Conclusion: The Undefeated had a moment or two of fun, but longer, more consistent moments of fun have occurred in other, better movies that John Wayne has starred in. Technically, the disc looks and sounds better than expected, even if the extras are practically nonexistent. But I always like to hold John Wayne films up to the lens of my father, who is a larger fan of the actor than I. And if he is apathetic about this, I would expect other, larger scores of folks will be too.
Excerpt: It is very satisfying to see a documentary that can elicit a very positive reaction by the time that it is over. Not to be confused with liking a movie because it is good, I am referring to how a film is satisfying not only because it is very good, but because it feels like I was rewarded by its quality, messages, and the people involved in its making.
Conclusion: This isn't just a story about a football team that crawls out of the gutter and makes a name for themselves. This is a story about kids who change their circumstances and the coach who makes it all possible. The sacrifice that Coach Courtney endures for these kids is superhuman. With solid video and really strong audio this Oscar-winning documentary comes recommended for everyone.
Excerpt: A Caucasian, volunteer football coach with the patience of a saint mentors inner-city African Americans from a run-down, dirt-poor North Memphis high school, turning their program from a perennial dog to a state-champion contender. Cast Denzel Washington or Billy Bob Thornton in the exact same story and we’d all be rolling our eyes at the sheer audacity of the obvious cliché count.
Excerpt: Coach Bill Courtney disputes the notion, commonly distributed by his fellow high school football coaches, that football builds character. "Football reveals character," he insists. He would know; for years before he took over as coach at Manassas High in North Memphis, Tennessee, the team would go entire seasons without a victory; they had never won a playoff game.
Excerpt: It would be tempting to call the inspirational documentary Undefeated a real-life Blind Side , except for the inconvenient fact that The Blind Side was based on real life, too, adapting Michael Lewis’ book about a white family that nurtured a gifted black football player from a broken home.