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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, We are Marshall!!
I have lived in Huntington, WV almost my entire life and attended Marshall University. I was a small child when the plane crashed in 1970. I remember, first hand, what our town and community went through after the tragic loss of so many lives. When I first heard that the movie was going to be made, I was both thrilled and trepidatious. Could a big time Hollywood movie...
Published on June 2, 2007 by Liz Logan

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story
The story of Marshall's comeback from tragedy is inspiring. It was truly a horrific event that tore a community apart and through the vision of a few put the town back on its feet. Worth watching but the film is not "award" quality.
Published 4 months ago by michael blaszyk


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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, We are Marshall!!, June 2, 2007
This review is from: We Are Marshall (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I have lived in Huntington, WV almost my entire life and attended Marshall University. I was a small child when the plane crashed in 1970. I remember, first hand, what our town and community went through after the tragic loss of so many lives. When I first heard that the movie was going to be made, I was both thrilled and trepidatious. Could a big time Hollywood movie capture the real event with integrity, honesty and respect? The answer is a resounding Yes!

McG, McConaughey, Fox and the rest of the cast and crew treated our story with all of that and more. The movie is historically accurate, (thanks to a great script by Jamie Linden) the acting is excellent, the soundtrack is fabulous, and McG - thank you for filming a good portion of this movie in Huntington!

This movie was not only "necessary" but a story that applies to so many other "rise from the ashes" events in our world today. I know it would seem easy for me to love this movie because I lived it, but my adoration for this film actually comes from the efforts and dedication that the film makers put into this project. They took a true story and made it into a movie that can touch the heart of anyone who sees it.

For those critics who spend too much time focusing on the "pacing," and "spirituality" or other minutia, you're missing the point. This isn't a film for pretentious, overly analytical critics or Sunday School debate. Enjoy this film for what it is. It was intended to share an uplifting and heart-warming true story and to evoke understanding, empathy, courage and determination. If you have any humanity in you, you will like this movie! GO HERD! WE ARE MARSHALL!!
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Story of America's Greatest Sports Tragedy, January 1, 2007
By 
Antoinette Klein (Hoover, Alabama USA) - See all my reviews
On November 14, 1970, an airplane carrying the Marshall University football team, coaches, and many prominent supporters crashed with all aboard killed. This movie portrays what happened to those left behind and how they rose from the ashes of this disaster and resurrected the football team.

Since everyone knows what is in store, the first part of the movie is especially poignant as you meet the players and know their lives are destined to end far too early. What a typical moviegoer might not be familiar with is the character of Jack Lengyel, a man who was the only one willing to come forward and try to salvage the football program. Matthew McMcConaughey gives a stirring performance as Coach Lengyel as does Matthew Fox as Red Dawson, the assistant coach who gives up his seat at the last minute to another person. The guilt of being a survivor eats at him and nearly destroys his life.

Emotional, uplifting, and enjoyable....this movie manages to honor those who died and those who picked up the pieces and restored pride to Marshall.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, simplistic, rewarding!, September 16, 2007
By 
L. Quido "quidrock" (Tampa, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Are Marshall (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I remember clearly, as a high school junior, the shock and loss that the crash of the aircraft carrying the Marshall University football team invested on a nation. The town, the college, and those left behind must have suffered so. It has taken 25 years to portray that loss on film, and the December film, "We Are Marshall", while not living up to its promise as one of the years "awardable" movies, was nevertheless a moving film experience.

The film deals briefly with the events leading up to the crash, and then in depth with the different ways that those affiliated with the school grieve and start over again. Star athlete Nate Ruffin (Anthony Mackie) is stunned at the fact that he wasn't on the plane, due to injury, and that his legacy is to pick up where the team left off and start over again. His faith in that new start never waivers. Unlike Ruffin, the school's administration and its president Donald Dedmon (the always excellent David Strathairn)
are more realistic. They can't recruit, can't play freshman, can't rebuild right away. The school is small and although "The Thundering Herd" were important to students, alumni and faculty alike, the task is insurmountable. They will suspend the program for a few years to give everyone a chance to recover.

The student body has a different plan, and their outrage presents Dedmon with the need to try. He can't find a coach and has to settle for a virtual unknown from the College of Wooster. Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey, complete with greasy hair in an unlikely length and clothes of plaid polyester) accepts the challenge He's just savvy and stubborn enough to make it work, to reformat and refashion a team of sorts, and even to talk former recruiting scout, Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) into returning as an assistant coach.

The remainder of the film deals with both the practical matter of building the team, the difficulty in winning, and the way those in the town and at the school deal with the grief of what might have been.
Director McG, not a favorite of mine (he brought us BOTH Charlie's Angel's films) surprises with his light touch with the story and his ability to let the film find its own legs. It is a poignant tale. It bogs down between the decision to move forward with the team and the actual first game. The game sequences have an authentic feel, and the score moves well with the film. The film feels like authentic West Virginia and authentic 70's. It never attempts to be something it isn't; it's a sports film that treats the sport within the greater landscape of what was happening in the times and how emotions sometimes get in the way of moving on with your life. It deeply affected the crowd in the theater on the day I saw it.

McConaughey is goofy, offbeat and believable as Lengyel. Aside from his performance, everyone else in the film works well together as an ensemble, with few false notes but not much to remember about their contributions. There's no cliche here, just a simple story that will make you both sad and hopeful. Forget what the critics say, "We Are Marshall" will touch you.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rememberance, September 1, 2007
By 
This review is from: We Are Marshall (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I watched this film with tears streaming down my cheeks as I recalled the evening of my 12th birthday, November 14, 1970. I vividly remember watching TV in the basement of our small house in St. Albans, West Virginia, and during the football game which I was watching, the local tv station broke in with a report that the plane had gone down. My first thought was, "Oh no, Roger." One of my family's neighbors in our first house in St. Albans was a young man named Roger Childers, who if I remember correctly was being redshirted during this particular season. As a typical boy who had dreams of growing up and playing football myself, I think back to Roger taking the time to visit with myself and my next door neighbor Joey when we asked him questions about football and college at Marshall. He was a wonderful young man and my family I learned the next day that unfortunately he was among those on the team plane.
This film took me back to my youth and I thought everything was handled "delicately" out of respect for the dead and their families including the crash itself. Seeing terror in the faces of the coaches and players would have been very difficult to handle. I thought they paid very close attention to the details particularly in regards to the crash site and the weather that night...it was cold, nasty and rainy. The rebirth of the program reminds me of a Phoenix rising from the ashes to live another day. If you like to be moved when watching a film, by all means, watch this one.
Peace!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy Re-Visited, September 7, 2007
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Being a WV native, and Huntington resident from 1967-1992 as well as a student at MU 1969-71, I waited for this film with both curiosity and some fear of what the producers would do to the story.

Some of the landmarks have changed-the downtown bridge is long gone and the bridge in the final scene wasn't completed until the late 1980's. The restaurant scenes capture the essence of Wiggins' 16th Street altho' it is gone as well. However, the feelings and the emotions of the community were portrayed exactly as we remembered them, we being my wife, a Huntington native and Marshall graduate. It took many months if not years before the community began to understand the impact of the trajedy. I believe it was to the University's, the Board of Regent's, and the Collegiante Athletics Commission's credit that MU was allowed to return to play and field a team, no matter how makeshift.

Following the Young Thundering Herd gave us cause to begin the healing process. Failing to re-instate the football program would have forever left the plane crash as a final punctuation point to MU athletics.

Matt Macconaughey's portrayl of post-crash Coach Jack Lengyel seemed a little over the top to me, but there is no question that Coach Lengyel is indeed a character. That outrageous sports coat was actually only slightly out of fashion in the day.

I saw the film in Florida, 2 months after it's release. I was amazed that at the end of the film very few in the audience left. Most folks, including us, just sat quietly in their seats while the credits rolled and then very quietly got up and left the theatre.

That was exactly the atmosphere on the Marshall Campus following the crash in 1969. Well done!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are Marshall....Indeed, February 9, 2007
This is one of the very best movies I have seen....I'm not a sports fan, but it appealed to me from a historic perspective....We were teenagers and kids when the crash happened, and I was interested in seeing how they handled it....Gotta tell ya, I think they did a fantastic job....You could have heard a pin drop {on the carpet} during the whole thing....So rare nowadays to have such utter silence all thru a movie, but I think it showed the respect of the movie-goers for the story and the loss as well as the resurrection of a whole generation....Cudos to all involved and I can't wait to get the DVD in my collection....I only wish my father had lived to see it with us....
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational, funny, tear-jerker., December 22, 2006
By 
K. J. Devlin (Ona, WV United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We Are Marshall (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
WE ARE MARSHALL's Director, McG, managed to portray the personality of Huntington, WV & its intimate relationship with Marshall Univeristy true to the time period of the event: 1970. The story could be construed as corny if it was anything but a true historical reflection of the tragedy as it unfolded in that time and cultural period. McConaughey has stretched to a higher acting level in his off beat character as Coach Lengyel.

As part of the Huntington Community working with Marshall University, I found the film captured the cultural context of Huntington's appalchian personality accurately. Coach Lengyel's movie character is an enjoyable, quirky departure from the more austere historical figure and legitimately nurtures the film's landscape to broaden audience appeal for those unfamiliar with history's greatest sport's tragedy. For a historical documentary of the event, see "Ashes to Glory." For a feel good experience see "WE ARE...MARSHALL!"
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are Marshall - Both True and Inspirational, August 10, 2007
By 
Julie (Atlanta, GA) - See all my reviews
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When a plane crash kills the football team and many community leaders in a university town, how do the university and town grieve? How do they generate the inner strength to show respect for those who died but still recreate that sense that life must be lived? Just like everyone can recall JFKs assassination, everyone in Huntington, WV has their memories of this tragedy. This movie avoids being a Hollywood story because most of the actual characters contributed to the script. And Hollywood honored those individuals and the survivors families through out the creation of the movie. The Director, McG will be a force in the movie industry for creating a powerful story that will make you feel good about the human spirit. The story revolves around football but it is a story of the human emotional journey to recovery. This is the type of story that you want to see again and again. It's that good.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is by no means a mere sports film-- It is truly a work of art, January 15, 2007
By 
It is unfathomable to see how many negative reviews this movie received from different critics, as well as some audience members, and I REALLY am left to wondering if they were actually watching the same movie as I was watching, or if they even WATCHED the movie at all. This movie deserves to be looked at as far more than just another "winning the big game" sports film like "Miracle", which was one of my favorites, but needs to viewed as so much more-- a magnificent piece that deals with coping with tragedy and rising above the ashes--perfect themes for this post 9/11 world, wouldn't you say? PLEASE do not listen to the negative reviewers on this one. I can guarantee you will not be disapointed, especially with the fact that this has to be the best performances ever given by Matthew McCaughney.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are...Marshall!, December 24, 2006
By 
Big T (Cleveland, OH) - See all my reviews
Marshall football made the biggest comeback in sports history...from ashes to glory. The storyline is predictable because its a true story...and its respectful to share both the hardship and the tremendous heart of those who were able to carry on and take the field the next season. Players, coaches & a whole town had to come together to save this program and honor those who perished. It was a quest that proved successful in the long run, as Marshall football went on to be the most winning NCAA Division I football program of the 1990's. Imagine a story about a athlete program, a town, a university...that had to rebound from the nation's worst sports tragedy. It's a great story and a powerful movie. It's one of the most inspiring movies you will ever see. Enjoy! We are...
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We Are Marshall (Widescreen Edition)
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