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Murderball (2005)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,168 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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Title: Murderball (2005)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 7 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

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Release Date:

22 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murderball  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$1,523,883 (USA) (30 September 2005)
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Company Credits

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The voice of Birmingham's NBC 13 anchor Mike Royer can be heard during a local news piece. See more »

Quotes

Andy Cohn: When people in the community see you in a chair they kinda treat you like you're made of glass or that you're fragile; things like that. But, in wheelchair rugby, it's kinda like high speed bumper cars.
See more »

Connections

References Ocean's Eleven (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Waiting
Written by Al Jourgensen
Performed by Ministry
Published by Thirteenth Planet Music, Inc (BMI)
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group
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User Reviews

 
excellent documentary
13 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If, like the rest of us, you spend most of your time pissing and moaning over the seeming unfairness and petty inconveniences of everyday life, I suggest you check out "Murderball" for an immediate attitude readjustment. This fascinating documentary will put all of that stuff into perspective for you, while entertaining the hell out of you at the same time.

Played on a regulation-sized basketball court (minus the baskets), Murderball is actually a slang name for Wheelchair Rugby, an international sport in which quadriplegics use their specially armored wheelchairs almost like souped-up bumper cars to score goals for their team. The film concentrates, primarily, on the intense and sometimes downright vicious rivalry between the team from the United States and the team from Canada. The movie makers introduce us to about a half dozen players, each of whom, even in the few moments afforded him on screen, becomes a distinct personality with a history to relate and a story to tell. The two main focal points are the charismatic and muscular Mark Zupan, and Joe Soares, one of the legendary pioneers of the sport who left to coach for Canada after he was cut from the American team. Many of the most incisive scenes deal with the ribbing, some of it good-natured, some of it not so good-natured, that Soares has had to endure over his decision to defect to the opposing side.

Although the rugby scenes themselves are gripping and thrilling, the real drama occurs off the court in the men's personal lives, as we see the struggle and heartbreak the men go through, the strength and inspiration they exhibit for the rest of us, and, most especially, the camaraderie and team spirit that comes with working together to achieve a common goal. As the film-making crew follows the men around through the course of their daily lives, we get to know them as complex individuals, finding out how they ended up in a wheelchair and seeing how each was able to rise above the experience to get to where he is today. The film neither sugarcoats the difficulties of their lives nor asks for our pity. It simply presents the men to us, in all their virtues and flaws, and asks that we listen in on their stories. Some of the most poignant moments involve Soares having to come to terms with having a son who has little or no interest in sports, preferring the violin instead.

Kudos to directors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro for their fine work on this film, especially Rubin, who also provided the stunning camera-work for the scenes on the court. But most of our thanks should go to the men of the film and their loved ones who were willing to open up their lives to us in so vivid and honest a way. This is an inspiring and heartwarming film - the final scene is of some of the men introducing the sport to a number of injured Iraq War veterans

  • that will stick with you long after the closing credits.


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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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