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Overall Rating
2.04

Awesome: 9.6%
Worth A Look: 4.52%
Average: 6.21%
Pretty Bad: 39.55%
Total Crap40.11%

10 reviews, 117 user ratings


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Alexander
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Oliver, just take some Viagra already..."
2 stars

"Men of Macedonia," says the great conqueror Alexander (Colin Farrell) to his exhausted troops in the final half hour of "Alexander," "we're going home." His men respond with loud cheering and much throwing of petals, and if the movie audience had some petals, they might throw some too: You mean this is almost over?

Ending a five-year silence from the once-electrifying director Oliver Stone, Alexander is a large, confused and confusing, and sprawling mess -- sometimes a glorious mess, but the few shining moments and images seem hardly worth the almost-three-hour investment. Here, Stone has crafted nothing so much as a densely allusive, emotionally unreadable hymn to his own potency and feelings of martyrdom, a trait that has bedevilled his work in the last decade.

Stone seems almost arrogantly disinterested in the actual Alexander the Great, whose extraordinary story has fuelled countless books (including Mary Renault's acclaimed trilogy of novels) and even an anime series (Reign: The Conqueror, whose trippy-futuristic handling of the legend is probably truer to the source than all of Alexander). After a perfunctory first half hour, in which we're introduced to Alexander as the textbook result of a dysfunctional family -- his father is the oafish King Philip (Val Kilmer), his mother the snake-fondling Olympias (Angelina Jolie) -- we skip past Alexander's early campaigns and pick him up in Persia, with no dramatization of his brilliant strategies or his way of compelling thousands of men to ride behind him towards almost certain death. We see him name-check a few soldiers before battle, and we're supposed to think, "Cool, he knows their names. They don't make imperialists like they used to."

When the hero of a long epic has his big-dog moment -- here, it's when Alexander, on horseback, faces down an elephant in the battle of India -- and you feel more of a swell of pride in the horse than in the hero, that epic is in serious trouble. Colin Farrell tries hard, but it's probably an unplayable role even if well-written, which it isn't; the dialogue (what little you can make out over the muddled, overactive sound mix) is your standard sword-and-sandal pomp. Farrell is the classic cocky little Irish guy, perfect in something like Phone Booth, but all wrong for a colossus like Alexander. What's more, the script never lets Farrell gain emotional purchase on any of the people -- his lover Hephaistion (Jared Leto), his wife Roxana (Rosario Dawson) -- Alexander is supposed to hold most dear. We're meant to believe in the great love between Alexander and Hephaistion, but all I could tell was that (A) Hephaistion once beat Alexander at wrestling and (B) they have matching eyeliner.

Stone does make good use of sets and costumes, when we can see them; the two major battles in the film are shot in the same herky-jerky, extreme-close-up style as the football head-slams in Stone's Any Given Sunday. ("All I can see is sand and horses' knees!" my companion exclaimed.) Angelina Jolie, thankfully, plays her scenes as femme-fatale camp and creates intermittent pockets of interest. Her sly performance in this mostly leaden affair made me wish she and Stone would work together on something that would challenge them both -- maybe Medea, which gets dutifully referenced here.

In Alexander, though, Oliver Stone is deeply into deifying the Great White Male, as he was in his previous historical shambles (though more enjoyable and not nearly as long), The Doors. I don't think Stone has turned into a Bush supporter overnight, but what are we to make of a movie in which the well-meaning (or so he says) conqueror bends nations of swarthy-skinned opponents to his will, under the rationalization of bringing them higher civilization? Stone touches lightly on that; he reveres Alexander more as a man, a risk-taker, a straddler of worlds. But this oracular piece of hero-worship is perhaps the squarest film yet from this once-hip director.

Stone may elevate men who take risks, but Stone the risk-taker -- the one who seemed so ferociously purposeful, so heedless of political blowback, in such polarizing works as "JFK," "Natural Born Killers," and "Nixon" -- now seems as dead as Alexandria.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11182&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/24/06 13:39:42
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User Comments

8/17/12 Ed Not a bad movie. Does take a while to capture the scope and essence. 3 stars
8/15/09 Jeff Wilder Not great or even all that good. But I've seen worse. Better than King Arthur at least/ 2 stars
9/04/08 Alexandru Totir I don't know why many of you didn't like it. I think it's a great movie and I loved it. 5 stars
8/21/08 Shaun Wallner boring! couldnt watch the whole thing. 1 stars
7/10/08 L. Slusarczyk not that bad of a movie. Liked the final release the best of the 3. 3 stars
5/02/08 Max Sloppy, disjointed, pretentious, and lifeless. 1 stars
11/06/07 Tiffany Losco Leto is hott!!! 5 stars
9/24/07 Nicholas Maday Would have been better if Ptolemy hadn't been telling the whole story. 2 stars
7/30/07 Samantha it was different than other stuff we hear, but it was dramatic and passionate I loved it 5 stars
6/28/07 Anthony Irish accents ruined the whole movie 1 stars
1/29/07 titwank incredible, epic, great music, fantastic story, masterpiece... 5 stars
1/22/07 sam i won't watch the movie if not required in my subject. eww! 1 stars
12/17/06 Briseis A complete flop, sorry 2 stars
12/14/06 The Deadly Assassin Oliver Stone messes up history 2 stars
11/11/06 cody a pretty ok film about the alexander, but flashbacks were mess up plot and kinded of gay. 3 stars
10/10/06 Steve Newman Took me three days to watch this on Sky plus - AVOID!!! 2 stars
9/16/06 Doremimi Hey, Angelina, say "Moose and Squirrel." 1 stars
9/08/06 Thomas Semesky A lot of miscast characters. How can you make a someone like Alexander so boring? 1 stars
4/28/06 Alana M. Barquero This was a pretty bad movie. I was forcing myself to watch it because it had Angelina Jolie 2 stars
4/25/06 Anthony Feor The word terrible at its best 1 stars
1/10/06 John Linton Roberson A sad, incomprehensible failure. 1 stars
11/08/05 Major Bludd Not that bad my friends... could have been much worse 4 stars
11/08/05 ELI Colin Farrell's nuts, that alone gets 4 stars. plus the movie was funny! :) 4 stars
10/25/05 David Really pretty boring, could have neen really awesome but totally missed the mark. Shameful. 2 stars
9/28/05 christopher matrisciano This movie was my favorite Irish film next to " In the Name of the Father". 2 stars
9/23/05 JM Troy is better, Alexander is homosexual 2 stars
9/21/05 Jonathon Holmes 100% garbage 1 stars
9/20/05 John he psyhedelic version of Alexander the Great - terrible 1 stars
9/07/05 Melina Deserves to be re-told - different director, cast and story 2 stars
9/03/05 dan mccarthy this is absolute garbage 1 stars
8/26/05 EZ Alexander the Great was great this film was extremley bad 1 stars
8/18/05 --- Too few battles, too much gay stuff, irish accents for greeks? 1 stars
8/16/05 john smith worse than that mistake platoon 1 stars
8/16/05 A Whittick A crass treatment of a potentially great subject matter, laughable at best - mainly crass 1 stars
8/15/05 .:*paris*:. its boring and i didnt understand the story.needs some work! 2 stars
8/13/05 Aldo I RATHER PICK MY NOSE.....ALEXANDER THE GAY 1 stars
8/09/05 snowcapsdean finally a movie that is outside the box with balls. 5 stars
8/06/05 Richard Simmons Ollie Stone is an overrated piece of s**t, and so are his movies. 1 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma It wasn't that bad. 4 stars
5/18/05 Pippin007 Boring!! 1 stars
5/11/05 Simon If you want to know how to absolutely ruin an epic story via film, look no further. 1 stars
4/07/05 chris man critics need to get a clue they always whine about wanting something difftrent 5 stars
3/26/05 Greg Ursic I've never checked my watch that many times during a movie. Stone sucks! 1 stars
3/09/05 LarryV Better than expected 4 stars
3/03/05 Cassander Loved it 5 stars
3/03/05 michael weber EHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Shut up movie 1 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung this just reeks 1 stars
2/25/05 L.G. Ugh... and yuck. Hmmm... History Channel produces beter stuff. Almost fell asleep 1 stars
2/16/05 Melody Arneil For a good laugh watch it on DVD for Angelina Jolie's over the top performance 2 stars
2/12/05 Gabriel Jolivet what a bad movie !!!! do I need to say more !!! 1 stars
2/11/05 Sharon Davis Bad, unexpectedly bad 1 stars
2/08/05 Jeff Anderson A TOTAL BOTCH! Miscast left & right, lots of historical mistakes, & boring to boot!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/07/05 marky i love you baby!!! 1 stars
2/05/05 bongeezer Awesome....LY BAD!!!! 1 stars
2/05/05 COlleen GOldrick regretfully not a good one 2 stars
2/04/05 craig varney loved it great escapism 5 stars
2/04/05 Debbi Kalstein disapointing 2 stars
2/04/05 ss OMG! I cant say enough about this movie.. Go see it 4 stars
2/03/05 Kent B. Borrrrrinnnggggggggg zzzzzzzzzzzzzz 2 stars
2/03/05 Clifford C Gardner weak - Colin is out of his depth 2 stars
2/02/05 Naka HAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. 1 stars
2/02/05 Mark McConnell totally misunderstood - more important technical battle scenes than lotr 5 stars
1/31/05 caro awful 1 stars
1/29/05 clarance the cobra sucked balls...collin farrel is the biggest fagget and worst actor 1 stars
1/27/05 The Lurchprong Splitter Loses steam after the first 2 hours. Alexander shouldn't've gone to India. 3 stars
1/26/05 Jo-Art Oliver Stone is no Peter Jackson 1 stars
1/21/05 malcolm the longest road trip in history. rosario dawson nekkit was definitely the highlight. 3 stars
1/14/05 pym Stone should lose his license over this one. A big, cheese oozing pile of mumbo-jumbo. 1 stars
1/09/05 keithers.. Made durning the epic craze after lord of the rings 2 stars
1/08/05 flor hidalgo It was a movie I would rent if I have nothing else to do on a sunday. My husband just slept 3 stars
1/07/05 LL great film. dont know what these yanks are talking about (i think theyre all homophobic) 5 stars
12/27/04 Tom Troy and Gladiator were much better films, R Crowe, B Pitt better in Lead roles 2 stars
12/15/04 kev boy best film i've seen in along time......way to go OLIVER!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/13/04 UMER GLADIATOR-mania should really now stop after this . 2 stars
12/12/04 Kevin I actually enjoyed the film. It wasn't that bad. U can't really judge a movie thats a bio. 4 stars
12/12/04 nitram Alexander assasinated by Oliver Stone! 1 stars
12/12/04 john overdone psychadelic version of Alexander's life - fails in a big way 1 stars
12/11/04 Christie Robnett Very well done movie. Farrell was excellent in this role. Oscar nomination? 4 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Rosario dawson is in it, so it was bound to bomb. 1 stars
12/08/04 Ricardo Never seen s film fail in so many directions simultaneously! 1 stars
12/07/04 wes todd worse battle scenes ever! 2 stars
12/06/04 Jennifer i loved this film! 5 stars
12/06/04 DTree They needed to focus on what made Alexander Great, instead of his romance with Hephastion 2 stars
12/05/04 KayCe Whitacre It is simpply titled "Alexander" because it is so far from "The Great" that we deserve. 1 stars
12/04/04 Michael Alexander, the mother hating, gay porn star. 1 stars
12/04/04 Denise good 3 stars
12/04/04 JL awesome in some parts, but lags in others however its awesome 5 stars
12/03/04 jesna BRILLIANT!! 5 stars
12/03/04 Catholic One of the best action, slashing, war movies I have seen in a while. 5 stars
12/02/04 Ashley This movie portrayed Alexander as a whiny brat and didn't show his military genius 1 stars
12/02/04 Punker omg this sucked nutz 1 stars
12/02/04 Al Guy I knew this was a bad idea. Yuk. 1 stars
12/01/04 A. Newman It was total crap. it could have, no should have, been better 1 stars
12/01/04 Naka "Gay thing" or no gay thing, this movie SUCKS UTTERLY. Stone is a failure. 1 stars
12/01/04 Lyu I'd rather have lung cancer than having to watch this shit again.It was that bad. 1 stars
12/01/04 Mohit Ahuja this movie is a load of crap ! 1 stars
11/29/04 John Keenan mired down, too much homo, story misses Alexander's greatness 2 stars
11/28/04 Alex Montesino To all you bigots, Alexander the Great was GAY! Get over it! 3 stars
11/28/04 calvin fag flick 1 stars
11/28/04 Alexandra And people wonder why Europe hates Americans!!!. European hero turned into flaming gay! 1 stars
11/27/04 T@T homo crap total waste of time 1 stars
11/27/04 carl fun, critics are so knit picky wanabe directors..it's ok not to have to see everything 5 stars
11/27/04 Chuck One of the worse movies I have ever seen. 1 stars
11/27/04 luke hopkins and kilmer were good everyone else at best average 3 stars
11/27/04 Naka Hahahahaha and this thing had OSCAR BUZZ?! lol nope! 1 stars
11/27/04 STANZ WORST MOVIE EVER!! OLIVER SHOULD BE ASHAMED!! 1 stars
11/26/04 jcjs i enjoyed it...critics are way too harsh with this...i don't know why 4 stars
11/26/04 Shane WORST MOVIE EVER!!! FUCK THIS REALLY SUCKED MORE THAN NETHING COULD EVER SUCK!!! 1 stars
11/26/04 the greatest hitchcock movie until psycho, i love it and the cats and! people that dont like this film think there smarter than everyone that does, those pussies. 3 stars
11/26/04 sens4evr 3 hours of my life... gone... wasted... 1 stars
11/26/04 Andy Greschner Alexander the Great? Really? You sure? Alexander the gay waffler? Yeah, thats more like it 1 stars
11/25/04 vagile Alexander the Great on bizarro world maybe. 1 stars
11/25/04 MARZ great film. gotta see it again! 5 stars
11/25/04 gregory neil What a self important flop 1 stars
11/24/04 Arid History for the dummies: directed by one, and acted by another 1 stars
11/23/04 Kristina Williams Saw this at my campus. Not Troy bad, but not Spartacus good. 3 stars
11/21/04 atanu Ultra crap. somebody put a stop to the overrated fucker farrell 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Nov-2004 (R)
  DVD: 27-Feb-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Jan-2005


Directed by
  Oliver Stone

Written by
  Oliver Stone

Cast
  Colin Farrell
  Angelina Jolie
  Anthony Hopkins
  Val Kilmer
  Jared Leto
  Rosario Dawson



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