Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A historical and a cultural icon is captured in the making in this full-blown portrait -- its footage has been mined for countless other Ali documentaries -- of the out-of-the-ring but never off-stage Ali, pre- and during world fame. (Film Forum)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. In an era whose culture was defined by what the literary critic Richard Poirier called the performing self, Mr. Ali's persona was one of the greatest performances of all.
  2. More about Ali as media star and social figure, less about the quicksilver athlete.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Halter
    70
    Fight footage is kept to a minimum; in this film, the boxer's best one-two's don't hit inside the ring. Clay's ingenious hype-baiting moxie drives the first half, cut to a nouvelle pop beat.
  4. 70
    William Klein's film documents a turbulent time and an outsized personality, but the film's glories are in the details and its intimacy would be unimaginable in the rigidly spin-controlled atmosphere of 21st-century sports.