We Are Marshall

Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31

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Critic Reviews

  1. Filmmakers have presented an unvarnished drama about Marshall University and the people who love it, and the results are inspirational.
  2. 75
    We Are Marshall is precisely what one expects from a true sports story: it's uplifting and inspiring.
  3. Surprisingly restrained and undeniably entertaining.
  4. 75
    Equally thrilling and wrenching, the film is an absolute must for anyone who loves sports and an eloquent explanation for those who don't understand what the fuss is about.
  5. "Charlie's Angels" director Joseph McGinty Nichol (aka McG) shows surprising restraint with this emotionally freighted material, weighting the movie heavily towards relationships.
  6. The result is a movie that inspires without pontificating and plays on the heartstrings without pounding on them incessantly.
  7. 75
    The actor's (McConaughey) lovable exuberance is exactly what this heartsick movie needs.
  8. Often as not, the movie works. Here and there, it works kind of beautifully.
  9. 70
    The film is injected with a refreshing energy whenever McConaughey is on-screen, balancing some of the inherent sadness of the story.
  10. "Lost" star Matthew Fox pitches in with a strong performance as a coach who, by the laws of whimsy, didn't take the final flight home and had to struggle with survivor's guilt.
  11. To the movie's credit, the cast is better than average.
  12. McConaughey tucks into the role like a hungry man gobbling a ham sandwich.
  13. An enjoyable time-waster, distinguished by an unexpectedly sharp comic turn by McConaughey, lots of boisterous horseplay and some stirring emotional clinches. All in all, an entirely serviceable night out for buddies looking to locate hidden feelings.
  14. What should have been an inspirational story about fortitude and courage in the face of mind-numbing tragedy becomes a compendium of sports cliches.
  15. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    Full of good intentions, We Are Marshall has a game plan that's hard to fault, but as with any playbook, a scheme is only as good as how well it's executed.
  16. 60
    McG's Marshall lies at the nexus of Thornton Wilder and Norman Rockwell -- it's David Lynch without the irony -- and if he overdoes things a touch, there’s nothing disingenuous about it.
  17. Reviewed by: Mark Bell
    60
    If you're a college football fan, a fan of sports films or just a sports aficionado with a sense of history, this film is a safe bet.
  18. We Are Marshall has little of the bone-crunchingsincerity of the recent pigskin rouser "Invincible." This one is more like Unconvincing.
  19. It's a powerful subject, but director McG and screenwriter Jamie Linden haul out every cliché in the playbook.
  20. 58
    It's uplifting, but shallow.
  21. 50
    Even by the low standards of the young-jocks-as-good-clean-soldiers movie, there's little at stake here, unless you count the kids' hunger to win one for the Gipper.
  22. 50
    Matthew McConaughey injects some much needed life as the oddball coach who sets out to rebuild the football squad, and David Strathairn, Ian McShane, and Robert Patrick do their best with sketchy characters and artless dialogue.
  23. We Are Marshall is less a movie than a commemoration.
  24. 50
    Has the kind of soulful subject matter that will strike some as profoundly emotional, but it gets a flag for roughing the tear ducts. This isn't football - it's cornball.
  25. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    50
    We can only speculate why McConaughey chose to play the role this way, but in all honesty, it's a good thing he did. His loony performance is the only surprising thing about this otherwise paint-by-numbers inspirational drama.
  26. There are football movies, and then there's this 800-pound gorilla of a gridiron weepie, which should be penalized for roughing the viewer.
  27. 40
    There are so many emotions in We Are Marshall that there's hardly any room for football -- and when we finally get some, even THAT'S clogged with excess feeling.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    38
    Its use of trite "Win one for the Gipper" dialogue, overbearing soaring music and conventional plot devices makes it far too formulaic to truly move us.
  29. A movie like We Are Marshall stands or falls on its ability to make you feel the pain and loss of individuals in a place where community pride and football are one and the same. As the film, directed by McG (the "Charlie's Angels" movies) from a wooden screenplay by Jamie Linden, follows a handful of Huntington residents during the months after the accident, not one of them comes fully to life.
  30. 25
    No go. Marshall deserved better than this misbegotten tribute.
  31. May not be a very enjoyable movie, but at least the badness is in good taste.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 60
  2. Negative: 6 out of 60
  1. Feb 7, 2016
    8
    The acting was good and the movie was entertaining,the music was good and the cinematography was superb.It might be a little too overdramaticThe acting was good and the movie was entertaining,the music was good and the cinematography was superb.It might be a little too overdramatic for it's own good and it may be too cliche for some but, overall, it was a good movie. Full Review »
  2. LawrenceM.
    Dec 17, 2006
    1
    Cliched and stale. Note to movie execs: it's time to relegate all tragic "based on a true story," "overcoming human misery to ultimately Cliched and stale. Note to movie execs: it's time to relegate all tragic "based on a true story," "overcoming human misery to ultimately succeed" Disney-fied movies to Lifetime. Note #2 to movie execs: stop casting Matthew McConaughey in any sort of drama role. Actually, in any role, for that matter. Full Review »
  3. Dec 23, 2015
    5
    We Are Marshall does not have the impact that the classic football films have. McG is the director for this film and we all know what kind ofWe Are Marshall does not have the impact that the classic football films have. McG is the director for this film and we all know what kind of track record he has with films like Terminator Salvation and Charlie's Angels Full Throttle. We Are Marshall is more of the same. The film starts out well with tragedy but the script does not allow the viewer to get behind the team. The script relies far to much on characters that really don't matter rather than just stick with the football team. Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox are both decent in this movie and they are certainly the highlights of a fairly talented cast including a young Kate Mara and Anthony Mackie. Despite the strong effort from the two Matthews their characters still remained underdeveloped and the film just does not make the cut. Full Review »