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Review: 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight' Floats But Doesn't Quite Sting

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 6, 2013 12:52 PM
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Capturing the magnetic, larger than life personality of Muhammad Ali has been something only a few actors have tried over the years, including Will Smith, Darius McCrary and Terrence Howard. And while the boxing legend and sports world superstar can be imitated, he simply can't be duplicated. So call it a savvy move on the part of screenwriter Shawn Slovo and director Stephen Frears to avoid that issue altogether in "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," which defers to archival footage to present the titular subject in the dramatized story of his fight against his conviction of avoiding the Vietnam War draft, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Unfortunately, however, that archival material is also the most dramatically potent in a film that presents the story respectfully, it not particularly compellingly.

Watch: New Trailer For Stephen Frears' 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 27, 2013 11:53 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Playing in limited release right now is the rather excellent documentary, "The Trials Of Muhammad Ali" (our review), which gives a fascinating, in depth look at the legal battles the fighter faced, including his highly publicized decision to claim conscientious objector status when drafted for the Vietnam War. It was a position that seriously threatened his livelihood, and made him an easy target from all sides; the true story itself is hugely dramatic and compelling. But if you'd rather see a movie with actors telling the tale, well, there's "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight."

Watch: Teaser Trailer & New Pics For Stephen Frears' 'Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 13, 2013 11:22 AM
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Festival scheduling can be difficult, with overlaps and conflicts ruining even the noblest of intentions. And thus, we were slightly bummed to miss Stephen Frears' "Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight" at the Cannes Film Festival this May. At least at first. Word on the picture was muted at best, and it's safe to say it barely made a ripple on the Croisette. But perhaps this story of an American icon will play better at home than abroad? Well, in just a couple months, you'll be able to judge for yourself.

Watch: 3 Clips From Stephen Frears' Cannes Film 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 22, 2013 5:35 PM
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Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
If further evidence were needed that the lines between TV and film are becoming less and less visible, Cannes has provided a decent opportunity. Last year saw "Hemingway & Gellhorn" get an out-of-competition screening, whereas this year went one better, and has seen Steven Soderbergh's "Behind The Candelabra" pick up some of the best reviews of the festival.

Benjamin Walker Talks 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight,' Discusses The Wushu Aspects Of The Aborted 'Paradise Lost' Adaptation

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 19, 2012 10:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment
One of the crucial aspects of this Friday's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" was seeing a fresh face in the lead role, allowing him to become the bloodsucker-loathing President. However, the anonymity of Benjamin Walker, who stars as the axe-swinging badass, isn't expected to last, with the thesp involved in a number of high-profile projects.

Danny Glover, Barry Levinson, Bob Balaban & More Join Stephen Frears’ 'Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight'

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • April 11, 2012 1:18 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Stephen Frears-directed “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” has had no shortage of casting updates since things got underway back in February, with future “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” star Benjamin Walker joining the fold as Kevin Kennedy, a Supreme Court clerk who supported Ali and even wrote briefs that would help to maintain the boxer's status as a conscientious objector of the war, all in this tale of Ali’s trial following his arrest for anti-Vietnam sentiments and behaviour when drafted to serve in the war.

Benjamin Walker Joins Stephen Frears' 'Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight'; Archival Footage To Be Used To Portray Famed Boxer

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • February 16, 2012 9:17 AM
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Benjamin Walker burst onto the radar of many when he was cast as Beast in Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class,” before subsequently being ousted for age reasons and replaced by Nicholas Hoult. Walker wasted little time finding more high-profile work, hopping aboard the recently defunct Alex Proyas tentpole “Paradise Lost” along with landing the lead role in the Tim Burton-produced, Timur Bekmambetov-directed mashup fest “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Christopher Plummer & Frank Langella Join Stephen Frears' 'Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight'

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • February 10, 2012 1:45 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s remarkable skills as an athlete in the ring, and his larger than life persona outside it, have led to more than few films about his life. Most notably among the litter is Michael Mann’s Will Smith-starring “Ali,” and of course there is subtly titled "The Greatest," but as we told you at the start of the month, “The Queen” director Stephen Frears is looking to step into the ring with his own Ali biopic for HBO entitled “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.”

Stephen Frears To Direct 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight' For HBO, Casting Underway

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 1, 2012 4:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
If there is one thing about Stephen Frears, he doesn't usually let too much time pass before he's on to the next project. And barely a week after his latest film "Lay The Favorite" premiered at Sundance, it looks like he may be on to something new. And now, it's not the developing remake of "The Hit" or "The Bengali Detective." Instead, it's "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" and it's gearing up at HBO.

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