The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a champion, say critics

A big couple of weeks start today for The Trials of Muhammad Ali - and the film has come out swinging!

The film opens this weekend in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Philly, Baltimore, Pasadena, Denver, Hartford, Santa Fe, and Claremont. Within the following week, the film's director Bill Siegel will also attend special one-off screenings in New York (already SOLD OUT), Louisville (at Muhammad Ali Center), and in Chicago. The film will also open in Nashville and Portland that week, and many more dates in major cities will follow across the rest of 2013. Get more information and tickets here.

A wave of buzz has built up ahead of this run of screenings, with some knockout reviews and growing word of mouth. Here's a selection of highlights:

"Stirring... fascinating... inspiring." Variety loves the film!

Kenneth Turan reviewed the film twice. For the Los Angeles Times he states "Complex and involving... gripping," and for NPR Morning Edition he called the film "An intriguing portrait of a man who never wavered, no matter what the world threw at him, which was a lot."

"Magnificently concise... makes you feel [Ali's] radicalism all over again." - Wesley Morris, Grantland.

"The Trials of Muhammad Ali is an extraordinarily detailed and textured examination of the man, the time, and the societal forces involved." - Philadelphia Inquirer.

"May very well be the best sports documentary so far this decade. Carries within each frame a sense of vitality and power that is rarely seen in a documentary of this ilk... Sports fans take notice, your favorite film of the year may have just arrived." -

"For those seeking further insight into this sliver of Ali’s remarkable career, “Trials” is as comprehensive as it gets." - The Washington Post.

"Hard-hitting yet delightful... this well-crafted doc packs a wallop!" - The Progressive Magazine.

"This Ali biopic is doing something that other Ali documentaries have not done — focusing on the cultural and social influence of the heavyweight boxing champ outside the ring." - The Hartford Courant.

"A taut, well-paced historical documentary." - Cinedelphia.

"Ali wasn't just a gifted fighter. He was simply gifted. The footage from this doc makes your eyes refrain from blinking." - The Huffington Post.

"Not the first documentary to be made about the boxing legend, but it's certainly the most essential... Remarkable, fascinating, inspiring" -

"The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a knockout."

"A fascinating look at Muhammad Ali as a cultural figure... as a civil rights hero on the level of Dr. Martin Luther King" - The Big Screen podcast

"Ali is infectious and magnanimous. It is difficult to watch the movie and not fall in love with him all over again. But Siegel is not just building up Ali as hero, but suggesting that we have lost something about his history which made him truly heroic." - D Magazine.

"Captures that time vividly... Siegel does a fine job of stripping away historical whitewash" - Missoula Independent.

"I've seen a lot of Ali documentaries over the years, but I don't recall seeing a film that was as intimate about his youth." - David Poland, in this great interview with director Bill Siegel.

There have been more great interviews given by Bill Siegel and the film's star Khalilah Camacho-Ali this week. Check them out here:

“I had a wonderful life being with Muhammad Ali. Enjoyable events, up and down, it’s been exciting, it’s been dramatic. I feel honored to be a part of ‘The Trials of Muhammad Ali.’ I was there. He went through a lot of pain and a lot emotion and I was there to support that.” - Khalilah Camacho-Ali talks to

"It was Muhammad Ali, as a young person in my formative years, that really brought home the issue of race, of the Vietnam War, of religious freedom. No sports figure on the planet ever did before." - Joe Madison - "The Black Eagle" show on Sirius XM radio.

“I think that it’s important to be curiosity-driven rather than agenda-driven, and I like to be more question-asking than question-answering,” Bill Siegel on TDF Stages.

See more reviews here. If you don't see your city on the list of upcoming screenings and would like to help us organize a screening, please email