Released 2004


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Movie Summary

Oliver Stone (I) , John Erman

Alexander is director Oliver Stone's 2004 epic film based on the life of Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia, one of the greatest military leaders in history. Narrated by General Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins), this film traces the life of Alexander (Colin Farrell) from his childhood with his mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie), to his youthful days with his tutor Aristotle (Christopher Plummer), and through to his ascension to the throne of Macedonia. Through ruthless military exercises, Alexander gains control of the majority of the known world and his exploits on the battle field are related by Ptolemy. But even the greatest king has a softer side, and Alexander's relationship with his best friend Hephaestion (Jared Leto) is explored in-depth, as well as his relationship with his wife, Roxane (Rosario Dawson). The relationship between Alexander and his friend becomes complicated when Hephaestion also falls in love with Roxane. This love triangle follows the three through their entire lives. Alexander features an all-star cast including Val Kilmer, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Rory McCann.



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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    If, as the Virgil quote that starts the film claims, fortune favors the bold, Alexander has not been nearly bold enough.

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    At best an honorable failure, an intelligent and ambitious picture that crucially lacks dramatic flair and emotional involvement.

  • 30

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    This is the costliest, most logistically complex feature of the filmmaker's career, and it appears that the effort to wrangle so many beasts, from elephants to movie stars and mone...

  • Alexander the Great

    This review is based on Alexander Revisited, which is a longer, differently cut version, but still has just about the same stuff in it.

    Before this movie, I knew practically nothing about Alexander the Great (what little I had learned in school was long forgotten). After seeing this, the loving bond was inevitable: not only did it have actors I enjoyed watching, but characters to fall in love with as well. This is the single most interesting piece of history I would ever want to study.

    People have a lot of different kind of opinions about this movie, and I understand that. For me, loving this movie comes from somewhere other than objectively judging its quality, and I have no way to actually defend my opinion (watching Colin Farrell make out with Jared Leto, just a bit, definitely would have won me over no matter what the content).

    The movie seems a bit dragged out, the battle scenes are too chaotic and long (not to mention the final battle in India which is always the one I hate most), but outside those, there are many good elements. A journey of a man with a vision, yet those who follow him eventually grow tired of chasing after something they do not want. And yet, Alexander the Great was loved by many, and he conquered more than anyone probably thought possible. This movie shows just that - and perhaps a bit more.

    The soundtrack of this movie is wonderful, within or without the movie. Vangelis did an amazing job on that.moreless

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Military & War, Historical