Football is a game that knocks you down, then expects you to get back up. Life hit the West Virginia town of Huntington and its Marshall University even harder. When it did, Jack Lengyel came by to help pull them onto thei... more »r feet by taking the job no one wanted: rebuilding the Marshall football program only months after a plane crash wiped out Marshall's beloved Thundering Herd. Matthew McConaughey portrays Lengyel, the energetic, compassionate coach of inexperienced players whose chances of victory are slim and none. They'll go with the slim. And as they do, their true-life story of heart, healing, and football will thrill and inspire you. It's game day. Time to play till the whistle blows!DVD Features:
Kyle D. (kdenny01) from BRIGHTON, CO Reviewed on 5/6/2008...
I am a huge fan of sport movies. This ranks up at the top. It is more about the recovery than the sport, which is how it should've been done. Its emotional and pays respect to those lost while showing Marshall's pride. It is a must see for all movie fans
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
True Story of America's Greatest Sports Tragedy
Antoinette Klein | Hoover, Alabama USA | 01/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On November 14, 1970, an airplane carrying the Marshall University football team, coaches, and many prominent supporters crashed with all aboard killed. This movie portrays what happened to those left behind and how they rose from the ashes of this disaster and resurrected the football team.
Since everyone knows what is in store, the first part of the movie is especially poignant as you meet the players and know their lives are destined to end far too early. What a typical moviegoer might not be familiar with is the character of Jack Lengyel, a man who was the only one willing to come forward and try to salvage the football program. Matthew McMcConaughey gives a stirring performance as Coach Lengyel as does Matthew Fox as Red Dawson, the assistant coach who gives up his seat at the last minute to another person. The guilt of being a survivor eats at him and nearly destroys his life.
Emotional, uplifting, and enjoyable....this movie manages to honor those who died and those who picked up the pieces and restored pride to Marshall."
Yes, We are Marshall!!
L. Forshee | WV | 06/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have lived in Huntington, WV almost my entire life and attended Marshall University. I was a small child when the plane crashed in 1970. I remember, first hand, what our town and community went through after the tragic loss of so many lives. When I first heard that the movie was going to be made, I was both thrilled and trepidatious. Could a big time Hollywood movie capture the real event with integrity, honesty and respect? The answer is a resounding Yes!
McG, McConaughey, Fox and the rest of the cast and crew treated our story with all of that and more. The movie is historically accurate, (thanks to a great script by Jamie Linden) the acting is excellent, the soundtrack is fabulous, and McG - thank you for filming a good portion of this movie in Huntington!
This movie was not only "necessary" but a story that applies to so many other "rise from the ashes" events in our world today. I know it would seem easy for me to love this movie because I lived it, but my adoration for this film actually comes from the efforts and dedication that the film makers put into this project. They took a true story and made it into a movie that can touch the heart of anyone who sees it.
For those critics who spend too much time focusing on the "pacing," and "spirituality" or other minutia, you're missing the point. This isn't a film for pretentious, overly analytical critics or Sunday School debate. Enjoy this film for what it is. It was intended to share an uplifting and heart-warming true story and to evoke understanding, empathy, courage and determination. If you have any humanity in you, you will like this movie! GO HERD! WE ARE MARSHALL!!"
Stunning, simplistic, rewarding!
L. Quido | Tampa, FL United States | 09/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember clearly, as a high school junior, the shock and loss that the crash of the aircraft carrying the Marshall University football team invested on a nation. The town, the college, and those left behind must have suffered so. It has taken 25 years to portray that loss on film, and the December film, "We Are Marshall", while not living up to its promise as one of the years "awardable" movies, was nevertheless a moving film experience.
The film deals briefly with the events leading up to the crash, and then in depth with the different ways that those affiliated with the school grieve and start over again. Star athlete Nate Ruffin (Anthony Mackie) is stunned at the fact that he wasn't on the plane, due to injury, and that his legacy is to pick up where the team left off and start over again. His faith in that new start never waivers. Unlike Ruffin, the school's administration and its president Donald Dedmon (the always excellent David Strathairn) are more realistic. They can't recruit, can't play freshman, can't rebuild right away. The school is small and although "The Thundering Herd" were important to students, alumni and faculty alike, the task is insurmountable. They will suspend the program for a few years to give everyone a chance to recover.
The student body has a different plan, and their outrage presents Dedmon with the need to try. He can't find a coach and has to settle for a virtual unknown from the College of Wooster. Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey, complete with greasy hair in an unlikely length and clothes of plaid polyester) accepts the challenge He's just savvy and stubborn enough to make it work, to reformat and refashion a team of sorts, and even to talk former recruiting scout, Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) into returning as an assistant coach.
The remainder of the film deals with both the practical matter of building the team, the difficulty in winning, and the way those in the town and at the school deal with the grief of what might have been. Director McG, not a favorite of mine (he brought us BOTH Charlie's Angel's films) surprises with his light touch with the story and his ability to let the film find its own legs. It is a poignant tale. It bogs down between the decision to move forward with the team and the actual first game. The game sequences have an authentic feel, and the score moves well with the film. The film feels like authentic West Virginia and authentic 70's. It never attempts to be something it isn't; it's a sports film that treats the sport within the greater landscape of what was happening in the times and how emotions sometimes get in the way of moving on with your life. It deeply affected the crowd in the theater on the day I saw it.
McConaughey is goofy, offbeat and believable as Lengyel. Aside from his performance, everyone else in the film works well together as an ensemble, with few false notes but not much to remember about their contributions. There's no cliche here, just a simple story that will make you both sad and hopeful. Forget what the critics say, "We Are Marshall" will touch you. "
This is by no means a mere sports film-- It is truly a work
JOHN P. HANSSEN | ventura, CA USA | 01/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is unfathomable to see how many negative reviews this movie received from different critics, as well as some audience members, and I REALLY am left to wondering if they were actually watching the same movie as I was watching, or if they even WATCHED the movie at all. This movie deserves to be looked at as far more than just another "winning the big game" sports film like "Miracle", which was one of my favorites, but needs to viewed as so much more-- a magnificent piece that deals with coping with tragedy and rising above the ashes--perfect themes for this post 9/11 world, wouldn't you say? PLEASE do not listen to the negative reviewers on this one. I can guarantee you will not be disapointed, especially with the fact that this has to be the best performances ever given by Matthew McCaughney."
M. D. Burke | lawrenceville, ga | 09/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this film with tears streaming down my cheeks as I recalled the evening of my 12th birthday, November 14, 1970. I vividly remember watching TV in the basement of our small house in St. Albans, West Virginia, and during the football game which I was watching, the local tv station broke in with a report that the plane had gone down. My first thought was, "Oh no, Roger." One of my family's neighbors in our first house in St. Albans was a young man named Roger Childers, who if I remember correctly was being redshirted during this particular season. As a typical boy who had dreams of growing up and playing football myself, I think back to Roger taking the time to visit with myself and my next door neighbor Joey when we asked him questions about football and college at Marshall. He was a wonderful young man and my family I learned the next day that unfortunately he was among those on the team plane. This film took me back to my youth and I thought everything was handled "delicately" out of respect for the dead and their families including the crash itself. Seeing terror in the faces of the coaches and players would have been very difficult to handle. I thought they paid very close attention to the details particularly in regards to the crash site and the weather that night...it was cold, nasty and rainy. The rebirth of the program reminds me of a Phoenix rising from the ashes to live another day. If you like to be moved when watching a film, by all means, watch this one. Peace!"