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Overall Rating
2.66

Awesome: 10.32%
Worth A Look: 17.46%
Average: 23.02%
Pretty Bad26.19%
Total Crap: 23.02%

9 reviews, 72 user ratings


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Any Given Sunday
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by Scott Weinberg

"3 hours of sound and fury signifying pretty much nothing."
2 stars

Plotless, rambling and indulgent, Oliver Stone's latest movie isn't completely terrible, but may stand as one of the most disappointing movies I've ever seen.

If Oliver Stone's intention was to make a movie that celebrates all the oldest and lamest sports movie clichés imaginable, he has succeeded brilliantly. There isn't one scene in this movie that seems original, either in theme or in execution. OK, you can claim that the actual football scenes are done in a unique way. You'd be right, but I don't mean that in a good way. I felt like I was having a seizure most of the time. The camera shakes, jumps, flies and nauseates almost constantly. Somebody should get Stone a tripod for his next birthday. (Is it me, or are Stone's talents actually waning as his career goes on?) Here's what he parades out for us: A selfish and arrogant rookie QB, the widow of the team owner who's an unbelievable drunk, the immoral team doctor who lets guys play even though they have severe injuries, a obnoxious sportswriter, a hooker with a heart of gold, a gladiator-type who screams a lot and paints his face black, and let's not forget about the tough-talking coach who sees winning as only one component of football, and not the only one. (You'd think that a director like Olver Stone would try to install at least ONE original character!)

Trite characters could be forgiven if they were actually given something to do, but they aren't. For a movie that clocks in just under three hours, most of the actors get very little screen time. Cameron Diaz does a good job (although she's quite miscast here), as does Jamie Foxx, who plays rookie QB Willie Beamon. Those are probably the only two notable performances, seriously. (Come on! What kind of director hires James Woods and does NOTHING with him?) Dennis Quaid sleepwalks as the injured QB, Lauren Holly is campy as his wife, Elizabeth Berkeley is weak as a hooker, Matthew Modine is quiet and sheepish as the team intern, Ann-Margret embarrasses herself as a drunk widow, while actors like LL Cool J, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, and John C. McGinley are given nothing to do. (To be fair, former football players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor both acquit themselves quite well.)

I love football almost as much as I love movies, so you can imagine how excited I was to see this movie. I certainly expected more. Instead, Oliver Stone seems to be emulating directors like Simon West or Michael Bay with all the overdone directing, silly sound effects, smoke machines and quick edits. (Note: Stone employed four editors in this movie. Four.) The plot is just a bare-bones "we gotta make the playoffs" story. Numerous familiar subplots abound: Will the old but dependable quarterback get his job back? Will bitchy Diaz move the team after the season? (Hey Oliver! Try ripping off better movies than Major League in the future.) Will the team screw over the veteran linebacker and cut him in the offseason? Will he play with a serious injury solely to collect a million dollar paycheck? (I had a particular problem with how this one was handled.) Another annoying factor is Stone's soapbox grandstanding on the issue of race in sports. Willy explains to Coach that black guys in football are similar to indentured servants. If he had the balls to really get into it, it would make for an interesting subplot. As it is, it's just mentioned and we then move on to another familiar scene. (I used to do college papers this way. It's called "do the least amount of work necessary".)

An interesting fact is that the NFL wouldn't allow their teams or uniforms to be in the movie. That might have been smart, as Any Given Sunday is a nasty and mainly unpleasant look at football, and it's obvious that Stone doesn't really know all that much about the sport, after all.

I guess when directors reach a certain point in their careers, they can ignore things like restraint and respect for an audience. Basically, take every major scene from any sports movie, intercut those scenes with shots of lightning, Vince Lombardi or Al Pacino frothing at the mouth and you have this monumentally disappointing movie.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1853&reviewer=128
originally posted: 12/27/99 05:13:12
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell watchable 3 stars
8/23/10 Matt Brilliant movie - too bad the real sport is nowhere near as enjoyable over 3.5 hours! 5 stars
7/10/10 rosemary I think it was a pretty good movie. that one black guy was big wow 4 stars
4/15/10 Jerome Cook some of us like this new look at football. fuck major league that movie was weak. 5 stars
9/24/09 brian LT makes it worth seeing. 4 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting storyline. 4 stars
7/27/08 The Dork Knight i'm pretty sure eyeballs don't litter football fields in real life 2 stars
2/23/08 Pamela White makes more of football than it really is 3 stars
10/29/07 Geoff Chapman Pretty decent. By the book sports movie, but still well done. 4 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog Stone's acid trip version of football. 2 stars
9/26/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 The only Stone movie I have no use for..nice locker room scene tho 2 stars
3/09/04 Charles Tatum Nice to see Stone return to normal film making again (after the crappy "Nixon") 4 stars
8/16/03 Paul It was great 5 stars
8/13/03 3man It was okay but really have to like football to enjoy this. 3 stars
8/10/03 Nicole I was so excited to see this movie.....and very disappointed once I finally did. 2 stars
4/25/03 GMan Pompous arrogant shit, fuck diaz and pacino, and especially E-Funk for liking this tripe 1 stars
2/21/03 Dreamer nice movie... coulda been better 4 stars
1/23/03 Pinkline Jones Pacino Ought to know Better - Lost eyeballs and Vomit - Terrific! 2 stars
11/24/02 mack back 5 stars
8/26/02 john c. smith i loved it 5 stars
7/05/02 KMG SUCKS: It was mean-spirited, foul, loud, obnoxious, and had bitchy wives in it 1 stars
3/25/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress Laughable piece of trash. Just a lame ass attempt at "entertainment". Couldn't watch it all 1 stars
2/28/02 Tiffany Thunderhurst Impressive cast is fumbled. Also too much time in the muddle. 1 stars
9/17/01 Bri Yuck, Yuck, dicks, Yuck!!! 1 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk The best football movie ever! Brutally honest, and that's what pisses people off! 5 stars
8/07/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Only reason its not TOTAL CRAP is the presence of the legendary Ann-Margret 2 stars
8/06/01 badfish What a bland piece of poop this was,not even the soundtrack could save this one. 1 stars
7/27/01 TLsmooth Pacino's locker room speech saved this one from ass-sucking. 2 stars
6/24/01 Monster W. Kung Nothing special. Not horrible, but I wouldn't pay to watch it again, that's for sure. 3 stars
6/10/01 CriticGirl Decent movie, but too long. Should have been made tighter. 3 stars
5/06/01 Subjective Man Stone's self indulgence overtakes the film 3 stars
4/30/01 Mitja Podgajski I love it.. .i love Cameron... ! 5 stars
4/03/01 Boy In The Designer Bubble I liked the black guy with the big willie!!! 3 stars
3/29/01 zippernek Cameron Diaz as a hard-nosed business person? hahahahahahaha 3 stars
3/27/01 Jun 170 minutes of fragmented stories that go nowhere. 1 stars
2/13/01 CJ O' Callaghan very good start, but gets a bit boring towards the end, still a very nice piece of work! 4 stars
1/21/01 dog all that matters is Al Pacino is in it. 4 stars
1/09/01 Elvisfan Same old same old from Ollie - JFK in a jock, Platoon in shoulderpads 2 stars
10/27/00 JC23 Doesn't rank as high as Stone's other effort's but entertaining nontheless 4 stars
10/26/00 Bender Its like a cross between Showgirls and North Dallas forty. 4 stars
10/24/00 Monday Morning Glossy, hi-quality filmmaking, always something to see. Music & Al's "inch" speech both A-1 4 stars
9/25/00 malcolm most real-looking sports aciton i've seen in a film. 4 stars
9/14/00 Hmm Plays better on video than it did in theaters 4 stars
9/07/00 The Bomb 69 this movie was all over the place 3 stars
9/07/00 Duaneadam Line you TV room with newspaper before viewing 1 stars
9/07/00 Chris Drake Dreadful but good!Music alas mostly weak;Pacino's 1/2time speech great;loved final comment 4 stars
8/16/00 Drew Vogel Don't believe the naysayers, this rocks 5 stars
8/01/00 Chen Kenichi See the English version, "When Saturday Comes" -- much better 2 stars
7/31/00 Mr J M HARWOOD Seriously one of the best movies i have ever seen 5 stars
7/28/00 matthew smith oliver stone at his hard hitting best 5 stars
5/27/00 Jaime N. Christley Loved NBK. Loved JFK. Hated this monstrosity. 1 stars
5/26/00 Bruce The editing made me nauseous 2 stars
4/17/00 punkass The football scenes are fantastic, and although there are cliches it does alright 3 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Oliver Stone, FUCK YOURSELF!! You try to be profound & come off looking like a TRUE IDIOT! 1 stars
2/05/00 Heather Complete crap! 1 stars
1/30/00 Chet Patel This movie kicked ass, I'm glad this was the last movie I saw before New Years. 5 stars
1/23/00 majawat pffft 3 stars
1/05/00 adz' roomate lion it was like a 2 1/2 hour rap video 2 stars
1/03/00 SJKelley All production values, no script. Pacino, yes. Diaz, NO! Woods, what?! Quaid, snore. 2 stars
1/03/00 goodatty The movie showed football (life?) has many different stories going on at the same time. 4 stars
1/01/00 sexychick Puhleeze!!THis movie blows big balls!! 1 stars
12/31/99 bullit17 Subtle as an A-bomb. Stone screws up what could have been a decent (if cliche) story 2 stars
12/31/99 Tom I saw it and survey says, "It's a renter!" 2 stars
12/30/99 Harvey Richardson In Albany, the whole thearte left before the film ended, it was soooooooooo horid!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/30/99 Damian Lackey I can't describe how horrid this film was! I hated hated hated it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/29/99 inigma oh oh! please shot Cameron for her portral of the wwf "stephine" character in this movie! 1 stars
12/27/99 jenn "Blu Smrf" alright, can we say noisy? i walked out with and headache, but that was from the writing!!! 1 stars
12/26/99 Fortune Oliver Stone masturbates all over the screen on this one. That jackass. 1 stars
12/24/99 SteelyTrip Great acting, but the script is complete and utter testosterone- soaked shit. 2 stars
12/24/99 craig a. decent film, too much oliver stone symbolism 4 stars
12/23/99 Downtown Willie Browne Fuckin' amazing. Super acting, writing, cinematography, etc. Great use of Stone's insanity 5 stars
12/19/99 tpmedia This film explodes on the screen. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Dec-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  27-Jul-2000


Directed by
  Oliver Stone

Written by
  John Logan

Cast
  Al Pacino
  Dennis Quaid
  Cameron Diaz
  LL Cool J
  Jamie Foxx
  James Woods
  Matthew Modine



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