We Are Marshall Movie Poster Image

We Are Marshall



Conventional football drama doesn't quite score.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 124 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Students, players, and coaches survive guilt and grief; one upset father ensures the university president's firing (then feels bad about it); arguments between both coaches and players and coaches and administrators eventually work out. Lots of emotional expression.


Plane crash occurs in an instant (an electrical zap on screen), followed by black screen, then shots of flaming wreckage in the woods; funerals show weeping, upset familes; football action is hard-hitting (bodies slam, fall, fly through the air in slow motion, with loud sound effects); painful injuries (moaning, crumpled players); some emotional arguments (in one, a coach yells at, then pushes a player to the ground).


Brief, passionate kiss by cheerleader-football player couple at the start of the film.


Mild language includes "damn," "hell," and "s--t" (spoken in grief, excitement, surprise, and anger).


Falls City beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Students drink beer (they get drunk) and listen to rock music in an effort to get over their loss.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that tweens and teens who like sports movies may very well want to see this emotional drama, which is based on a real-life 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people from a small West Virginia university, including football team members and staff. The crash is rendered in an instant (as an electrical "zap"); viewers then see flaming wreckage in the woods as firemen shake their heads (no bodies, just sadness). Mourning, often angrily expressed, takes place at funerals, over meals, and during football practice. The film includes some iffy language ("damn," "s--t," and "hell"), as well as tension among players, coaches, and boosters. In one scene, players drink a case of beer, bonding in their drunkenness.

What's the story?

Based on a true story, WE ARE MARSHALL focuses on the recovery of the Marshall University football team and the surrounding West Virginia community following the November 1970 plane crash that killed 75 team members, coaches, and boosters. Although he's scheduled to be on the doomed flight from North Carolina, Coach Red (Matthew Fox) does his assistant a favor, putting him on the plane and driving himself home, completing a recruiting run on the way. Horrified that his decision led to the assistant's death, Red quits football, assuming, with everyone else, that the university will disband or at least suspend the program. But then, according to the movie, some surviving team members (who were injured that weekend, and so not at the game) ask to reinstate the program. University president Don Dedmon (David Strathairn) gives in to their demand, eventually hiring a new coach, Jack (Matthew McConaughey), who provides the yin to Red's yang.

Is it any good?


Conventional in every way, We Are Marshall is stuffed full of meaningful music and montages, but it rarely overcomes generic clichés.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of sports movies. Why do audiences like them? Families can also talk about how the different characters in the movie deal with the tragedy. What's the best way to honor the memory of the dead players and coaches?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 21, 2006
DVD/Streaming release date:September 18, 2007
Cast:Anthony Mackie, Matthew Fox, Matthew McConaughey
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:124 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language.

This review of We Are Marshall was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Inspiring football drama brings history to life.
  • Inspiring sports film about a real-life underdog.
  • Inspiring sports flick about an underdog team.
  • Stirring tale of heroic sportsmanship will inspire families.
  • Moving story of the 1980 Olympic hockey team.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bywhatever9696 April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byEmilyB123 August 6, 2010
I recommend this movie even for people who don't like sports like myself. This movie sends very powerful messages to the audience.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008


Despite the fact that there was one use of s--t, it was a good movie.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?