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A small town that revolves around college football is devastated when their football team and coaching staff is killed in a plane crash. A young Jack Lengyel is determined to rebuild Marshall's football program.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good We Are Marshall is precisely what one expects from a true sports story: it's uplifting and inspiring. Although the film does not ascend to the pinnacle of its genre (arguably occupied by Hoosiers), it's not too far down the mountain... We Are Marshall stays surprisingly true to the facts, keeping embellishments to the minimum necessary to make the story cinematic.
USA TodayFull Review Below Average The film does palpably capture a sense of the shock and bedlam that followed the crash. But, then it seems to wallow for a while in the grief of an entire college town, unsure of how long to devote to the mourning period. Though We Are Marshall is no doubt built on good intentions, 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.
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 110 moviegoers:OUTSTANDING OPINIONS FROM ALL AGES BOTH MALE AN FEMALE! Most rated it either "Fantastic" or "Excellent," which is extremely high. DO NOT MISS "WE ARE MARSHALL." HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
On the evening of Saturday, November 14, 1970, a chartered jet carrying Marshall
University's football team, coaches and fans, was on its way home from a hard-fought game in
North Carolina. Less than a minute before its scheduled landing at Tri-State Airport, the plane
crashed in the Appalachian Mountains, killing everyone aboard: 37 players, eight coaches and
university staff, the flight crew, and 25 prominent Huntington citizens who had made the trip as
they always did to cheer their "Thundering Herd.”
In the aftermath of this stunning tragedy, university president Donald Dedmon (DAVID
STRATHAIRN) prepared to suspend the school's football program for the season—perhaps
indefinitely. Assistant coach Red Dawson (MATTHEW FOX), who narrowly missed the
flight, couldn't face going back onto the field.
But in Huntington, Marshall football has always been more than a sport: it's a way of life.
And this town would rally to save it.
After some initial setbacks, they found hope and strength in the leadership of outsider
Jack Lengyel (MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY), a young coach determined to rebuild Marshall's
football program and, in the process, help to heal the community.
Less than a year later, on September 18, 1971, Marshall University's brand new
Thundering Herd was poised to stage one of the greatest comebacks in collegiate sports. A raw,
youthful and inexperienced squad, patched together under the guidance of Lengyel and Dawson,
they would defy overwhelming odds just to march onto the gridiron for the school's first game
since the accident.
That season, it didn't matter whether Marshall won or lost. It didn't even matter how
they played the game. All that mattered was that they played.