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Murderball (2005)

R  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  5 August 2005 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,738 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 68 user | 110 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Joe Bishop ...
Himself
Keith Cavill ...
Himself
Andy Cohn ...
Himself
Scott Hogsett ...
Himself
Christopher Igoe ...
Himself
Bob Lujano ...
Himself
Kevin Orr ...
Himself
Joe Soares ...
Himself
Dave Willsie ...
Himself
...
Himself
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Storyline

Quad rugby as played by the US team, between 2002 games in Sweden and the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Young men, most with spinal injuries, play this rough and tumble sport in special chairs, seated gladiators. We get to know several and their families. They talk frankly about their injuries, feelings in public, sex lives, competitiveness, and love of the game. There's also an angry former team member gone north to coach the Canadian team, tough on everyone, including his viola-playing son. We meet a recently injured man, in rehab, at times close to despair, finding possible joy in quad rugby. After Athens, the team meets young men injured in war: the future stars of Team USA. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

5 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gyilkos labda - A kerekesszék harcosai  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$57,286 (USA) (8 July 2005)

Gross:

$1,523,883 (USA) (30 September 2005)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Igoe originally refused to appear in the movie. After more than a year of filming he was persuaded by the need to put his side of the story, rather than have it "mis-told" by others. See more »

Quotes

Scott Hogsett: We're not going for a hug. We're going for a fucking gold medal.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Weeds: The Dark Time (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Song for Jerry
Written and Performed by The Whiles
Published by Mrs. Children (BMI)
Courtesy of Anyway Records
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Documentary of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival
4 February 2005 | by (Westchester, New York) – See all my reviews

"Murderball" was the best documentary I viewed at the recent 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It won the audience award, which is what really counts as opposed to the bogus grand jury prize award (which went to "Why We Fight" - a leftist film).

"Murderball" does an amazing job of juxtaposing scenes of the quadriplegic rugby players documenting their familial environments and dealing with their personal demons, with the fast-paced, adrenaline-packed scenes of rugby. You'd have to be a robot to not be touched by the heartfelt and poignant stories - such as that of the intense Jeff Zupan (who was rendered a quad because at the age of 16 he passed out in his buddys flatbed drunk, and then his buddy went out dwi and crashed, flinging Zupan's body 60 ft. into a nearby stream, where he hung onto a tree branch for 13 hours before help arrived on the scene). The scenes of the abrasive Joe Soares are also great - documenting his family dynamic and his relationship with his bright, effeminate son.

Also included are a series of animation sequences that amazingly capture the character's dreams of flight (with all their limbs).

However, my personal favorite scenes are the rugby sequences, in particular the heated rivalry documented between Team USA and Team Canada. Joe Soares, a former quad-rugby legend for USA, was shunned at a tryout in '96, didn't make the team, and in a brazen act of defiance went to coach Team Canada against the Americans at the quad-Olympics, knowing all their plays. This compelling scenario sets the stage for one of the best documentaries you'll ever see - a triumph of the heart, and human spirit - truly inspirational.

****/****


43 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Why don't they wear helmets? dale-s-t-1
Quadriplegics can NOT play this sport bwybnd
Quadriplegic? You sure? Burton_Jack
Why was Joe Soares fired from Team Canada? joshmajka-1
Why is no one seeing Murderball? whoschad
bad marketing killed this film crtive76
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