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Overall Rating

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 Ryan Arthur

"I'm sure there's a good movie. I just can't find it hidden amid the crap."
1 stars

I like some Oliver Stone movies. Really, I do. I dig JFK, I'm very pro-Natural Born Killers, Born On The Fourth Of July, Platoon...I'm a fan. But I guess it's really only just now that I'm figuring out that no matter what the story may be, if you tell it the same way every time, it's going to be boring. And frankly, Olvier Stone is starting to bore me.

Oh sure, I get what Stone's doing. He's an artiste', but use the same tricks over and over again, and eventually, the effect wears off. Repetition? Seen it. Flipping back and forth from camera trick to camera trick? Been done. Is it visual style? Or is it resting on previous achievements, and not being the innovative filmmaker that made people, and more specifically me, enjoy his work in the first place?

I'm inclined to believe it's the latter. And that's really too bad.

Oliver continues to dance with the one that brung him, so to speak. Any Given Sunday is loaded with what are now the Stone hallmarks. Rapid cuts and weird-ass camera angles. Slowed down footage. Speeded up footage. But a lot of what we're seeing doesn't match up. The scenes from the football field don't match the story being told.

The story being told is pretty straightforward. Ever see Major League? The plot's basically the same. The owner is a rich bitch (Cameron Diaz) looking to relocate to LA. Her team's coached by a grizzled veteran named D'Amato (Al Pacino, at about 5 on the 'Al Pacino Shout-O-Meter'). The team's the mishmash of aging pseudo-superstars (Dennis Quaid), young up n' comers (Jamie Foxx) and genuine, real-life drug using former players (Lawrence Taylor), among others. There's the prerequisite "surprise" cameos and bit roles (Hey, that's Johnny Unitas! Dig that crazy Ann-Margret! Look, it's NRA bigwig Chuck Heston!). Yes, Any Given Sunday boasts more actors per square inch than a 70's disaster flick, and there's some genuine star power there, but most of them have surprisingly little to do. You'd think that wouldn't be the case in a movie that runs about two and a half hours. You'd be wrong.

Any Given Sunday is bloated. The stories are all interwoven but don't always tie in. Foxx's rookie quarterback gets to shine and gets the big ego to match his success. James Woods as one of the team doctors is a bastard. Matthew Modine, also as a doctor, is not. You think he's playing the same character he did in Gross Anatomy? Quaid's veteran continually doubts his own abilities. LL Cool J snorts coke off some hooker's nipple. Which I think is really the best way to do it. So what's it all have to do with each other?


There's plenty of time to tell the story, but it seems forced, and there's not much in the way of resolution. The basic fabric of the story is lost due to Stone's insistence on using the same tricks he's been using for the last 10 years. It's basically a cliched story to begin with, and it certainly doesn't help that the story never builds momentum because Stone's too busy trying to be all artsy with his violence.

As for the actors, Pacino's pretty much on autopilot, but he's still watchable. His scenes with Quaid and Foxx, as coach to player, are pretty good. It explores the human side of the sport, rather than the animalistic tendencies to just plain survive. I'm surprised Stone didn't find some way to muck it up. But Foxx pretty much makes the movie his own, taking the ball and running with it, to use an overdone metaphor in a movie loaded with cliches. It's kind of a star-making performance. Wait. This movie led to Bait, didn't it? Well, anyway. Foxx does have a nice turn, going from third string QB who pukes in the huddle to a bona fide star, complete with crappy music video. He's Deion and Shaq and 'He Hate Me' all rolled into one. It's a decent performance buried because Ollie's too busy showing human eyeballs resting on the turf and busting out his camera tricks, complete with rock soundrtrack.

Some things don't change, though. Of course the big game at the end comes down to the final play. It wouldn't be a sports movie otherwise, would it?

It's really too bad. Stone's got a truly gifted cast and a pretty good story just itching to come out, but bogs it all down with the now typical Stone baggage, and that's what his filmmaking has become. The innovation is gone, the excitement is gone. What was once just wicked cool and a rush to watch is now something you can see at your local multiplex during any given matinee.

Football movie? Rudy. The Longest Yard. The Best Of Times. North Dallas Forty. Varsity Blues. Semi-Tough. Hell, even Necessary Roughness. Any one of 'em would be a better choice than this one.

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originally posted: 02/27/01 14:16:24
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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
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  22-Dec-1999 (R)



Directed by
  Oliver Stone

Written by
  John Logan

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

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