We Are Marshall

Rated 3.0

Writers Jamie Linden and Cory Helms and director McG dramatize the true story of Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., whose football program was virtually wiped out in a November 1970 plane crash that killed 75 players, coaches and community leaders. The movie traces the efforts of Marshall president Donald Dedmon (David Strathairn), new head coach Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) and surviving team captain Nate Ruffin (Anthony Mackie) to keep the sport going, despite the community’s overwhelming grief. It’s a compelling story, and sincere performances help to put over some of the inspirational clichés in the script. McG handles his actors surprisingly well, though in the game scenes he resorts to the sort of arrhythmic slow-motion that he used for the action scenes in the Charlie’s Angels movies.