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Review: We Are Marshall

We Are Marshall
Dec. 20, 2006by:
7 10

In 1970, a plane crashes killing most of the members of the West Virginia Marshall University football team along with their coaches and some of their fans. Their small town is devastated by the tragic event and tries to move forward with their lives. A young coach wanting to restore the football program and help rebuild the community must try to bring the spirit of the team and school back to the town.

It's pretty safe to say that any sports fan can appreciate this movie. At first, I thought it was going to be a teary-eyed event but for the most part it wasn't so bad in that department. You might feel a little moved in certain scenes, but it is doable without looking too much like a wuss. Yes, there's football in the storym but I wouldn't consider this a "football movie". Like I stated in the plot, it's about how the people of the small community are dealing with their lost ones and the hardship of rebuilding the football team.

Matthew McConaughey plays the new Head Coach, Jack Lengyel. I'm a big fan of McConaughey and thought he played this role superbly! He came across as this enthusiastic, mega-positive coach that can convince anybody to do anything with one simple pep talk. He was excellent and convincing! Matthew Fox played Red Dawson, the assistant coach to Lengyel. He was alright and you got a sense of the “survivor’s guilt” he was experiencing, but other than that, he didn't bring that much to the character.

The one character that stood out for me was Nate Ruffin, played by Anthony Mackie. He was one of the players who wasn't on the plane on that fateful night due to an injury. He was also the one responsible for trying to bring back the football program. His courage and determination to move forward was inspiring and heartfelt. Ian McShane played Paul Griffen, one of the parents whose son died in the crash. It was weird to see McShane in a role like this as I kept seeing him as Al Swearengen from TV's "Deadwood" and kept waiting for him to call someone a c*cksucker. He was good, but I just hope he can escape being seen as Swearengen in future movies.

It was interesting to see a director like McG go from making movies like CHARLIE’S ANGELS or producing stuff like THE OC, to creating something like WE ARE MARSHALL. I totally didn't expect anything like this from him. He gave us a lot of depth in his characters and handled the whole tragedy with tact and respect. Not to mention when there were football scenes, they were fun and intense, too! It did get a little long in the middle, but it snapped right back so it wasn't too much of a bother.

This is a good movie that most everyone should be able to appreciate. It was sad, moving and uplifting all at the same time. The film certainly wasn't about the team winning games, but more about the team and community moving on from this tragedy. I'm usually a big softy when it comes to flicks like this, but I was never really teary-eyed, so most of you guys don't have to worry if you're with your buddies watching this together.

Apocalypto (8/10)
Blood Diamond (7/10)
Borat (9/10)
Crank (8/10)
Deja Vu (6/10)
Eragon (4/10)
Flushed Away (4/10)
Grudge 2 (5/10)
Harsh Times (7/10)
Last King of Scotland (6/10)
Rocky Balboa (7/10)
Stranger Than Fiction (7/10)
The Departed (9/10)
The Holiday (6/10)
The Nativity Story (7/10)
The Prestige (8/10)
The Pursuit of Happyness (6/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

Source: JoBlo.com

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