The Express (2008)
Critic Consensus: This inspirational sports biopic set in the the civil rights era is interesting even for non-football fans, and features a great performance by Dennis Quaid as tough-but-fair football coach.
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as Ben Schwartzwalder
as Ernie Davis
as Roy Simmons Sr.
as Willie 'Pops' Davis
as Jim Brown
as Jack Buckley
as Young Ernie
as Art Modell
as Sarah Ward
as Bob Lundy
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Critic Reviews for The Express
The sports-movie template is capable of absorbing any story and delivering the same uplift.
The film does the job, in its conventional way. But it's geared to throw the prime screen time in the direction of the guy playing the guy coaching the guy who's supposed to be running the movie.
Despite appealing performances and kinetic football scenes, the storytelling is mostly conventional, except for two outstanding set pieces.
Audience Reviews for The Express
A surprisingly enjoyable movie, and one that - I think - got lost among a great many football movies, primarily Remember the Titans, Any Given Sunday (in which Dennis Quaid also plays a coach...) and Friday Night Lights. These three aren't the comparables, though; if anything, put this one beside Rudy. It's an underdog story that's a bit formulaic but very well set in its moment, and it tells of a very human experience: though it's about racism - Davis being the first black player to win the Heisman trophy - it's not too heavy-handed, and it's just as much about football, and built on a deep love and understanding of the game. I recommend seeing it once.
Another well made true factual sporting film about an all star black American football star in the 50's/60's when racism was a very hot cookie in the States. The whole story, even though its true, isn't very original hehe they do tend to be all the same really, A poor boy having a hard time growing up as an outcast makes it good in the world of pro football due to his natural athletic abilities, wins over many peoples hearts and support but dies young from natural causes, missing his chance to really make his mark in the world. I have seen many good sporting films and they are always in the same vein, true or not, but they do seem to turn out well made and always make you feel good at the end or make you think, which is good. This film is no exception, its very very well made, looks really authentic capturing the era and problems of the time, has a great timeless soundtrack, little nuggets of real footage from the actual games and tugs at your heart strings throughout. It is predictable like all sport flicks but the fact its based on true events does make you ignore that, well you have to ignore that. The cast are all excellent, Quaid is good as the tough supportive coach and Brown is very good as Davis showing real love in his role, Dutton as Davis father is also very good in his short role adding real class to the whole film. I have to admit Americans sure know how to make a good sporting flick about their beloved national games, although Baseball doesn't fare as well as Football.
Although 'The Express' doesn't live up to the standards of movies such as 'Remember the Titans' but it manages to keep viewers excited and thrilled. Its talented cast manages to pull of the inspirational characters.
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