McConaughey’s performance, more flat than fiery, is the weakest link, but Ian McShane lends some acting heft to the proceedings as a grieving father who forms a special bonds with his deceased son’s fiancée (Kate Mara). However, Kimberly Williams-Paisley is once again reduced to a smiling spouse (as she was earlier this year in How to Eat Fried Green Worms ) whose performance consists almost entirely of a few reaction shots of her cheering from the Marshall stands.

We Are Marshall isn’t terrible, but it fails to measure up to the more effective sports movies of recent years. Considering the powerful true story that inspired the film, the movie’s lack of distinction is a little disappointing.

AUDIENCE:  Teens and up

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity:  Several profanities. Lord’s name taken in vain.
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Beer is purchased and consumed by college students.
  • Sex/Nudity:  Some kissing.
  • Violence:  Football contact; a young boy with a helmet runs into a tree; a baseball collision at home plate; a fist fight in a locker room.
  • Spirituality:  Church funeral services; a prayer over a stadium PA system; coaches attend the same church; a man mentions that he was baptized in the Ohio River; talk of the deceased teammates watching the players from above; a sign reads, “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.”