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Undefeated
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Undefeated (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Undefeated -- A documentary on an underdog high school football team who look to reverse their fortunes with coach Bill Courtney.
Undefeated -- A clip from Undefeated
Undefeated -- Trailer 2 for Undefeated
Undefeated -- An exclusive clip from the documentary Undefeated

Overview

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7.8/10   4,482 votes »
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Release Date:
3 August 2012 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A documentary on an underdog football team who look to reverse their fortunes with coach Bill Courtney. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(172 articles)
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User Reviews:
An above average sports documentary about real kids with real issues; see this instead of the latest Hollywood make believe team See more (23 total) »

Cast

 
Montrail 'Money' Brown ... Himself
O.C. Brown ... Himself
Bill Courtney ... Himself
Chavis Daniels ... Himself

Directed by
Daniel Lindsay 
T.J. Martin 
 
Produced by
Sean Combs .... executive producer (as Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs)
Paolo Coppola .... executive producer
Ed Cunningham .... producer
Michele Farinola .... executive producer
Lee Gordon .... field producer
Seth Gordon .... producer
Neeraj Kohli .... executive producer
Daniel Lindsay .... producer (as Dan Lindsay)
Jillian Longnecker .... executive producer
Rich Middlemas .... producer
Chris Miller .... executive producer
Nigel Sinclair .... executive producer
Glen Zipper .... producer
Ralph Zipper .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Brook 
Daniel McMahon 
Miles Nielsen 
 
Cinematography by
Daniel Lindsay 
T.J. Martin 
 
Film Editing by
Daniel Lindsay 
T.J. Martin 
 
Sound Department
Joe Iemola .... sound editor
Shannon Pickett .... additional production sound
Cameron Steenhagen .... dialogue editor
Elijah Weber .... sound editor
Elmo Weber .... sound re-recording mixer
Elmo Weber .... supervising sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ryan Goble .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Richard Garibaldi .... final colorist
Matt Hopkins .... on-line editor
Claire O'Brien .... Post Production Supervisor
Mark Reaser .... hd mastering
Tobias Rogers .... editorial assistant
Cameron Rumford .... assistant editor
Kelly Sandefur .... on-line editor
Michael Smollin .... digital colorist
J. Clay Tweel .... additional editor
Paul Lavoie .... digital production manager (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Craig Conard .... music production
Darren Garvey .... percussion
Sandy Wilson .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Gabriel Bucsko .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Mark Ankner .... the producers wish to thank
Sarah Anthony .... the producers wish to thank
Beau Bauman .... the producers wish to thank
Nicholas Kalikow .... special thanks
Steven Klein .... the producers wish to thank
Luis Lopez .... the producers wish to thank
Mary Rohlich .... the producers wish to thank
Kyle Roper .... special thanks
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for some language
Runtime:
113 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
An above average sports documentary about real kids with real issues; see this instead of the latest Hollywood make believe team, 2 March 2012
Author: chaz-28 from Rockville, MD

North Memphis looks rough. Its houses are collapsing, its public infrastructure is crumbling, and its prospects on the horizon look like its bringing more of the same. Undefeated says life in North Memphis was not always like this, but once the Firestone plant closed and took the jobs away, this part of the city was forgotten. The residents feel they are not only second class citizens in Tennessee, which focuses more on Nashville in the center and Knoxville in the east, but second class in their own city.

One bright spot is a brand new, state of the art high school; the new home of the Manassas Tigers. Entering Manassas High School, however, is more akin to going through airport security than going to a place to learn. During his first football meeting of the year with his team, Coach Bill Courtney mentions starting players getting shot, jail sentences, and academic suspensions, issues a coach may encounter throughout their entire career, but these are issues he has dealt with in the past two weeks. North Memphis is definitely not Dillon, Texas and Manassas High School resembles nothing of the Friday Night Lights Dillon Panthers; this is real life.

Coach Courtney spends the vast majority of his time preaching character, discipline, and respect to a crowd of high school kids who do not seem very interested in receiving those messages. They are more concerned with fighting amongst themselves than focusing on beating the other team on the football field. Instead of studying plays in film sessions or running through football fundamentals, Coach constantly has to break up fights, convince the kids not to drop out of school, and remind them that a man's character is revealed on the football field.

Incredibly, Coach is a volunteer. He does not get paid to spend grueling hours every day trying to teach football and life lessons to a bunch of kids who usually seem to be tuning him out. He sees something more in them though, much more than they see in themselves. He feels it in his bones that if these kids learn to focus on the team instead of themselves; they will not only win on the football field, but in the classroom, and later on in life. This sounds like a scripted TV show, but it is very real and Coach Courtney is dead serious about it.

One player who visibly understands the Coach's vision is also the team's best player, left tackle O.C. Brown. O.C. reminds you of Michael Oher from The Blind Side. He is a huge human being but has a quiet, almost meek, personality. He is not strong academically though and is having trouble getting the minimum score for college scholarship eligibility on the ACT. In one of the stronger episodes of the film, O.C. gets a one-on-one tutor and stays three to four nights a week at a coach's house because no tutors would ever go see O.C. in his home neighborhood. The filmmaker wisely includes social commentary about why it is always the gifted athletic star that gets so much specific help and never just a regular kid.

There are only two other members of the football team who get noticeable screen time and they are right tackle Montrail 'Money' Brown and team troublemaker Chavis Daniels. Money is under-sized for his position but plays with so much intensity that he is a very strong member of the offensive line. He has a 3.8 GPA and has his sights set on becoming a football manager or lawyer because he knows he is far too small for college ball. Chavis has just returned from school from a 15 month leave of absence because he was in juvenile detention. He has an incredibly short fuse and will instigate a fight in a moment's notice. The back and forth comparisons between Money and Chavis work to the film's credit. Money gets injured and wonders why he can barely get a second chance on the football field when he sees Chavis still causing trouble on the team even though he is on his 50th chance.

Through the unending and amazingly persistent efforts of Coach Courtney, the Manassas Tigers start winning games and the kids' conduct both on and off the field are noticeably improved from the film's opening scenes. I do not know why it is called Undefeated because the Tigers lose their first game of the season before they start their run for the playoffs. There are some very strong scenes though, especially one with Money and some news he receives about his future and a scene between Coach and O.C. as they say goodbye to each other at the end of the season.

Undefeated is a very effective sports documentary but I am surprised it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Its nomination was deserved but it is not consistently strong and felt throughout its entire length. However, I encourage you sports fans out there to go see a real football team instead of one created for you with a Hollywood cast; these kids are much more worth your time.

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