We Are Marshall Really ugly plaid sport coats, the kind they wore in 1971 (generally along with a short fat striped tie), do a lot for Matthew McConaughey… We Are Marshall Really ugly plaid sport coats, the kind they wore in 1971 (generally along with a short fat striped tie), do a lot for Matthew McConaughey… 2006-12-22 PG PT127M Drama Sports Matthew Fox Matthew McConaughey Ian McShane David Strathairn Warner Bros.
Movie Review

We Are Marshall (2006)

MPAA Rating: PG
FUMBLED McConaughey leads Marshall , an earnest attempt at a football weepie that falls short of the goal line
Image credit: We Are Marshall: Frank Masi
FUMBLED McConaughey leads Marshall, an earnest attempt at a football weepie that falls short of the goal line
EW's GRADE
D

Details Release Date: Dec 22, 2006; Rated: PG; Length: 127 Minutes; Genres: Drama, Sports; With: Matthew Fox and Matthew McConaughey; Distributor: Warner Bros.

Really ugly plaid sport coats, the kind they wore in 1971 (generally along with a short fat striped tie), do a lot for Matthew McConaughey in We Are Marshall, a sports movie based on a real-life tragedy. The duds lend him a nerdish heartland quirkiness, something to balance out his natural-born egomaniacal moxie. As Jack Lengyel, who is hired to restart the Marshall University football program after most of the team perishes in a plane crash, McConaughey wears plastered-down hair like something out of a bad yearbook photo, and he has a hunched, turtlish gaze. This coach means well, but he's a bit out to lunch, and that's his power. Facing an impossible situation, he's the only one not pious about it, and that's why he can help the townsfolk get over it.

His job is easier than the movie's. Watching We Are Marshall, we're caught between dueling sentimentalities: The film keeps insisting that we mourn for a team we didn't know, yet the new team assembled by Lengyel, who gets the NCAA to bend its rule about whether freshmen can play, is the most colorless of movie sports squads. The director, believe it or not, is McG, the wizard of jet-fueled camp kinetics who made the Charlie's Angels films, and though he has the wit to score training montages to ''Suite: Judy Blue Eyes'' and ''Peace Train,'' he's a fumbler at square old human drama. We Are Marshall has little of the bone-crunching sincerity of the recent pigskin rouser Invincible. This one is more like Unconvincing.

Originally posted Dec 13, 2006 Published in issue #912 Dec 22, 2006 Order article reprints