Murderball - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Murderball Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
August 4, 2008
Murderball is no Rocky-esque hymn to the human spirit. It's more like a prison movie...
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 26, 2007
An honest, down-to-earth account of how life goes on for people with disabilities.
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
June 24, 2006
What emerges is more interesting, thankfully, than a linear offering of sporting triumph in the face of adversity.
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
September 26, 2005
Few sports movies with a premise this powerful ever bother to dig this deep.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 26, 2005
This offbeat documentary is inspiring and jaw-droppingly original.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 29, 2005
Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro ... pack an amazing amount of storytelling into these 86 minutes, alternating between several distinct narrative threads to create a documentary as engrossing as any fictional movie.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 29, 2005
The frank lack of condescension and mean moments of Murderball make it more than a film about sports or quadriplegics: It becomes a movie about life, about struggle, about pain, bitterness and pushing forward.
| Original Score: A
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
July 29, 2005
Wheels us through an emotional obstacle course so rigorous and satisfying you'll be gulping for air by the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 29, 2005
None of this is treated as anything but what it is: trying to get the most out of life by --- to paraphrase the famous Warren Zevon hockey tribute -- getting the ball, keeping it and trying to hurt somebody.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 29, 2005
I don't know whether directors Henry Alex Rubin and Dan Adam Shapiro set out to show the jock mentality with such clarity, but that's precisely what their gripping movie does.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 28, 2005
While the game itself is enough to hold viewers' interest, the filmmakers go much further. They delve into the psyche of the players.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 26, 2005
Their game is ugly, raucously verbal, overtly physical and, as displayed in Murderball's rapid-pace editing, a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 23, 2005
The emotional resonance that results from the focus on several unique individuals is what makes this a worthwhile viewing experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
July 22, 2005
It's the best sports documentary since Hoop Dreams, a great piece of work.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 22, 2005
Ultimately, the film is an affectionately manly tribute to these athletes, for whom every game -- and every day -- is a triumph.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
July 22, 2005
In less than an hour and a half, the athletes profiled in the documentary will frustrate you, amaze you, make you laugh and make you cry -- but you'll never feel sorry for them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 22, 2005
Tough, terse, funny, ribald, and heartbreaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
July 21, 2005
[Rubin and Shapiro] were good enough to recognize wheelchair rugby as a prime documentary topic and lucky enough to uncover a collection of human stories that makes Murderball more than just another sports movie.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 21, 2005
One of the most powerful films of the year.
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 21, 2005
This is a tremendously life-affirming film that will be remembered as one of the year's best.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 21, 2005
To consider the bleak months and sleepless nights when these men first confronted the reality of their injuries, and now to see them in the full force of athletic exuberance, is to learn something valuable about the human will.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
July 21, 2005
Murderball has all the ingredients of a powerful sports documentary: magnetic characters, triumph over adversity and bone-crunching action shots.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 18, 2005
Brilliant filmmaking. Each of the stories, very interesting
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
July 15, 2005
Murderball's most impressive blow is the one it strikes against feel-good stereotypes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 15, 2005
Entertaining jock-umentary.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 14, 2005
It's original, outrageous and murderous fun.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 9, 2005
The fast-moving, psychologically savvy Murderball treats its subjects not only with respect, but with humor.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 9, 2005
The personal and athletic dramas surrounding the team are sufficiently absorbing that you relate to Soares, Zupan and the film's other characters principally as charismatic, driven and often pigheaded guys locked in ruthless competition.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 8, 2005
Murderball brilliantly captures the intensity of the little-known athletic competition, offering more intimacy and drama than most Hollywood sports movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
July 8, 2005
Even though Murderball founders in the sports department, it's a champ as a character-driven piece of entertainment.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
July 8, 2005
When it comes to sports movies, there's nothing like the real thing, and there's never been anything quite as real as the documentary Murderball.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
July 7, 2005
... gripping sports documentary ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
July 7, 2005
Rubin and Shapiro have crafted the best of this year's sports films -- fiction or documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 7, 2005
A great sports drama first and a heart-wrenching triumph-over-adversity weepie almost never.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
July 7, 2005
You're roused from your seats by men who aren't able to get up from theirs. How cool is that?
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 6, 2005
The filmmaking is as strong as the subject matter, with an elegant structure. And that's something that can't be said of every entry in this nonfiction boom.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
July 6, 2005
What keeps Murderball from devolving into redemptive drivel is its insistence on treating the players it profiles as jocks first and disabled men second.
Top Critic
Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 7, 2005
Murderball isn't a great sports movie, but it does a superb job of getting inside the heads of some of the most compelling, and highly unlikely, athletes ever caught on film.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
April 2, 2005
A blast and a half -- as entertaining as mainstream American docus get.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
February 5, 2005
Bring[s] viewers into the world of the severely handicapped without any high-mindedness or sentimentality.