A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: December 21, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: September 18, 2007
- Cast: Anthony Mackie, Matthew Fox, Matthew McConaughey
- Director: McG
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Run time: 124 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch