Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 107 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: For the team at Marshall University and the small West Virginia community around it, Marshall football is more than just a sport, it's a way of life. So, on a fateful night in 1970, when 75 members of the football team and coaching staff were killed in a plane crash, those left behind struggled to cope with the devastating loss. The grieving families found hope and strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel (McConaughey), a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall's football program and, in the process, helped to heal a community. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. Filmmakers have presented an unvarnished drama about Marshall University and the people who love it, and the results are inspirational.
  2. Often as not, the movie works. Here and there, it works kind of beautifully.
  3. 75
    "Charlie's Angels" director Joseph McGinty Nichol (aka McG) shows surprising restraint with this emotionally freighted material, weighting the movie heavily towards relationships.
  4. 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.
  5. It's a powerful subject, but director McG and screenwriter Jamie Linden haul out every cliché in the playbook.
  6. 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.
  7. May not be a very enjoyable movie, but at least the badness is in good taste.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 57
  2. Negative: 6 out of 57
  1. TomB.
    Jan 10, 2008
    I felt I was there. My brother lived with the players who died. When he woke up on Sunday morning, he was one of 3 persons in Hodges Hall. The movie was exhilarating. Expand
  2. DebbieW.
    Dec 20, 2006
    I think this was a wonderful movie to watch. Anytime a movie can cause extreme emotion either by causing laughter or tears, it was done well...
  3. LowellA.
    Dec 23, 2006
    As a student from Marshall and playing as an extra in the movie, this was a very emotional story and was very powerful to show how his town and school rose from the ashes to glory. Expand
  4. AngieR.
    Dec 18, 2006
    Though some critics have found this film cheesy or too cliched, it is still an amazing movie!
  5. rebeccas.
    Dec 27, 2006
    Such a terrible tragedy, I can't imagine the loss for the community. How many children lost both parents? How many students lost all their friends all at once? How many lost their children? I realize that this is not the only plane crash to have ever occurred, but for one small town to lose 75 community members is devistating. I have read several reviews in which I am not sure if the commentator understood that this was a true story, because it is beyond me how anyone could have a "who cares" attitude about the situation. My heart goes out to the entire community, and regardless if this was a money-making ploy for Hollywood (as all movies are), kudos for McG for doing it justice. Expand
  6. Jun 2, 2013
    One of my all-time favorite sport movies. It's such a tragic, touching story. I like the way this film balances plot and sport, with sports serving almost as a secondary element. Very touching film. Underrated/appreciated in so many ways. Expand
  7. mikej.
    Dec 30, 2006
    This movie has no soul!! How dare the pompus jerks of hollywood re-create the pain and drama for those lost in Hunnington, WV Marshall plane crash. After moments of grief, it is all smiles and recruiting tall goofy basketball and soccer players. First of all, the cheerleader, the father, and the 4th varstiy player might as well not be in the movie. They bring nothing but insinserity to the film. Im real sorry hunnington, but your cheerleader wearing the ring from her "true" love is inhibiting her from going to the party with the frat boys. Where is the darkness? At the end of the movie, the cinematic tricks have made you empathize with Marshall and make one believe it is a true feel good story. What about coach Lengyl spending only 3 years at Marshall, Red Dawson one. Coaching that football team, with the losing, was a disaster, and the coaches quit out as should have been expected. I wanted to see the pain of a coach who could never imagine how to empathize with a town ultimatly leading to his admitance of falure. I did not want to see Mathew Maconahay speak out of only the right side of his mouth!! Worst Sports Movie Ever!! Expand

See all 57 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Music Video Directors Turned Film Directors

    Ranked: Music Video Directors Turned Film Directors Image
    Published: August 31, 2010
    Before Anton Corbijn was directing feature films like this week's "The American," he was the driving force behind iconic music videos for Depeche Mode, U2, and Nirvana. Inside, we look at the careers of Corbijn and over 20 other directors who have made the jump from MTV to the big screen.