Yes, “Undefeated” is an incredible movie

Last week, we told you that the documentary “Undefeated” produced by former NFL player Ed Cunningham was up for best documentary at the Oscars.

In the meantime, the film won the award, the director become temporarily infamous, and I went to see the movie with my wife.

I’m no Will Leitch when it comes to film reviews, but this was an incredible moviegoing experience. If you read this site, you probably love football. It’s hard to imagine anyone that loves football not falling in love with this movie.

The filmakers follow coach Bill Courtney and the 2009 Manassas High School football team in Memphis, Tennessee. At one point, Courtney speaks to his team and points out that he’s never made a tackle or a completion; that the players earned their success and deserve the credit. The story is beautifully told, but I couldn’t help but think Courtney and his players like Money, Chavis, and O.C. Brown deserve a lot of credit for the film winning the Oscar.

The characters and stories are so rich it’s almost hard to believe it’s a documentary.  One scene where Chavis speaks to the team is among the most emotional scenes I’ve ever seen on screen.

This is Friday Night Lights the TV show, but real. Or the book Friday Night Lights come to life.  Or Hoop Dreams for football.

The film is only playing in a few theaters around the country, but it’s expanding this weekend. Judging by the five people total in the theater Monday night, it should arrive on DVD and Netflix soon enough. Just see it, okay?

23 responses to “Yes, “Undefeated” is an incredible movie

  1. Friday night lights is the best tv show i’ve ever seen, they ended it with to many “what was gonna happen scenarios”…in other word’s i’m upset they ended the show. They should do a movie in a few years for like an update on the characters.

  2. I’ve seen it and it’s great. Let’s not throw it in with ‘Hoop Dreams’, however. That was once in a lifetime. That movie changed what a documentary could be, and it still brings me to tears 20+years later.

  3. I’m glad you pointed out that the coach and players on the team deserve alot of credit, because apparently this fact escaped the producers and director of the film.

    During their acceptance speech, they thanked everyone from their agents to their grandparents, but not one of them made a single mention of the the subject of the film- the players and coaches of the Manassas High School football team.

  4. realitypolice says:
    Feb 28, 2012 9:24 PM
    I’m glad you pointed out that the coach and players on the team deserve alot of credit, because apparently this fact escaped the producers and director of the film.

    During their acceptance speech, they thanked everyone from their agents to their grandparents, but not one of them made a single mention of the the subject of the film- the players and coaches of the Manassas High School football team.
    *******

    I can tell you I went to the link for the F-bomb slip and found the following at the end of the article:
    Unfortunately, because of Martin’s swear, the winners were cut off before thanking the North Memphis town.

    “It was heartbreaking,” said co-Daniel Lindsay. “Because we wouldn’t be here without them.”

  5. I may have read “Friday Night Lights” a good 10 times and it still never gets old. Although the book took place in Odessa and this movie takes place in Manassas, it can be any High School in America. Watched the movie and instantly fell in love with it.

  6. @bigdogarita:

    I’m not attacking you, you are 100% right about what Lindsay is claiming.

    But did you watch the show? The F-bomb was censored, but they were not cut off at that point. They went on talking for over 25 seconds after that (check it out on you tube). Yes, they got cut off, but it wasn’t because of the F-bomb. It was because they yammered on for over 2 minutes.

    They had more than enough time to recognize the team and the town.

    Sounds like they realized in hindsight that they had omitted the team and town and are now making excuses.

  7. 2000′ Holy Cross Lancers. This story needs to be told. Kids went and beat two teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation to grab the group 4 parochial championship in NJ.. one of those teams had Ryan grant..kicker nails a 47 yard field goal to win it 41-40.

  8. My wife got a screener of it and we watched it and it is, indeed, really good. It runs the gamut of emotion and is just a great story.

  9. Co-director Dan Lindsay is from the amazing city of Rockford, IL and the film was scored by Miles Nielsen, son of Rick Nielsen who is, of course, guitarist for Rockford’s own Cheap Trick. Go Bears.

  10. As a Seahawk fan, I’m psyched for Cunningham’s Oscar and will definitely see the film. However, I’ve been very disappointed in the pre- and post- Oscar interviews, and even in the acceptance speeches, that nobody has thanked or even recognized the coach and the kids. After all, isn’t that what the film is supposed to be all about?

  11. Interesting…before I see it, tell me what you thought of “The Blind Side.”

    If you liked “The Blind Side,” then rest assured, I will not be seeing “Undefeated” because you’re opinion is simply wrong.

    If you thought “The Blind Side” was a hunk of garbage, then I can trust that “Undefeated” might be good.

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