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Based on 21 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 100
    Edward Guthmann San Francisco Chronicle

    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. show more

  • 100
    San Francisco Examiner
  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    It is a new documentary of a past event, recapturing the electricity generated by Muhammad Ali in his prime. show more

  • 75
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    Fascinating footage goes beyond the boxing ring to document Ali's brilliance as a public personality. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    A wonderfully nostalgic, and occasionally insightful, window into the recent past. show more

  • 90
    Film Threat

    The seemingly total access and seemingly total coverage the film makers enjoy makes us forget at times that this isn't some Hollywood fabrication. show more

  • 70
    TV Guide

    Gast doesn't hide his admiration for the charismatic Ali, whose antics provide the film's most enjoyable moments. show more

  • 89
    Russell Smith Austin Chronicle

    The stunning vitality and passion of this film arises not only from the high-voltage personalities involved (especially Ali and King) but from the way they galvanized political and ethnic pride among the people of the poor West African nation. show more

  • 100
    Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

    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. show more

  • 100
    David Ansen Newsweek

    Leon Gast's remarkable film -- which is intercut with terrific recent interviews with eyewitnesses Norman Mailer and George Plimpton -- is about much more than one stupendous fight. show more

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