When We Were Kings Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An unforgettable account of the "Rumble in the Jungle," this Oscar-winning film captures all the magic of Muhammad Ali at the peak of his triumphant career. (Universal)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. It took director-producer Leon Gast 22 years to edit and finance When We Were Kings, his thrilling documentary about the legendary 1974 heavyweight-championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire. But the lag time has only deepened the impact of this thrilling documentary: All sad thoughts of Ali as a wounded warrior fall away in the glow of seeing the champ at his best.
  2. On a deeper level -- and this is where When We Were Kings exceeds its expectations and becomes a great film -- Gast examines African American pride.
  3. Gast does a nice job of building the suspense leading up to the fight, fleshing out the story with some good color commentary by a handful of people (filmed by director Taylor Hackford, who wisely convinced Gast that these reminiscences and remarks would fill in some historical gaps).
  4. Reviewed by: Jimmy Chertkow
    90
    The seemingly total access and seemingly total coverage the film makers enjoy makes us forget at times that this isn't some Hollywood fabrication.
  5. 80
    Though the Oscar-nominated documentary captures the fight and the fighters, it also explores Ali's role in reintroducing black Americans to their African culture.
  6. Fascinating footage goes beyond the boxing ring to document Ali's brilliance as a public personality.
  7. The film's title ought to be When We Were King's Pawns. Don King maximized the media circus aspects from the start, as the razzle-dazzle directing of Leon Gast, helped in the editing by Taylor Hackford and others, makes electrically clear.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. BhavikP.
    Jun 14, 2006
    10
    very good movie the best documentary film i have ever watched in my life.

See all 2 User Reviews