When We Were Kings
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In 1974, boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman came to the still-emerging and politically unstable African nation of Zaire for what Ali called the "Rumble in the Jungle," a highly publicized world heavyweight championship fight. Documentarian Leon Gast flew to Zaire to film both the fight and a music festival (featuring B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters, and Miriam Makeba) organized by promoter Don King. Gast's footage was shelved for 22 years due to legal and financial problems, but when it was finally released in 1996, When We Were Kings provided a vivid portrait of the… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If anyone deserves an award, it is Ali; his charisma makes the film."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"A penetrating emotional analysis of the boxing which is nothing short of inspired."
‑ , Time Out
"Almost too concentrated on Ali, but the story plays well with an exhilarating pace and plenty of well-remembered expositional details."
‑ Christopher Campbell, Nonfics
"Wonderful sports documentary covering the 1974 heavyweight championship fight in Zaire."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"This is a great documentary film and a must for fans of the sport and Ali."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Enormously entertaining."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"When Muhammad Ali achieved victory in Kinshasa on Oct. 30, 1974, he did far more than win a prize fight."
‑ Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
"Gast never makes a mistake by turning the camera on Ali-he comes through like a champ"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"The intersection of sports, politics and culture enlivens Leon Gast's entertaining documentary about the heavily promoted 1974 heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"I pick it to win the Oscar for best documentary feature."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"No comedian was ever funnier, no fighter ever faster than Muhammad Ali, who is caught at the top of his game in Leon Gast's valentine, When We Were Kings."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"By portraying the young Ali as hero -- and moving beyond the media image of the poetry-spouting peacock -- Gast reminds us that Ali didn't follow the path of earlier black superstars or earn his stripes by conforming to white society's expectations."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"A film as deserving of respect as its subjects."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"This is the real deal."
‑ Jimmy Chertkow, Film Threat
"Powerful. Provocative. A "must see.""
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
More reviews for When We Were Kings on Rotten Tomatoes