We Are Marshall
‘We Are Marshall’ tells an inspiring true story set in Huntington, West Virginia, a small town steeped in the rich tradition of college football. For decades, players, coaches, fans and families have come together to cheer on Marshall University’s “Thundering Herd.” For this team and this community, Marshall football is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life. But on a fateful night in 1970, while traveling back to Huntington after a game in North Carolina, 75 members of Marshall’s football team and coaching staff were killed in a plane crash. As those left behind struggled to cope with the devastating loss of their loved ones, the grieving families found hope and strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey), a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall’s football program and, in the process, helped to heal a community.
We found this movie to be inspirational and moving. It begins with the statement on screen: “This is a true story,” not “This is based on a true story,” so the producers obviously went to great lengths to ensure that the story they portrayed was accurate. It is a heart-wrenching story and yet it shines as an example of the will of so many at Marshall to pick up the pieces following the tragic plane crash, and to somehow find the courage to move ahead. The film uses a flashback sequence at the end very effectively, at the peak of the movie, and they pull off a scene that could have flopped if not handled by very good direction. The determination to move forward and to rebuild is dramatically handled with respect and the acting is top notch. If not for some unfortunate strong language, the film could have been Dove-approved. The filmmakers edited out a strong word in church, as the dubbing is pretty obvious, but they sadly left in a couple of Biblical profanities. Due to the excessive language, this film cannot be awarded our Dove Seal.