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Awesome: 10.32%
Worth A Look: 17.46%
Just Average: 23.02%
Pretty Crappy26.19%
Sucks: 23.02%

9 reviews, 72 user ratings

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Any Given Sunday
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by EricDSnider

"The 'Saving Private Ryan' of football movies."
4 stars

Visually speaking, anyway, the genre of football movies (and sports movies in general) may have to answer to this one from now on, an epic-length, obscenely realistic examination of every angle of professional football.

"Every angle" is a good way of putting it, too, as director Oliver Stone manages to squeeze more shots from more points of view into the football-game sequence that opens the film than some films have in their entirety. We see the game from the perspective of the players, the coaches, the media, the fans and the people watching on TV -- and in each case, we're made to feel like we're RIGHT THERE with them (which, you'll recall, was what people loved so much about "Saving Private Ryan").

Al Pacino, yelling and swearing a lot as usual while doing a bang-up acting job, is Tony D'Amato, the coach of the Miami Sharks. His first- and second-string quarterbacks have been injured, forcing him to play the cocky glory-hound Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx). D'Amato hates the way Beaman changes plays at the last minute and doesn't have his head in the game; unfortunately, the guy is pulling the team out of its losing streak, so his complaints to general manager Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) fall on deaf ears.

D'Amato is an old-school coach whose players love him, with the possible exception of Beaman. He believes in team work and loyalty; he's given his entire life to this team over the last 20 years, and he'll be darned if some hot-shot is going to tear the team apart from the inside.

Football, made here to seem like the only important thing in life, is in fact a metaphor for life. You win some, you lose some. You come in a half-second too late, you miss your chance. And in the end, what really matters is whether you played with dignity and pride, and not whether you won or lost.

Diaz is badly miscast as the general manager. Christina is intended to be out-of-place, her daddy having left her the team when he died; the problem is that Diaz has so little clue what she's doing, she can't even be convincing as a woman who doesn't know what she's doing. You get the sense that Cameron Diaz, not Christina Pagniacci, is the one struggling.

Nearly everyone else in the ensemble is terrific, especially Pacino (of course) and Foxx (surprisingly). James Woods is also a slithering delight as the team's cynical sports doctor.

As the producers of highlights reels learned long ago, everything seems more dramatic if you put it in slow-motion and punch up the bone-crunching sound effects. Stone, using every technique in his filmmaker's handbag, does this and more, with close-up shots of the ball being snapped, of players' eyes, of shattering tackles, usually without a tripod and sometimes cutting from one shot to the next so fast you can't keep up. It's like Stone is making violent, passionate love to the game of football.

He uses the same techniques outside of the game, too; about half the movie seems like one big montage of parties, commercial shoots, and arguments with the front office.

It's a visually exciting movie, dazzling in its whole-hearted use of mind-bending images. It could easily be 20 minutes shorter just by cutting a few seconds off the many shots that seem to go on forever, but I suppose that would make Stone feel his art had been tampered with. In his mind, there's probably not a second that could be shaved off anywhere without doing serious harm to the film, and you can tell he feels that way just by watching it. (How long do we need to watch a football soar through the air in slow-motion? Ten seconds? Twenty? More?)

I disagree, but at the same time, I could hardly take my eyes off the screen. It's unflinchingly real, but explosively entertaining, too.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1853&reviewer=247
originally posted: 06/29/03 22:50:39
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell watchable 3 stars
8/22/10 Matt Brilliant movie - too bad the real sport is nowhere near as enjoyable over 3.5 hours! 5 stars
7/09/10 rosemary I think it was a pretty good movie. that one black guy was big wow 4 stars
4/14/10 Jerome Cook some of us like this new look at football. fuck major league that movie was weak. 5 stars
9/23/09 brian LT makes it worth seeing. 4 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting storyline. 4 stars
7/26/08 The Dork Knight i'm pretty sure eyeballs don't litter football fields in real life 2 stars
2/22/08 Pamela White makes more of football than it really is 3 stars
10/28/07 Geoff Chapman Pretty decent. By the book sports movie, but still well done. 4 stars
2/12/07 johnnyfog Stone's acid trip version of football. 2 stars
9/25/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 The only Stone movie I have no use for..nice locker room scene tho 2 stars
3/08/04 Charles Tatum Nice to see Stone return to normal film making again (after the crappy "Nixon") 4 stars
8/15/03 Paul It was great 5 stars
8/12/03 3man It was okay but really have to like football to enjoy this. 3 stars
8/09/03 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
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones Pacino Ought to know Better - Lost eyeballs and Vomit - Terrific! 2 stars
11/23/02 mack back 5 stars
8/26/02 john c. smith i loved it 5 stars
7/04/02 KMG SUCKS: It was mean-spirited, foul, loud, obnoxious, and had bitchy wives in it 1 stars
3/24/02 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
9/16/01 Bri Yuck, Yuck, dicks, Yuck!!! 1 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk The best football movie ever! Brutally honest, and that's what pisses people off! 5 stars
8/06/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Only reason its not TOTAL CRAP is the presence of the legendary Ann-Margret 2 stars
8/05/01 badfish What a bland piece of poop this was,not even the soundtrack could save this one. 1 stars
7/26/01 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
6/09/01 CriticGirl Decent movie, but too long. Should have been made tighter. 3 stars
5/05/01 Subjective Man Stone's self indulgence overtakes the film 3 stars
4/29/01 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
3/28/01 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
2/12/01 CJ O' Callaghan very good start, but gets a bit boring towards the end, still a very nice piece of work! 4 stars
1/20/01 dog all that matters is Al Pacino is in it. 4 stars
1/08/01 Elvisfan Same old same old from Ollie - JFK in a jock, Platoon in shoulderpads 2 stars
10/26/00 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
10/23/00 Monday Morning Glossy, hi-quality filmmaking, always something to see. Music & Al's "inch" speech both A-1 4 stars
9/24/00 malcolm most real-looking sports aciton i've seen in a film. 4 stars
9/13/00 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
9/06/00 Duaneadam Line you TV room with newspaper before viewing 1 stars
9/06/00 Chris Drake Dreadful but good!Music alas mostly weak;Pacino's 1/2time speech great;loved final comment 4 stars
8/15/00 Drew Vogel Don't believe the naysayers, this rocks 5 stars
7/31/00 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
7/27/00 matthew smith oliver stone at his hard hitting best 5 stars
5/26/00 Jaime N. Christley Loved NBK. Loved JFK. Hated this monstrosity. 1 stars
5/25/00 Bruce The editing made me nauseous 2 stars
4/16/00 punkass The football scenes are fantastic, and although there are cliches it does alright 3 stars
3/05/00 Kyle Broflovski Oliver Stone, FUCK YOURSELF!! You try to be profound & come off looking like a TRUE IDIOT! 1 stars
2/04/00 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
1/04/00 adz' roomate lion it was like a 2 1/2 hour rap video 2 stars
1/02/00 SJKelley All production values, no script. Pacino, yes. Diaz, NO! Woods, what?! Quaid, snore. 2 stars
1/02/00 goodatty The movie showed football (life?) has many different stories going on at the same time. 4 stars
12/31/99 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
12/30/99 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
12/28/99 inigma oh oh! please shot Cameron for her portral of the wwf "stephine" character in this movie! 1 stars
12/26/99 jenn "Blu Smrf" alright, can we say noisy? i walked out with and headache, but that was from the writing!!! 1 stars
12/25/99 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
12/23/99 craig a. decent film, too much oliver stone symbolism 4 stars
12/22/99 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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