We Are Marshall movie review

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Warner Bros. Pictures
Dec. 22

More than 35 years ago, the Marshall University football team experienced the ultimate defeat. After losing a hard-fought game to East Carolina College, 17-14, the Thundering Herd boarded a Southern Airways DC-9 jet to go home. It was their only game that season that required a flight.

At 7:47 p.m., the trip ended when their plane crashed into an Appalachian hillside, killing all 75 passengers—including 37 Marshall players, head coach Rick Tolley, athletic director Charles Kautz, other members of the coaching staff and fans. The crash was the second that year (1970) involving a football team, and was considered the worst in American aviation history at the time.

This tragic story is coming to movie screens soon in We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey as Jack Lengyel, a young coach determined to rebuild Marshall's football program and turn the community's devastating loss into a triumph on the gridiron. Helping Lengyel pursue his mission is assistant coach Red Dawson, played by Matthew Fox, and university president Donald Dedmon, played by David Strathairn. The film co-stars Anthony Mackie (Million Dollar Baby) as team captain Nate Ruffin and Kate Mara (Brokeback Mountain) as Marshall's head cheerleader, Annie Cantrell.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock