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4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 215 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 215
  2. Negative: 96 out of 215
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  1. Sep 12, 2014
    8
    This review is based on Alexander Revisited, which is a longer, differently cut version, but still has just about the same stuff in it.

    Before this movie, I knew practically nothing about Alexander the Great (what little I had learned in school was long forgotten). After seeing this, the loving bond was inevitable: not only did it have actors I enjoyed watching, but characters to fall
    This review is based on Alexander Revisited, which is a longer, differently cut version, but still has just about the same stuff in it.

    Before this movie, I knew practically nothing about Alexander the Great (what little I had learned in school was long forgotten). After seeing this, the loving bond was inevitable: not only did it have actors I enjoyed watching, but characters to fall in love with as well. This is the single most interesting piece of history I would ever want to study.

    People have a lot of different kind of opinions about this movie, and I understand that. For me, loving this movie comes from somewhere other than objectively judging its quality, and I have no way to actually defend my opinion (watching Colin Farrell make out with Jared Leto, just a bit, definitely would have won me over no matter what the content).

    The movie seems a bit dragged out, the battle scenes are too chaotic and long (not to mention the final battle in India which is always the one I hate most), but outside those, there are many good elements. A journey of a man with a vision, yet those who follow him eventually grow tired of chasing after something they do not want. And yet, Alexander the Great was loved by many, and he conquered more than anyone probably thought possible. This movie shows just that - and perhaps a bit more.

    The soundtrack of this movie is wonderful, within or without the movie. Vangelis did an amazing job on that.
    Expand
  2. Oct 4, 2011
    9
    I found this movie to have great costume and action. I enjoyed watching the battle scene's the most. Very entertaining. I didn't like Colin Farrell in this movie and Angelina is just a terrible actress but I still liked the movie overall.
  3. Feb 18, 2015
    10
    Probably the only history movie I've taken seriously for the last 15+ years.

    Other movies like 300 or it's sequel are just action blockbusters with zero realism. A Disneyland for adolescents. This movie looks as if it was made for history class teachers. That's why on my list it gets clean 10. Very well executed, no superhero **** no cheep humor in fight scenes. It's a serious movie,
    Probably the only history movie I've taken seriously for the last 15+ years.

    Other movies like 300 or it's sequel are just action blockbusters with zero realism. A Disneyland for adolescents.

    This movie looks as if it was made for history class teachers. That's why on my list it gets clean 10. Very well executed, no superhero **** no cheep humor in fight scenes. It's a serious movie, factual and realistic. Certainly not for an average Joe.

    10/10
    Expand
  4. steevo
    Aug 20, 2005
    9
    This was the best movie I saw last year.
  5. AlexW.
    Nov 26, 2004
    9
    Movies that are controversial are the ones that are usually good and "special" in some sense. First and foremost, "Alexander" is good for the great performances in it, especially Angelina Jolie who, with her brilliant and mesmerizingly performance as an awful vampirish Olympias, should be a major Acedemy contender. Farrell does a well job, better are Rosario Dawson and Val Kilmer. Second, Movies that are controversial are the ones that are usually good and "special" in some sense. First and foremost, "Alexander" is good for the great performances in it, especially Angelina Jolie who, with her brilliant and mesmerizingly performance as an awful vampirish Olympias, should be a major Acedemy contender. Farrell does a well job, better are Rosario Dawson and Val Kilmer. Second, there are the wide and opulent visuel impressions; being huge and always faszinating. Third, the psychological moment is used to explain characters - too obvious here and there, but, man, compared to "Troy" that's deep and profound character study!!! The narrative element presented through Sir Anthony Hopkins is sometimes a little spoiling and overdone. The plot should have been more clearly and, here and there, more dramatic in order to keep the movie fully faszinating and interesting from its beginning to the end. BUT, dear friends of good movies (I don't mean those who rated the movie with 0 or 1, because they got aversions against Stone, homosexuals, Angelina Jolie or simply have a short attention span.), PLEASE be fair with this one. It's by far better than "Troy" and it should be critizised more factual (I dare say 3 - 3,5 stars out of four - that's a fair and true voting for this epic movie). Expand
  6. AlvaroC.
    Dec 20, 2004
    10
    People who claim this movie is a disappointment are probably expecting a superficial cartoon-like epic such as Troy or Gladiator. This movie on the other hand does not have a simple story. It presents a new take on plausible events in the life of Alexander the great, conveying his dreams and ideas. The style of Oliver Stone is recognizable in the visions and flashbacks, something that People who claim this movie is a disappointment are probably expecting a superficial cartoon-like epic such as Troy or Gladiator. This movie on the other hand does not have a simple story. It presents a new take on plausible events in the life of Alexander the great, conveying his dreams and ideas. The style of Oliver Stone is recognizable in the visions and flashbacks, something that might put down Troy fans, but that certainly adds character to the movie. The visuals of the movie are absolutely amazing. The Battle scenes with Darius are very well done and the battle in India conveys so much power. I would have liked to get a little bit more insight into the Persian Empire. To know better the allies Alexander made among them. But to go into this other dimension in an already 3-hour long film would be asking for too much. Hopefully the DVD version will include these extra scenes :) In summary I found this movie the best I have seen among the movies based on Ancient Greece or Rome. A definitively must see for Oliver Stone fans and for history enthusiasts. P.S. Reviewers should get over the "Alexander being gay is an insult". Besides, the movie has so many other dimensions that people only focusing on that depiction for giving a low score to the movie are already so narrow-minded that their score shouldn't be taken seriously. Expand
  7. DeniE.F.
    Jan 20, 2005
    10
    A great movie that will shock some people. Good on you Oliver Stone. After watching this movie, I left the cinema respecting much more your work and values. Some other director would have preferred to get easy $ from the American market instead of respecting his/her beliefs. People can complain about the acting, but at least Oliver Stone did not put Hephaistion as Alexander's cousin A great movie that will shock some people. Good on you Oliver Stone. After watching this movie, I left the cinema respecting much more your work and values. Some other director would have preferred to get easy $ from the American market instead of respecting his/her beliefs. People can complain about the acting, but at least Oliver Stone did not put Hephaistion as Alexander's cousin :-) Troy was a joke. I hope the movie will be more well received in Europe. Expand
  8. Christo
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    I just cannot understand why people are saying that Alexander is a terrible movie! I have studied Alexander The Great for about 2 years now, and i have written numerous essays about him. This movie depicts the EXACT history of his wonderful and great life. I think that people were expecting to see a bloodfest. If you want to see a stupid gory movie, go and rent freddy vs. jason. Alexander I just cannot understand why people are saying that Alexander is a terrible movie! I have studied Alexander The Great for about 2 years now, and i have written numerous essays about him. This movie depicts the EXACT history of his wonderful and great life. I think that people were expecting to see a bloodfest. If you want to see a stupid gory movie, go and rent freddy vs. jason. Alexander is an historical epic about the greatest warrior to ever live. I think that people were taken aback by Alexanders bisexuality. You must understand that during those times, a person who loved men and women was respected greatly because he/she loved each and every single one of God's children. You cant think of it as modern times. The mentality back then was VERY different. So when you watch this movie, judge Alexander as a loving, yet strong person. I would like to say that the acting in this movie was riveting. No one overacted. Anglina Jolie betrayed Olmypia perfectly, passionate yet overpowering over her son. She had a perfect Greek accent, and i would know this since i am greek and lived there for sometime! So everyone who say's their accents are stupid are wrong! You have no fricken idea about how they are suppose to sound! Colin Farrel is a wonderful actor, he captured Alexander's passion and his pain. Also, i wanted to add that Anthony Hopkins was not given the props he should be given. He narrated the movie with such fatigue and (here it is again, lol) passion. So please, disregard all of the stupid and idiotic bad comments made by some of these people! Go and watch Alexander with an open mind and expect an epic with just enough battle, history, and love to make it a spectacular film. (please email me if this article made any difference to you @ ctaoushiani656@comcast.net) Expand
  9. AshS.
    Jan 8, 2005
    10
    it was a very nice movie depicting the true life of alex. fighting sequences were awesome.
  10. Ren
    May 6, 2005
    10
    This movie is taking a lot of heavy hits because it isn't just like "Gladiator" and "Braveheart". Well, it wasn't intended to be a film of that type (despite spectacular battle sequences, the best I've ever seen). It is more in the style of "My Dinner With Andre", and I'm sure if I read the user reviews of that movie, I wouldn't find many that said "Talk! Talk! This movie is taking a lot of heavy hits because it isn't just like "Gladiator" and "Braveheart". Well, it wasn't intended to be a film of that type (despite spectacular battle sequences, the best I've ever seen). It is more in the style of "My Dinner With Andre", and I'm sure if I read the user reviews of that movie, I wouldn't find many that said "Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk! Where are all the battle scenes?" "Alexander" is a meditative movie, dominated by monologue and dialogue, punctuated with scenes of tremendous natural beauty, sexual passion, extravagant opulence and decadence, and battle scenes of unparalleled intensity. I am convinced that the two battles in "Alexander" have such a compelling dream/nightmare character because of Oliver Stone's experiences in Vietnam. There is absolutely no similarity between these battles and the fairly orderly battle between the Romans and the Germans in "Gladiator". Many reviewers wrote that the battle scenes are very confusing. That's the whole point ! They are nightmares, because war is literally hell. I have addressed the bi-sexual issue in my previous review of "Alexander". But of course one will not find accurate history in this movie. The real Philip, Alexander's father, could speak as eloquently and in as learned a manner as any of the philosophers of his day, so the ancient Greek historian Plutarch wrote, although you'd never know that from Val Kilmer's portrayal of him. There was absolutely no incestuous relationship between the real Olympias and her son. As for Alexander himself, the movie does not present him as he really was most of the time: very restrained and disciplined, even ascetic with regard to the pleasures of the flesh. Plutrch wrote: "He had no desire to inherit a kingdom which offered him riches, luxuries and the pleasures of the senses: his choice was a life of struggle, of wars, and of unrelenting ambition...At any rate Alexander, so it seems, thought it more worthy of a king to subdue his own passions than to conquer his enemies, and so he never came near these women (female relatives of Darius whom Alexander the Great had captured and then cared for and protected with great chivalry), nor did he associate with any other before marriage, with the exception only of Barsine... As for the other prisoners, when Alexander saw their handsome and stately appearance, he took no more notice of them than to say jokingly, 'These Persian women are a torment for our eyes' (because they incite the body to rebel against the discipline of the will)." Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and snakes..... Here Oliver Stone took one detail of the real Olympias' life and magnified it to fill her entire life in the film. Plutarch wrote: "At another time a serpent was seen stretched out at Olympias' side as she slept...It appears that from very ancient times all women of this region have been initiates of the Orphic religion and the orgiastic rites of Dionysus...extravagant and superstitious ceremonies. It was Olympias' habit to enter into these states of possession and surrender herself to the inspiration of the god with even wilder abandon than the others, and she would introduce into the festal procession numbers of large snakes, hand-tamed, which terrified the male spectators..." That's it. That's all there was to it. It wasn't anything sexual or Freudian. It was just part of her occasional religious observances. If Stone had made a film about, say, Winston Churchill, and he showed Churchill's wife constantly singing religious hymns and bowing her head in prayer and kneeling and reciting religious sermons and sprinkling holy water and incense everywhere and at all hours of the day and night, just because in real life she attended church services every Sunday, you can see how ridiculous it was for Stone to portray Olympias constantly covered with snakes even while relaxing in her own home ! The eagle symbol has come in for unjust critical bashing, because modern audiences have no idea what a mighty significance most ancient Greeks attached to "bird signs". (Not all Greeks; Euripides called it "sheer folly" to pay attention to them). The ancient Greek mind was enthralled by mighty birds of prey, and attached a mystical significance to them. In Homer's Iliad there is a famous scene where two warriors are on a dangerous mission. Suddenly an eagle appears above them, and they know then that Zeus had approved their mission. The Greek army at Troy actually contained men whose sole function was to interpret "bird signs" ! Of course it would be very odd and humorous if a young man or woman walked into a modern American Army recruitment office and announced that he or she wanted to specialize in computers, medical technology, and "bird signs". The modern mind cannot appreciate what this meant to the Greeks. So keep that in mind as you read all the mocking comments like "What's up with that eagle ???". As I said, this is a thinking person's film, like "My Dinner With Andre", combined with certain other elements. It is not really an action flick. Lastly, accents.... You hear this strange criticism again and again and again. "Why did they have Irish accents or English accents or Scottish accents ? They should have had Greek accents..." This is a very foolish criticism. The Greeks and Macedonians of that day did not speak "Greek-accented English". They spoke Greek. Unless you want the actors in this film to speak in the Greek language (and Colin Farrell would still have an Irish accent if he did !!), with distracting subtitles popping up on the screen, just suspend disbelief about the accents, as you suspend disbelief that the Battle of Gaugamela only lasted 10 minutes and that Alexander conquered the known world in three hours. In short, this movie is much better than the reviews generally indicate. See it with an open mind. Expand
  11. BillyH.
    Aug 4, 2005
    9
    Very Good. Slow at times. Gross at times but very well done. That's what I think.
  12. ArraQ.
    Aug 4, 2005
    8
    Oh the DVD is still painfully slow but I do understand what Stone was trying for and because of this I tend to want to view this amazing effort more favorably. I
  13. Tonydannie
    Aug 7, 2005
    9
    I did not get to see the theatrical cut. And maybe thats a good thing. I picked up the Director's cut dvd and I have to say The film works for me. The cast is great and the visuals are amazing. This film is an example of how Conan The Barberian would have looked like if Oliver Stone directed it. And when you have Anthony Hopkins Narrating, it gets no better then that. give it a I did not get to see the theatrical cut. And maybe thats a good thing. I picked up the Director's cut dvd and I have to say The film works for me. The cast is great and the visuals are amazing. This film is an example of how Conan The Barberian would have looked like if Oliver Stone directed it. And when you have Anthony Hopkins Narrating, it gets no better then that. give it a whirl. That is my opinion. Expand
  14. JohnQ.
    Nov 25, 2004
    7
    This Movie was one of the most visually spectacular flicks ive scene in a while, and that alone ALMOST make it worth the millions of dollars it cost to make it. Farrell is out of place trying to play one of the most abmitious and headstrong leaders in history, and although Stone sticks to the true history of Alexander pretty well, but he makes better films when he does controversial This Movie was one of the most visually spectacular flicks ive scene in a while, and that alone ALMOST make it worth the millions of dollars it cost to make it. Farrell is out of place trying to play one of the most abmitious and headstrong leaders in history, and although Stone sticks to the true history of Alexander pretty well, but he makes better films when he does controversial plots: SEE JFK! Expand
  15. AshB.
    Nov 29, 2004
    8
    I enjoyed this movie there were parts that I just don't know what to say about this. I feel that this could have been better, but I was not dissapointed for paying $8.75 to see it.
  16. MuhammadK.
    Dec 1, 2004
    10
    A movie not for the dumb. Its precarious approach is nothing but original and authentic. I mean its not known so why should Oliver Stone make it obvious otherwise. This film is not for your nerve like some want it to be. Its for your brain.
  17. GeorgeH
    Dec 14, 2004
    8
    Not at all as bad as critics and homophobes are saying! Sure, it's a bit long (others are longer) but I was never bored. Oliver Stone has always pushed buttons with movie audiences and we're forgetting that's what he's about! This is the first main stream action movie in history that has dared to show us the realities of sexual life in Ancient Greece without condemning Not at all as bad as critics and homophobes are saying! Sure, it's a bit long (others are longer) but I was never bored. Oliver Stone has always pushed buttons with movie audiences and we're forgetting that's what he's about! This is the first main stream action movie in history that has dared to show us the realities of sexual life in Ancient Greece without condemning it is abhorant and pagan. It was a different time and folks, if that's what's bothering you about the movie - read your history! The movie is far from perfect, but strong acting and a bold telling of the life of Alexander should be commended. Expand
  18. AsaelI.
    Dec 8, 2004
    10
    This movie was HOT!!!
  19. JoanS.
    Jan 11, 2005
    10
    Its a great movie, fantastic!!! by the way, this is not a pop corn film or for people who things that Aristoteles is a player of the Chicago bulls.
  20. DamianP.
    Jan 12, 2005
    7
    Okay, so some people couldn't get over the Irish accents and gay scenes (which were VERY tame) and gave this perfectly good movie some undeservedly bad ratings. Alexander was on the way to getting 10/10 up until they left Babylon in persuit of the Persian king. After that, there was too much meaningless stuff which told us nothing about what made the great man great. Makes you wonder Okay, so some people couldn't get over the Irish accents and gay scenes (which were VERY tame) and gave this perfectly good movie some undeservedly bad ratings. Alexander was on the way to getting 10/10 up until they left Babylon in persuit of the Persian king. After that, there was too much meaningless stuff which told us nothing about what made the great man great. Makes you wonder why they completely skipped over his pre-Babylonian conquests! I was surprised how little passion there was amongst the gay lovers. Expand
  21. ManuE.
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    Una de las mejores biografias que he visto.Retratando con sinceridad y con realismo la grandeza y la decadencia de uno de los personajes historicos más importantes que como esta pelicula se adelanta a su tiempo.La gente cree que va a ver batallas y a comer palomitas pero no entienden que aun asi una pelicula sea epica.No menosprecio las batallas que son espectaculares, en las que Una de las mejores biografias que he visto.Retratando con sinceridad y con realismo la grandeza y la decadencia de uno de los personajes historicos más importantes que como esta pelicula se adelanta a su tiempo.La gente cree que va a ver batallas y a comer palomitas pero no entienden que aun asi una pelicula sea epica.No menosprecio las batallas que son espectaculares, en las que se demuestra que se gana con la inteligencia y no con la superioridad, que cada uno ocupa su posicion y no se lanzan como borregos, pero que la batalla que libra el propio Alejandro por creer en si mismo y en sus sueños es mucho más epica que el ejercito más grande.Un repato muy acertado con un Filipo II sobervio y una Olimpia solida y madura en cuanto a Alejandro cuesta en un primer momento aceptarlo pero Collin lo va mejorando hasta el final.Si acaso Jared Leto no logra sacarle partido al personaje de Hefestion.Con la música(para mi importante) Vangelis hace un trabajo muy calculado y perfectamente desarrollado dando el aire de clasico, exotico, romantico y brutal cuando debe darlo.Una recreacion historica muy cuidada(¡que Babilonia!) la fotografia mejora de forma sobresaliente cada plano con unos exteriores de lujo, es tambien uno de los puntos fuertes de la pelicua.De lo que puede pecar el film es de su larga duracion parece que a Stone le cuesta dar razones para meter pasajes de la vida de Alejandro, las cosas se ponen si hay que ponerlas. Yo por mi parte le doy un 10 para que la gente sepa que suspendiendo esta gran obra demuestran su irremediable ignorancia. Expand
  22. MerA.
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    adoro su musica y sus maravillosas panoramicas.
  23. JessiH.
    Dec 29, 2005
    9
    I loved it. To fully appreciate this, you need to enjoy history, have an open mind, and actually be able to *pay* *attention* to what the 'characters' are saying. Alexander did a *lot,* and Stone is trying to include as much as he can, coherently, to give us the best picture all around of who Alexander really was. And I think that for the most part he did a really good job of I loved it. To fully appreciate this, you need to enjoy history, have an open mind, and actually be able to *pay* *attention* to what the 'characters' are saying. Alexander did a *lot,* and Stone is trying to include as much as he can, coherently, to give us the best picture all around of who Alexander really was. And I think that for the most part he did a really good job of acheiving this. I don't care how they marketed the film. I do, however, think that they should have gotten linguistic coaches for their actors in major roles - you cannot have what sounds like a Scottish Crateros, an Irish Alexander, etc. - it takes the viewers out of the movie enough for them to have to tell themselves to ignore that element (and can annoy many people throughout). I really enjoyed this; but I also happen to be the kind of person that loves long movies, enjoys history, has an open mind, and pays attention to what's being said and not said by the characters. Expand
  24. Christo
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    I just cannot understand why people are saying that Alexander is a terrible movie! I have studied Alexander The Great for about 2 years now, and i have written numerous essays about him. This movie depicts the EXACT history of his wonderful and great life. I think that people were expecting to see a bloodfest. If you want to see a stupid gory movie, go and rent freddy vs. jason. Alexander I just cannot understand why people are saying that Alexander is a terrible movie! I have studied Alexander The Great for about 2 years now, and i have written numerous essays about him. This movie depicts the EXACT history of his wonderful and great life. I think that people were expecting to see a bloodfest. If you want to see a stupid gory movie, go and rent freddy vs. jason. Alexander is an historical epic about the greatest warrior to ever live. I think that people were taken aback by Alexanders bisexuality. You must understand that during those times, a person who loved men and women was respected greatly because he/she loved each and every single one of God's children. You cant think of it as modern times. The mentality back then was VERY different. So when you watch this movie, judge Alexander as a loving, yet strong person. I would like to say that the acting in this movie was riveting. No one overacted. Anglina Jolie betrayed Olmypia perfectly, passionate yet overpowering over her son. She had a perfect Greek accent, and i would know this since i am greek and lived there for sometime! So everyone who say's their accents are stupid are wrong! You have no fricken idea about how they are suppose to sound! Colin Farrel is a wonderful actor, he captured Alexander's passion and his pain. Also, i wanted to add that Anthony Hopkins was not given the props he should be given. He narrated the movie with such fatigue and (here it is again, lol) passion. So please, disregard all of the stupid and idiotic bad comments made by some of these people! Go and watch Alexander with an open mind and expect an epic with just enough battle, history, and love to make it a spectacular film. (please email me if this article made any difference to you @ ctaoushiani656@comcast.net) Expand
  25. NicolasE.
    Jan 26, 2005
    7
    I just saw this movie, here in France. Unfortunately, the ratings given to Alexander seem to depend on how people have liked the way bisexuality is depicted. This question has more or less crystallized all the answers, consciously or not... Concerning the movie in itself, as George H said, it is really good until the conquest of Babylon. Afterwards, the progressive entanglement of the I just saw this movie, here in France. Unfortunately, the ratings given to Alexander seem to depend on how people have liked the way bisexuality is depicted. This question has more or less crystallized all the answers, consciously or not... Concerning the movie in itself, as George H said, it is really good until the conquest of Babylon. Afterwards, the progressive entanglement of the hero spreads on the construction of the movie, and one gets lost, not so convinced as Stone and Farrell would have liked. A good movie, which "gives to see". Not more. Expand
  26. AkhilK
    Aug 11, 2005
    10
    A taut, realistic and amazing film, Alexander is a fitting film for a man fit for being a legend of all ages. There has been a lot of negative views around whether the film should have shown of his sexual nature or his tandem acts of selfless violence but i think this film really captured the essence of the man and explaining why he carried on the conquer the world.
  27. TelyS
    Aug 3, 2005
    7
    Unfortunately for Mr. Stone, Alexander is a film that became
  28. AlexS.
    Nov 22, 2004
    10
    The best epic movie ever. Goog story telling, acting, cimatography, and excellent action. Defenetely the Best Picture of the year. An A+
  29. DR
    Nov 23, 2004
    10
    Masterpiece of an epic. Ignorants will hate it, the tolerants and nostalgics will love it.
  30. LeslieR
    Nov 25, 2004
    8
    Don?t be dissuaded by much of the negative press surrounding this film. Stone has remained true to the historical source and brought some interesting aspects to the fore, such as Alexander?s sexuality. It is a bold movie from a director who always takes risks whenever he approaches any of the broad range of subject matter he has filmed over the years. Yes, the run time is long and yes the Don?t be dissuaded by much of the negative press surrounding this film. Stone has remained true to the historical source and brought some interesting aspects to the fore, such as Alexander?s sexuality. It is a bold movie from a director who always takes risks whenever he approaches any of the broad range of subject matter he has filmed over the years. Yes, the run time is long and yes the narrative does seem to lag at times, but the film is grandiose and visually inventive. All of the leads give respectable performances, with Jolie stealing every scene she is in. Expand
  31. MacM.
    Nov 25, 2004
    10
    A 10 just because its a film about the greatest story ever and the greatest man ever. Alexandar deserves a 10.
  32. XenaDog
    Nov 25, 2004
    10
    The BEST MOVE EVER!!!
  33. Triniman
    Nov 26, 2004
    8
    Alexander 4/5 Yet another sword and sandal film, and one which references the hero Achilles several times. Troy and Gladiator seem succinct in comparison to this three hour story about Alexander the Great, a well-known historical figure who is famous but whose story is not as well known as his fame would suggest. But, at the same time, those two films seem almost pedestrian compared to Alexander 4/5 Yet another sword and sandal film, and one which references the hero Achilles several times. Troy and Gladiator seem succinct in comparison to this three hour story about Alexander the Great, a well-known historical figure who is famous but whose story is not as well known as his fame would suggest. But, at the same time, those two films seem almost pedestrian compared to the complexities of Alexander. Such subtleties either resonate with viewers or they don?t. They did for me. The child of a broken marriage, that Alexander (Colin Farell) amounted to anything is a bit of a surprise, according to how the film portrays his father, King Phillip (Val Kilmer)and his mother, Olypias (Angelina Jolie). Phillip, king of the Macedonians, is a crude, womanizing drunkard, while Olympias is a creepy, snake-loving follower of Dionysous. She actually initiates the young Alexander into holding snakes so as to lose his fear, and teach the lesson of fearing nothing. Phillip teaches Alexander not to trust women, while his mother so hated Phillip that she was suspected as playing a role in his assignation. Phillip did insist on his son learning from the finest mind in the land. Aristotle, played by Christopher Plummer, explains how the far reaches of the known earth were unnavigated, but promised a water route encompassed all of the land. Whoever could take advantage of such a route would surely be a great ruler. In one of the first battles, Alexander plans a way to defeat a much larger army, who were gathering in the area. It?s risky, but he?s completely convinced that it will work. It?s also one of the most intelligent battles on film. I?m actually watching a documentary right now on the Discovery channel that is discussing this one particular battle. Battle after battle, they press on towards the east. It?s a grueling, multi-year campaign. Along the way, they topple tyrant kings and gain the affection of the people. Look for the spectacular scenes in Babylon. In one scene, he goes into a fit with his key advisors, not because they disagree with his perspective, but because he?s angry that they refuse to try understand a world unknown to them. You can?t watch this film and not comment on the scenes that either hint at or overtly portray his homosexuality and his love for one of his childhood companions. He and a man-servant character are very doe-eyed, having not scrimped on the eye liner. His affection for these characters is never done in a gratuitous fashion. You?ll wonder if his upbringing contributed to his disinterest in females. The acting is fine throughout. The costumes and sets are a tribute to detail. Oliver Stone?s direction is without grave error. Alexander is a spectacular film. It doesn?t tell a story that can be as easily fit into a neat little package, like most films of this ilk. For that reason, it?s receiving bad reviews. I would say that if you are at all interested in seeing this film, see it and you be the judge. And it didn?t seem overly long to me and I would be happy to see it again. Expand
  34. nassosz
    Nov 27, 2004
    10
    I loved it!
  35. JackM.
    Dec 2, 2004
    8
    Like Alexander, Stone tries to conquer too much in this film. There is the personal story, the conquest of the known world, the story of life in 300 BC, and a subtle comparison of those times with the present. It's amazing how much Stone covers in three hours. The love of detail, the contrast of East and West, and the bold presentation of Alexander's homoerotic feelings earn Like Alexander, Stone tries to conquer too much in this film. There is the personal story, the conquest of the known world, the story of life in 300 BC, and a subtle comparison of those times with the present. It's amazing how much Stone covers in three hours. The love of detail, the contrast of East and West, and the bold presentation of Alexander's homoerotic feelings earn Stone high marks. Curiously, the odd accents and the campy festivals work. Expand
  36. ThomM.
    Dec 31, 2004
    10
    I enjoyed it! It was fun.
  37. tt
    Dec 3, 2004
    9
    Summary: This is a great movie Good action scenes and photography. The problem is that one has to follow all the dialogues since the story is quite complex. I wish someone like Russel Crowe had acted instead of Collin Farell.
  38. JimM.
    Dec 5, 2004
    10
    One of the BEST movies of the year! I don't understand all the absolutely stupid reviews, but the homophobic comments of some explain a lot...Alexander the Great, one of the greatest warriors/leaders of all time, loved another man. Get used to it. While some gay activist were upset that the movie did not show enough of the sexual side of the real love in Alexanders Life, I think it One of the BEST movies of the year! I don't understand all the absolutely stupid reviews, but the homophobic comments of some explain a lot...Alexander the Great, one of the greatest warriors/leaders of all time, loved another man. Get used to it. While some gay activist were upset that the movie did not show enough of the sexual side of the real love in Alexanders Life, I think it was better not to. The most explicit sex seen was with Alexanders wife (chosen simply for sexual and political reasons), whereas the relationship with his real lover was on a much higher level. This movie was more historically accurate than Troy, which totally erased Achilles' homosexual relationships. Bravo to Oliver Stone for making not only a good movie (certainly better than any other movie in the theatres), but the best big motion picture presentation of gay love. Expand
  39. AnimeshK.
    Jan 12, 2005
    10
    A woderfully picturised movie showing the life and pathos of an individual who is a legend. Really, the greatest legend was real after all.
  40. EduardoR.
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    A brilliant film. Epic and well made.
  41. urelio
    Jan 26, 2005
    10
    A great film for inteligent people.
  42. WestH.
    Jun 22, 2005
    10
    If you know nothing about ancient Greek history, this movie will be very, very boring (I believe this explains the majority of the poor reviews Alexander has gotten).
  43. GregT
    Aug 15, 2005
    8
    You have to give this movie A for effort. It was an epic. (An epic is a movie that has tens of thousands of extras and many elaborate sets and costs a S**tload of money). It was interesting from the historical perspective. (Who really knew anything about Alexander before this?) The sets of Babylon and the battle scenes were impressive. Angelina Jolie was purty fer a girl as always and did You have to give this movie A for effort. It was an epic. (An epic is a movie that has tens of thousands of extras and many elaborate sets and costs a S**tload of money). It was interesting from the historical perspective. (Who really knew anything about Alexander before this?) The sets of Babylon and the battle scenes were impressive. Angelina Jolie was purty fer a girl as always and did her Russian accent voluptuous mother trip well and Colin Farrell was his usual exuberant and handsome Irish self, acting out whatever he is told to act out. Colin F. is a very capable actor. He has played many diverse roles over the past several years and handles them all well and to the best of his ability. He may be more capable than his Directors. The history behind Alexander the Great may be skewed in this movie - Alexander had 3 wives, not just the Roxanna portrayed in this movie and he had his male lover, Hephaistion, elevated to some sort of cult hero abd demi-god, after Hephaistion's death. Alexander also had several thousand young enemy men crucified after one of his victories and also sold tens of thousands of people into slavery. So... Alexander was not all that. He was a bit of a tyrant and an egotist. But then again in Middle America it is never beneficial to a movie producer to alienate a prospective hero from the mainsteam audience by being too historidcally accurate. We really do not want to see that these heros have warts. Expand
  44. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    Wonderful movie that describes perfectly the different faces of Alexander's personality. No important fact is left aside, but still you have the time to think and elaborate your own interpretation about what happens. I think this is the best solution for a hystorical movie, because hystorically speaking there are lots of different traditions and you can't choose one over the other that easily.
  45. Jan 14, 2012
    10
    This is an amazing video. Colin F makes a great job at portraying Alexander. This is how a historical movie should be made. Accuracy neatly balanced with entertainment value.

    Also an answer to the reviewer called "Christo": For someone who supposedly studied Alexander for 2 years, you have very little knowledge of Alexander and the times he lived in. This is a laugh: "You must understand
    This is an amazing video. Colin F makes a great job at portraying Alexander. This is how a historical movie should be made. Accuracy neatly balanced with entertainment value.

    Also an answer to the reviewer called "Christo": For someone who supposedly studied Alexander for 2 years, you have very little knowledge of Alexander and the times he lived in. This is a laugh: "You must understand that during those times, a person who loved men and women was respected greatly because he/she loved each and every single one of God's children.". God's children? Since neither Christianity or Islam had been even founded, I suppose you are either claiming that all Greeks including Alexander were, what...? Jewish? Polytheism ruled back then. There would be no "God's children". You are either very ignorant to the times of Alexander or simply trying to apply your beliefs on a time and place where that belief didn't even exist.
    Expand
  46. Apr 1, 2014
    10
    One of the greatest movies i have ever seen! I can't udnerstand why some many people disliked this film. It was masterpiece! I think people just don't understand the full meaning of this film. They just care about the action ****
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.