The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn't mean the fun has to end.
All Critics (138)
| Top Critics (41)
| Fresh (135)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (12)
Murderball is no Rocky-esque hymn to the human spirit. It's more like a prison movie...
An honest, down-to-earth account of how life goes on for people with disabilities.
What emerges is more interesting, thankfully, than a linear offering of sporting triumph in the face of adversity.
Few sports movies with a premise this powerful ever bother to dig this deep.
This offbeat documentary is inspiring and jaw-droppingly original.
There's little room for tears in the testosterone-riddled territory of quadriplegic rugby. "Murderball" spat on that power of the human spirit stuff and rolled along to a kick-ass showcase of not what spinal injury excluded, but what it enabled.
a triumph of filmmaking: of structure, character development, and pacing
The quadriplegic rugby sport referred to as "Murderball" is lovingly examined in a well-crafted documentary that goes a long way toward showing the mental and physical fortitude of these wheelchair bound athletes who insist on living life to the fullest.
Arguably the greatest sports movie since Hoop Dreams and When We Were Kings.
Filmmakers Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro wisely chose a high-energy aesthetic to portray quadriplegic rugby (a.k.a. "Murderball") through the story of Mark Zupan and his American teammates battling for Paralympic gold.
Even when the movie tries to shoe-horn its stories into the standard documentary mold, it serves to drive home the point: these guys aspire to the same clichés as the rest of us.
The U.S. and Canadian teams of quadriplegics compete in a rugby-like game called murderball in the paraolympics.
The first impression of some of these people is not positive, but nonetheless interesting: they come off as testosterone-fueled assholes, but they're in wheelchairs, so all expectations of this being a feel-good Lifetime after-school special are shot to the moon the first time an paraolympian tells a story about threatening to kick the ass of a random bar patron. But as the film goes on, we get underneath the veneers of these players. There are a few vulnerabilities, but what they want more than your pity is your respect, your fear, and your recognition that their injuries do not threaten their masculinity.
The film tries to fashion a sports story out of its subject, but it doesn't work. There isn't a lot of suspense in the games' outcomes.
Overall, documentaries often open worlds that we never imagined existed, and what is true of those documentaries is doubly true of Murderball.
I am a sucker for films like these. It's almost impossible that I was not going to like "Murderball." Anything that involves sports and rage and physical disability and empowerment (empowerment in the awesome, beat-yo-ass way, not empowerment in the "encouraging dialogue" kind of way) is A-OK with me. Mark Zupan is an excellent choice of a hero, all outspoken and solid yet full of rage.
This is a very interesting and memorable documentary blending sports, humanity, and living with being handicapped. These guys may be in wheelchairs, but they take they are badass, and take their brand of rugby, or rather, wheelchair rugby, very seriously. In fact, the film's title comes from the sport's nickname- that's how hardcore these guys are.
They're not totally jerk jocks, though. These guys are also family men who just try to continue living life as normally as possible given the circumstances, and this film is just a nice little look into their lives as well as their sport.
Good stuff all around. I highly recommend it.
Murderball is a good sports documentary and a great look at living with a disability. On the surface, this film unabashedly celebrates defiant machismo and the competitive spirit but underneath I sensed a more speculative investigation of human motivation, in many different arenas.
Murderball is very well structured and edited - a minor complaint - the filming of the wheelchair rugby game sequences left me confused about this relatively unknown sport. That's a minor quibble because most of this inspirational film takes place off the court.
"I use everything I have to get through life, We all have to use everything we have."
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