December 25, 2001 0 By Fans
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A biography of sports legend, Muhammad Ali, from his early days to his days in the ring.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.6/10 (41,589 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Michael Mann

Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight

In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favour of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War….

Writers: Gregory Allen Howard, Stephen J. Rivele


Will Smith

Cassius Clay
Cassius X
Muhammad Ali

Jamie Foxx

Drew 'Bundini' Brown

Jon Voight

Howard Cosell

Mario Van Peebles

Malcolm X

Ron Silver

Angelo Dundee

Jeffrey Wright

Howard Bingham

Mykelti Williamson

Don King

Jada Pinkett Smith

Sonji Roi

Nona Gaye

Belinda Ali

Michael Michele

Veronica Porche

Joe Morton

Chauncey Eskridge

Paul Rodriguez

Dr. Ferdie Pacheco

Bruce McGill


Barry Shabaka Henley

Jabir Herbert Muhammad

Giancarlo Esposito

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.

Forget What You Think You Know


Official Website:
Sony [United States] [DVD] |

Release Date: 25 December 2001

Filming Locations: Accra, Ghana

Box Office Details

Budget: $107,000,000


Opening Weekend: $10,216,625
(23 December 2001)
(2446 Screens)

Gross: $87,713,825

Technical Specs


(director's cut)

Did You Know?


In the edited TV version, director Michael Mann is credited instead as "Alan Smith", an obvious variant of Alan Smithee.


Factual errors:
Chauncey Eskridge was not at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis standing directly under Martin Luther King Jr. at the moment of King's April 4, 1968 assassination (the director knew this).


Muhammad Ali:
I'm gonna give 1000 dollars to the man who brings me Howard Cosell's toupee, dead or alive.

User Review

Excellent Adaptation of Ali's fights

Rating: 10/10

The fights are not rocky-type or "entertaining" but REAL. Inside the
ring, things are different. I was glad to see close to perfect adaptation
Ali's fights (I watched documentary on Ali's career). Michael Mann gets
credit for painting all the different aspects of Ali's life superbly.
'Ali' is based on a real legend and not a super-hero and so it is hell of
job to portray such a personality on big screen and make it so
to watch.

The only downside of the movie was to focus a little longer on effect of
Africa on him. But the "Loud mouth" CHAMPs witty and "punchy" remarks in
real life along, with his big blows inside the ring, will keep you glued

Overall, Will Smith's hard-work, Mann's adaptation and Mohammad Ali's
legendary life makes 'Ali' a must watch for movie goers.