Although this movie is ostensibly about football, I came away from it learning a bit more about life. The movie is about an old coach (Al Pacino) whose love of the game has blinded him to life's real pleasures, an injured QB (Quaid) who is easily manipulated by others to continue playing even if it is detrimental to his health. The daughter (Diaz) of a dead football 'baron', who seeks to fulfill her father's lost hope for a son, and a rising star (Foxx) who is blind to everything but his own gratification. From these cast of characters Stone creates drama.
This movie is exciting even for those, like me, who aren't too interested in football. The game scenes seem more like gladiatorial battles than actual football games, and you are left wondering if we have really changed from those Romans thousands of years ago, the way 'we' love these slugfests.
As some earlier reviewers mentioned, Stone appears to be slightly biased in his portrayal of the management of these teams. They are definitely out to make money, but I doubt they are as ruthless as they were made out to be. He should have had some perspective in this movie so as not to make it seem like the management were the 'baddies' and the players hapless pawns.
Overall, this was a great movie. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes drama. For those with kids, you might want to watch it beforehand as it has some sexual scenes, nudity and quite a lot of obscene language.
Pacino, completely at ease in an Stone flick, gives his first real performance in a long time. Both in his in-game frenzy and in his drunken, sadder scenes, Pacino delivers the goods. Comedian Jamie Foxx also turns in a winning dramatic performance as the rookie quarterback. Come to think of it, the whole cast is stellar and all perform well. Stone seems to bring out strong, almost flamboyant, performances in his actors, and in Oliver Stone films, that's very appropriate. However, the MTV-inspired soundtrack and cinematography detract from the serious delivery of some of the film's concepts. At times, the film seemed more an extended music video than anything else.
Any Given Sunday is a rough movie, both in terms production and in content. The film, despite its lengthy runtime, still feels like it left much of its ideas unsaid; the script just tries too cover simply too many characters and concepts, leaving many of the key players in a somewhat shallow and cardboard like state. Still, Any Given Sunday is an entertaining movie, and fans of football, Oliver Stone, and movies overloaded with dizzying amounts of music and testosterone will no doubt be pleased by the time the credits roll.