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The Express 2008 PG CC

(173) IMDb 7.3/10
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Witness the inspirational true story of a real American hero. Rising from the humblest of beginnings, Ernie Davis (Rob Brown) overcame impossible odds to become the first African-American to win college football's greatest honor - the Heisman Trophy.

Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid
2 hours, 10 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Drama
Director Gary Fleder
Starring Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid
Supporting actors Darrin Dewitt Henson, Omar Benson Miller, Nelsan Ellis, Charles S. Dutton, Justin Martin, Justin Jones, Nicole Beharie, Aunjanue Ellis, Elizabeth Shivers, Clancy Brown, Danny McCarthy, Regina Hoyles, Chelcie Ross, Saul Rubinek, Craig Hawksley, Jeff Still, Geoff Stults, Derek Graf
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By GS on January 8, 2009
Format: DVD
There has been well-documented commentary about the producers of The Express having taken liberties with some of the facts. While this is true, none of those liberties really obscure or confuse the Ernie Davis story. If you want to see a more factual presentation of the Ernie Davis story, check out the 30-minute documentary about Davis in ESPN's SportCentury series. It is very well done, too. You'll find that in this feature film, there is not much significant straying from fact.

This was an excellent film. In the theater where I saw the film, the audience was so into the movie, particularly the football action, that some folks actually cheered when Davis would make a good run or score a touchdown. The director and actors did a great job of hooking the viewer into the intensity of the games. Great story without getting too hung up on the national politics of the time. Highly recommended.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b VINE VOICE on August 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Being a football fan I am ashamed to say I didn't know this story before seeing the film. I did have some knowledge of this tragedy, but I didn't know the full story. This is a gripping biography about a young man who never got the chance to reap the rewards for his hard work and perseverance through a time when this county didn't see blacks as people. It's hard to believe this was only 60 years ago! It's really appalling how we treated certain people in those days and it's only been in the last 20 years when we have even begun to put this practice in the garbage where it belongs.

The film follows the life of football running back Ernie Davis who has such an inspiring, but ultimately sad story of how he overcame many hard ships to become an incredible running back and model sportsman. The film has a great balance of football heroics and compelling drama and should keep any movie fan interested during its two hour running time.

Excellent performances and realistic action make this a winner from start to finish! I would love to see a film about Barry Sanders that was handled this well. Although Sander's story isn't nearly this sad, it's really one that should be told, you don't have to win the Superbowl to be a winner!.....Hollywood are you listening?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By xc on March 26, 2012
Format: DVD
Gary Fleder's "The Express" just adds to the ever-increasing list of sports movies centred around a hero overcoming adversary. The producers successfully managed to combine the true story of athletic achievement and overcoming racism to create a melodramatic movie that we've all seen before.

Although "The Express" doesn't stand out and is entirely predictable, it definitely appeals to the masses. Ernie Davis played by Rob Brown, is shown as a promising football player while growing up who goes on to play for Syracuse University and eventually gets drafted by the Cleveland Browns. During his time at Syracuse, Davis leads his team to win the school's first national football championship and becomes the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.

All of the actors portrayed their characters as likeable and charismatic although almost all of their roles can be found in every other dramatic sport film. Ernie's white teammates are rude and intolerant of Ernie and start a number of locker room fights while Dennis Quaid's character is the harsh coach with a good heart who sticks with Davis until the very end. Although the numerous shots of football games along with fast paced music keep the audience's attention, the storyline is extremely predictable and difficult to get invested in.

"The Express" has excellent cinematography with plenty of scenes of the real football games that Ernie Davis was playing in along with re-enacted footage that will leave you gaping at the screen. However, cinematography can only go so far in telling the story and what the director, Gary Fleder, excelled at in the technicalities of filming, he fell short at with portraying Ernie Davis' story in a way that moved viewers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mateo52 VINE VOICE on July 17, 2009
Format: DVD
The Express is a film with numerable historical inaccuracies, fictionalized recitations, composite characterizations and tangential embellishments not unlike Rudy, Remember the Titans, Hoosiers, Glory Road, Brian's Song, and in all probability any other sports oriented film based on true events and people. Yet, not one of the aforementioned presumptive deficiencies serve to mitigate my personal contention it remains a worthwhile movie for any real fan of college sports and manages to effectively convey the spirit of socio-cultural dictates of the represented era . It is an absolutely enjoyable drama based on the life Ernie Davis, not a documentary of the life of Ernie Davis.

Davis was not a trailblazer nor was he alone in absorbing the ignorant, racist invectives and missiles launched in the direction of blacks from nearly every nook and cranny of an America gradually but at glacial-like pace being moved in the direction of a more pluralistic society. From most accounts and most assuredly based on the depiction in this movie, he was an impressive individual and athlete who by virtue of his athleticism ascended to the status of role model and hero for legions of people but tragically was afflicted with leukemia and died at the much too tender age of 23.

Portrayed with subtle intensity by Rob Brown and continually juxtaposed with his college coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid, in a role where significantly more complexity was exhibited than he is typically given credit), it matters little if his spectacular 87 yard touchdown catch/run occurred in the 1st quarter or was transposed to the 4th quarter in the movie for dramatic impact.
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