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The Alamo
In the spring of 1836, nearly 200 Texans - men of all races who believed in the future of Texas - held The Alamo for 13 days under siege by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, ruler of Mexico and...  View more >

Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Apr 10, 2004
"The Alamo" is supposedly the most historically accurate account of what happened at the tiny mission. The problem with this is that it gives us so many main characters that I ended up not really caring about anyone. The only character that manages to stand out is Billy Bob Thornton's Davy Crockett, mostly because the other characters appear to be so much in awe of the legend that surrounds him.

"The Alamo" also has some of the most pretentious dialogue I've ever heard. All the characters here seem to need a big, long, heart-string-tugging speech to get anything said, and the individual lines often used terminology that was laughable (see: the scene in which Dennis Quaid gets in an argument with a man and starts throwing hilariously bad 1800's insults).

The centerpiece of this movie is, of course, the big action scene near the end in which the Mexican Army overtakes the roughneck heroes in the movie's namesake fortress. The entire movie builds up (very slowly) to this battle, and I found even this big-bucks battle sequence boring. We've seen it all before, and done much better. The doomed-heroes-versus-overpowering-army thing was way, way better in "The Last Samurai."

The acting is a mixed bag, at best. Billy Bob is always enjoyable, and he is the only standout in this movie. Dennis Quaid, as Sam Huston, was passable, but nothing special. Jason Patric, playing a major character whose name I can't remember because I didn't really care what happened to him, plays his role with a laughably stony expression.

I felt like sitting through "The Alamo" was more of history lesson than a movie-going experience. Most if it bored me, and the action was a tired, watered-down retread of better scenes from better movies. This movie should have been at leat fifteen minutes shorter, and it should have gone with the R-rating so we could see the brutality of the battle. Instead, we get too many long speeches and battle scenes that look like store-bought fireworks going off, followed by some people falling on each other.

There were only a few moments that were worth watching in this movie, which help to salvage the experience. ** out of four.
Apr 10, 2004
Forget all the hype, this film is a bore to watch. The Acting (and I call it that for the lack of a better term) was just as bad as the story. A "B" movie at best.
Apr 12, 2004
A great movie to be seen on the big screen!
Apr 18, 2004
The Alamo has the disadvantage of having an ending that everyone knows. Still, the ending did work for me. Billy Bob was more than solid. Everyone else was just okay. I liked the historical perspective.
Apr 23, 2004
While the acting performances weren't bad, the movie had a "Titanic meets Texas Independence" feel to it.

The music was begging to be regarded as important, imposing itself on the viewer in a blatant attempt to manipulate your emotions for a particular scene. The soundtrack should be a supporting element, not an overwhelming one.

In my opinion, Billy Bob Thornton was given way too much screen time, but perhaps that was the only way to salvage a film that had its share of problems through production. He provided much-needed personality to the film.

I kept thinking that everyone was coached on how to act like they were in an epic film, so everything they said had to be larger than life and mini-speech all its own. The moments that really stood out were when there were personal interactions, such as the non-physical struggle between Col. Travis and Jim Bowie for control over the troops.

The sound was really good, with the side surrounds in the theater letting loose with cannon fire from time to time. However, it didn't seem to be as engrossing a soundfield as other battle movies I've seen recently. The most impressive scenes were the cannon shots from the Alamo troops onto the advancing Mexican army. But what was most likely a very up-close-and-personal confrontation just didn't have that sense of struggle it should have.

The filmmakers should have borrowed more inspiration from the HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers" for how to portray characters stuck in often impossible conditions fighting an overwhelming enemy. The battle of Foy (if I recall correctly) is one of the most sonically active battle scenes I've ever experienced, followed very closely by the D-Day invasion in Saving Private Ryan.

I'd have to say that waiting for the DVD would be a good idea in this case. Just make sure to have the surround sound and subwoofer to fully appreciate the cannonfire!
Apr 29, 2004

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