We Are Marshall

Rated NR

This film, based on a true story, has a promising beginning. Then, Matthew McConaughey shows up with a cartoonish performance, and the film degenerates into your typical gung-ho sports movie with nothing new to offer. When members of a college football team are killed in a plane crash, only a few players and an assistant coach are left behind. The grieving town rallies behind the football program, and they bring in a new coach (McConaughey) to inject some life back into the city and give everybody hope. The movie is well-meaning, and the performers try hard, but they are set adrift in a sea of goofy dialogue that betrays its good heart. Normally decent actors like David Strathairn and Ian McShane are required to deliver inane speeches accompanied by swelling music, and it’s not pretty. Director McG actually blows it with the football sequences, and the football team at the action’s core has no personality. As for McConaughey, he drops the ball with some of his worst work to date. The movie should’ve been uplifting, yet it winds up a dreary endeavor.

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