The Greatest's Greatest

October 13, 2014

SINCE 2000 there have been at least eight films about Muhammad Ali. The latest, I Am Ali, hits select theaters and on-demand on Oct. 10 and touts "unprecedented access," featuring Ali's personal audio recordings and commentary from friends (Jim Brown, business manager Gene Kilroy), family (daughter May May Ali, ex-wife Veronica Porche) and others (trainer Angelo Dundee, rival George Foreman, successor Mike Tyson). Watching filmmakers try to reinvent the Ali flick is one thing, but maybe the success of these films has more to do with some American obsession to relive Ali's greatest moments and less to do with the way they are packaged. Based on firsthand viewing and assembled reviews, we set out to determine which Greatest film is greatest.

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

2013

Narrative film goes deep on the Supreme Court's ruling in Clay v. United States, but omits the reason we watch these films, namely Ali.

[2 gloves]

I Am Ali

2014

Intimate Smithsonianesque film with rare audio of phone calls to his children and a one-on-one with buddy Tom Jones.

[3 gloves]

Ali

2001

You know the one: Michael Mann, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, $87.7 million--grossing Hollywood studio biopic.

[3 gloves]

Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World

2001

Broad biographical doc with James Earl Jones and Billy Crystal as talking heads.

[3 gloves]

Muhammad and Larry

2009

ESPN's 30 for 30 on Ali's last of three fights with Larry Holmes.

[4 gloves]

Facing Ali

2009

Ali as recalled from the perspective of those who fought him, most notably a still-reeling Frazier.

[4 gloves]

Thrilla in Manila

2008

The Frazier-Ali rivalry from the POV of a sixtysomething heartbroken Joe.

[4 gloves]

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

2013

From the makers of Hoop Dreams, delves into the political Ali and his fights outside the ring.

[5 gloves]

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

Lions tight end Joseph Fauria sprained his ankle trying to stop his puppy from peeing in the house, an injury that has kept him out of two games so far.

PHOTOFOCUS WORLD (ALI) PHOTO@LIONS/TWITTER (FAURIA) FORTY ILLUSTRATIONS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)