Do not mistake The Greatest for a movie about Muhammad Ali. And do not think its ambitious title indicates its overall quality.
Distinguished by a gripping pre-titles sequence and a remarkably nuanced performance by Pierce Brosnan (who executive-produced), The Greatest is a group portrait in grief, inconsistently told. The tone of writer/director Shana Feste wavers wildly from deeply felt empathy with the mourners to melodramatic exploitation of them. Not only are the plot holes so big you can drive a truck through them, Feste literally drives a truck through them.
Before the titles roll, a youth loses his life in an avoidable accident. Compounding the tragedy for his parents (Brosnan and Susan Sarandon), kid brother (Johnny Simmons), and the dead boy's girlfriend (Carey Mulligan, dimpled darling of An Education) is that he is taken at the happiest moment of his life.