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The authenticity Michael Mann and company bring to this film biography of Muhammad Ali is impressive. The extravagance of shooting at the actual locations (including Zaire) where the events took place pays off, and Will Smith manages to capture the cadence of Ali's speech as well as his calm but determined demeanor. While the overall image of the man is positive, the film does not shy away from his womanizing, occasional political and spiritual confusion, or the detachment that hurt his marriages. The focal point, however, is Ali's place in the racial turmoil of his times. With Jon Voight as Howard Cosell, Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X, Ron Silver as Angelo Dundee.

Michael Mann/USA/2001/157 mins.