracy Theory at the end. Expand
  8. NickC.
    Dec 15, 2004
    4
    Valiant effort, but just too flawed.
  9. PrestonF.
    Dec 6, 2004
    4
    Uniformly bad!
  10. DanB.
    Nov 24, 2004
    6
    It's uneven. It has it ups and it has its downs and then it has a few more downs. The drama is sometimes affecting but too often bubbles over into empty histrionics. On the other hand, Rosario Dawson's breasts... I don't mean to be uncouth but they're magnificent. Babylon was somehow less than striking. This movie was poorly structured. Much like my comments. The It's uneven. It has it ups and it has its downs and then it has a few more downs. The drama is sometimes affecting but too often bubbles over into empty histrionics. On the other hand, Rosario Dawson's breasts... I don't mean to be uncouth but they're magnificent. Babylon was somehow less than striking. This movie was poorly structured. Much like my comments. The actions scenes were pretty intense. The movie is not horrible, but overall something falls far short. And I have no idea what. Oh but big ups to Farrel for not looking completely ridiculous in such a short dress. Expand
  11. TraditionalTradesman
    Nov 24, 2004
    6
    I'm always surprised that all the user comments are so polarized, either 10's or 0's and 1's. Alexander is neither that great nor that horrible. Its principal virtue is the sheer beauty of the scenery. The set and costume designers did an amazing job. Babylon looks breathtaking, as do many other cities and scenes. The film also has interesting ideas about the nature of I'm always surprised that all the user comments are so polarized, either 10's or 0's and 1's. Alexander is neither that great nor that horrible. Its principal virtue is the sheer beauty of the scenery. The set and costume designers did an amazing job. Babylon looks breathtaking, as do many other cities and scenes. The film also has interesting ideas about the nature of 'great men,' whether they are truly driven by high-minded principles that their lesser followers cannot understand or whether they are simply far more self-obsessed than these 'lesser' men, whose ambitions are on a much more human scale. Thus, for example, we are constantly teetering between thinking that Alexander's generals are simply not up the challenge posed by his grand vision of a idealistic total civilization and thinking that he is a crazed maniac taking them on an inhuman quest with no end in sight. Finally, we are left with the possibility, somewhere between these two, that he is merely collecting beautiful images to remember in the moment before he dies. This majestic vision of the film is heavily compromised by truly atrocious acting. Angelina Jolie may look gorgeous as Alexander's mother, but her performance is a depressing cross between Zsa Zsa Gabor and Count Dracula. Rosario Dawson is similarly awful. Colin Farrell himself is very uneven, with some nice moments but other moments of extreme overacting. If these actors were only up to the demands of their parts, this film would have been far closer to the masterpiece Stone must have envisioned. His direction also leaves something to be desired. Subtlety has never been his strong suit, and well...that remains the case. All in all, however, this is an interesting take on Alexander the Great, and those who mock Farrell or Stone for how self-obsessed or whiny the character seems are locked in a great-man vision of history that refused to reckon with Alexander's unremarkable bi-sexuality and his all-too-human faults. Expand
  12. JasonH
    Dec 15, 2004
    4
    I'm left scratching my head, asking myself 'What the hell was that?!?'. Some epically proportioned sets and scenes, dramatic battles, but too many unended mini-plots to keep track of. And for the un-homo-educated among us, just get the two to kiss right off the bat so we understand what all the longing looks are about...
  13. Nov 26, 2011
    5
    It wasnt a bad film but it was just so confusing where they were trying to go with this that it ruins the film completely. The script was pretty bad but the acting was great and the action was good as well.
  14. Jan 9, 2012
    6
    The film had a pretty decent start. It was somewhat intriging, the relationship between Alexander and his father was interesting and being a huge history fanatic myself I learnt some new things. The battle of Guagamela was also really nice to look at but no where as epic as other battles like Troy, Lord of the Rings etc. After the first hour it really started to drag on but I did watch theThe film had a pretty decent start. It was somewhat intriging, the relationship between Alexander and his father was interesting and being a huge history fanatic myself I learnt some new things. The battle of Guagamela was also really nice to look at but no where as epic as other battles like Troy, Lord of the Rings etc. After the first hour it really started to drag on but I did watch the whole and I don't think I'll ever watch it again the second time due to its long running time.
    I think the reason why the film was so boring was because there was not much memorable moments that refreshed the experience and I found the character of Alexander's mother difficult to understand. So I guess you could say the characters aren't really defined so its boring to watch after the 1st hour but I thought it was a solid film when I first and only watched it. Slightly above average.
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Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 42
  2. Negative: 18 out of 42
  1. Since the movie lacks a vision of what Alexander was really about as a man and a figure in history, it falls back all too frequently on movie spectacle.
  2. 25
    Alexander breaks the key rule that makes movies move: Show, don't tell.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    At best an honorable failure, an intelligent and ambitious picture that crucially lacks dramatic flair and emotional involvement.