A documentary that follows the Manassas Tigers football team, a severely underfunded and underprivileged football team -- who were even hired out as a practice team for more successful schools -- as they reverse their fortunes, thanks to coach Bill Courtney. Written by
Was rejected by the prestigious Sundance festival in 2012, so its directors was accepted and shown at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin--where it was bought for distribution and went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. See more »
The character of a man is not measured in how he handles his wins, but what he does with his failures
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I don't write too many reviews on here, but I felt I had to after seeing the "5.5" rating (03-13- 2012) on IMDb. What the hell is up with this? In my view, "Undefeated" deserves an easy 10 out of 10. I believe 'Undefeated' could easily have been the best picture of 2011. Period.
I just saw the film a few days ago. Disclaimer: I HATE football movies. I couldn't care less. Until I saw 'Undefeated.' Yes, it got my attention after winning Best Documentary after the Oscars. I was almost reluctant to go see it (I work in documentary filmmaking), but when I did, I was absolutely floored. Like, tears in my eyes as I exited the theater floored.
'Undefeated' isn't really a football movie. It's a documentary about an impoverished community that rallies around their highschool football team to try and turn things around, to try and lift their hopes, spirits and dreams. It's a film that shows the real struggles of real people that you care about. It's about young men redefining their lives after spending years in prison. It's about young men fighting to escape the abject poverty they were born into. It's about young men trying to prove that they can find success if they try hard enough. And of course, you have the Coach who pursues his impossibly vision of turning this failed football team around, by becoming a father figure and using inspiration as his primary tool.
The thing that makes all of this truly special, is that these are REAL PEOPLE. This is not some scripted Hollywood blockbuster starting the latest pop-culture stars. 'Undefeated' cuts deep into real emotions and isn't afraid to expose us for who we are, for better or worse. This is stuff of high-drama that tops even the best of scripted films.
'Undefeated' makes 'The Artist,' look like a Coke commercial. It makes 'Midnight in Paris' look like a Saturday morning cartoon. 'Undefeated' is true drama. True emotion. Real life. It pulls you in with charming fascinating 'characters', and it pulls you along, feeling every rise, every fall, every victory, every setback. If you have a heart, you will cry. For sadness, and for joy. This film has it all. Of all the movies released in 2011, this is the one that counts.
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