Conquering ninety percent of the known world by the age of twenty-five, Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) led his armies through twenty-two thousand miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This movie concentrated on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaistion (Jared Leto). Alexander died young, of illness, at the age of thirty-two. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest.

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Last night I saw the movie a second time, with my 20 year old son. The audience was of an entirely different demographic than the first viewing (which was an advance screening). The average age of the audience was about 35-45, with not too many teens in there. And guess what? Besides the fact that the entire theatre was PACKED, there was absolutely not a sound from the audience...like they were breathless. No snickering at blond hair, eyeliner, sultry looks from Bagoas, or any of the things that drew slight laughs when I saw it for the first time. It bolstered my hope that as time goes on and more people see it, there will be a more favorable opinion of it. I myself liked the movie a whole lot more the second time around. I watched different things this time...paid more attention to the sets and the other characters behind and around whoever was the primary action of the moment. I listened to the narration more closely, and enjoyed the film much more this time. Response from my 20 year old son, who wasn't just trying to be nice to his old mom, was very positive. He even thought that the assassination scene was fine where it was because it related better to what was going on in Alexander's head at the time. I highly recommend a second (at least) viewing at a theatre with a very good sound system. I realized I had missed some of the dialogue and narration because the 1st theatre's sound system was horrible. P.S. Kudos to Mr. Stone for his lifetime achievement award in Sweden. They don't give those out to just anyone, you know?

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