User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47

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  1. SeanN.
    Jul 11, 2005
    10
    Murderball is by far the best film I've seen this year. This documetary delivers the full scope of human emotions. What truly makes this film so good is the fact that you really do end up caring about all the people and that it inspires you to stop complaining about your own life and get on with living. Highly recommended for the entire family.
  2. adrianam.
    Jul 11, 2005
    10
    I loved this film. It finally told a story where handicap people are not defined by their confinement, but only who they are as individuals. And these individuals are unbelievably accomplished and driven.
  3. jakek.
    Aug 7, 2005
    10
    Super good.
  4. WmL.
    Dec 12, 2005
    10
    This movie works so well on several different levels. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it. But it did not do all that well in theaters, possibly because of the action-movie sounding title. So rent it soon before it vanishes.
  5. DanC.
    Dec 15, 2005
    10
    A film filled with amazingly strong, vibrant personalities who are thrill to watch on the screen. At turns highly moving, funny, and dramatic, without ever being sentimental. These guys would be interesting no matter what they were doing, period. The wheelchairs are incidental to who they are, which is the real magic od the movie.
  6. AllistairP.
    Jul 10, 2005
    9
    I never knew a documentary could be this good. Best film of the year, right next to Batman Begins. This was such an incredibly good film. The editing, the characters, the dialogue! If you got the top 3 current screenwriters and put them in a room and told them to make a movie about this, it wouldn't be half as good as Murderball. That's saying alot. The feel good movie of the I never knew a documentary could be this good. Best film of the year, right next to Batman Begins. This was such an incredibly good film. The editing, the characters, the dialogue! If you got the top 3 current screenwriters and put them in a room and told them to make a movie about this, it wouldn't be half as good as Murderball. That's saying alot. The feel good movie of the year, and the guy below me doesn't know what he's talking about. The movie was about being more than you think you can, not overcoming handicaps. Expand
  7. MarkB.
    Jul 30, 2005
    8
    It's really quadriplegic rugby, explains Mark Zupan, the charismatic central figure of this extremely watchable documentary-for-people-who-avoid-documentaries-like-the-plague; the vernacular nickname "murderball" is discouraged because it doesn't exactly attract corporate sponsorship. After this film's box office success, that may change! Filmmakers Henry Alex Rubin and It's really quadriplegic rugby, explains Mark Zupan, the charismatic central figure of this extremely watchable documentary-for-people-who-avoid-documentaries-like-the-plague; the vernacular nickname "murderball" is discouraged because it doesn't exactly attract corporate sponsorship. After this film's box office success, that may change! Filmmakers Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro deal with the members of the USA Quad Rugby team and their progress in the worldwide Paralympics; with one notable exception (the recently paralyzed Keith, who changes significantly throughout), the question of emotional adjustment to quadriplegia isn't an issue, having been dealt with by the principals long ago--in fact, you get the distinctive impression that, at least for some of them, getting to play this unique sport almost makes the loss of movement worth it! This is no Other Side of the Mountain; it's completely free of sentimentality or squirm-inducing speeches dealing with self-pity...but it DOES answer a surprising number of questions you might have had about what quadriplegics can and can't do but you were afraid to ask (although most of the characters here would be perfectly happy if you did)...most notably, "Uh, how do you, you know...YOU KNOW...you know?" (Hint: some of it involves making the ladies very, very happy!) The central conflict in the movie arises between Team USA and Team Canada, the latter led by polio-afflicted former US champ Joe Soares, who "crossed the line" after Team USA cut him, and in typical sports movie/reality TV fashion is pictured somewhat as a villain. But not entirely: Soares (who looks a lot like Terry Bradshaw and could've been played in a fictional version by a younger Robert Duvall) is more complex than you'd initially imagine; he's a little rough on his nonathletic son, but the filmmakers show late in the film how deeply Soares loves him, too. (It's a shame that Ron Howard and his writers didn't study this film before proceeding to demonize Max Baer in Cinderella Man.) In a year that seems to have given us more sports-themed movies in 7 months than have been released in certain entire decades, Murderball is clearly and decisively the best, even though the climactic Big Game is, relatively speaking, the least compelling aspect of the film (something Rubin and Shapiro seem to be innately aware of). Yet despite the nifty, battered stunt wheelchairiots that look like they came out of an apocalyptic-future drive-in movie from the early 1980's , you cheer on the players without really seeing them as disabled. My favorite Team USA member may have been Bob, a gentle soul whose legs AND arms were eaten away by a rare disease, but there's no question that the goateed, tattooed, often barechested Zupan, a badass with a heart of gold, is the star. Depending on his personal politics, he may want to run his chair back and forth repeatedly over me for saying this, but Zupan might well be the most iconic figure that a documentary was built around since Michael Moore blew the whistle on Corporate Automotive America 16 years ago in Roger & Me! Expand
  8. MarkM.
    Aug 6, 2005
    10
    The cliche is true for this one--"I laughed, I cried." There are some awfully funny moments in this movie, what with the larger-than-life personalities being profiled and the combination of frat-boy sense of humor and honest forthrightness of the players. The crying part was just embarrassing, if you see the movie you'll know what scene I'm referring to, it tugs full force on The cliche is true for this one--"I laughed, I cried." There are some awfully funny moments in this movie, what with the larger-than-life personalities being profiled and the combination of frat-boy sense of humor and honest forthrightness of the players. The crying part was just embarrassing, if you see the movie you'll know what scene I'm referring to, it tugs full force on the heartstrings while being a totally genuine moment. The use of Ministry's "Thieves" on the soundtrack could not be a better choice, I don't know if a more "aggro" song exists. The editing is such that it's hard not to feel just a bit manipulated, but even so this one's a 10. The film's subjects and their lives are too interesting and thoroughly examined for it not to be. Expand
  9. BitB.
    Jul 26, 2006
    9
    Rented this one the other night...what an awesome documentry! Go Canada Go!
  10. BrianL.
    Jul 31, 2005
    9
    Very good. Very moving. Remarkable film.
  11. BrendaP.
    Sep 23, 2009
    10
    I saw the movie and I also watched the team practice in Birmingham. Their dedication and passion was so real that I felt like I was watching the movie again. I was invited by one of their family members. When they know they have an audience, they start working harder and showing off their skills more. It was very cool to meet them. Number 4 accidentally squirted me with his water bottleI saw the movie and I also watched the team practice in Birmingham. Their dedication and passion was so real that I felt like I was watching the movie again. I was invited by one of their family members. When they know they have an audience, they start working harder and showing off their skills more. It was very cool to meet them. Number 4 accidentally squirted me with his water bottle and kindly apologized. I could not stop smiling. Expand
  12. camdenl
    Dec 11, 2005
    9
    Great documentary.
  13. PrestonF.
    Dec 21, 2005
    10
    Up lifting yet gritty.
  14. Nov 15, 2014
    8
    Focusing on the United States quad rugby team Murderball is an insightful look into the lives of athletes looking to overcome their disabilities. Refusing to play the sympathy card this documentary shows things how they really are and is all the more inspiring as a result.
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    80
    Murderball isn't a documentary played in the key of those Olympics stories that inspire you with sugary drivel, although it is ultimately inspiring.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    80
    A blast and a half -- as entertaining as mainstream American docus get.
  3. 70
    What keeps Murderball from devolving into redemptive drivel is its insistence on treating the players it profiles as jocks first and disabled men second.