Undefeated

2011

Action / Documentary / Sport

81
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 6331

Synopsis


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1hr 53 min
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1hr 53 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lindseyreagan 10 / 10

This is a film that documents the highs and lows of an inner-city football team.

Undefeated is a film that documents the Manassas football team's journey to success. With underlying themes and raw emotion, this film is a strong ten. The opening to this film is the coach giving an encouraging pep-talk to his team. The director made this so that the audience can understand the true passion and determination the coach has. The biggest underlying theme is hard work. The coach is always pushing and encouraging his players. The director is also sure to pan images of the homes in North Memphis so that the audience can see what these boys come from. The camera angles used make the film seem more life-like and make the audience feels as if they are actually face to face with the coach and players. There is also another theme of pride. The coach always talks about how proud of the team he is, no matter the outcome of a game. The raw emotion of the coach and the players is seen when they lose the championship. The mood changes from hopeful and anxious to let down and disappointed. However, the coach gives another uplifting speech and says he wouldn't trade his team for the world because he is still proud of their effort and how they handle the loss. This scene is one of the most important in my opinion because it's a take-away scene. The players learn that even with continuous hard work, there are times where you will also fail. This film could be aimed at another audience of inner city school kids searching for a little inspiration. I think students attending other inner-city schools are the only ones that can truly understand that struggle. So this film would be wildly popular if shown to another inner city football team because they get it. However, inner-city school students are not the only people who would enjoy and take away from this film. Another potential audience could be any sports team coach. The coaching style of Bill Courtney is a unique style. Courtney acts almost as a father to his boys. In a scene with one of his players, "Money", he shows how much he cares about his players. The team has gathered to watch the film of their last game, Money and another boy get into a small fight and Money storms out. Well, Coach Courtney is not having that. Courtney goes to Money's house and explains to him how he must behave and how he must be a man about conflict. I think that Coach Courtney could have very well left Money to pout but Courtney decided to go that extra mile to reassure Money he is still a part of the team and he is still important despite what happened. In my opinion, this film was well put together. Undefeated is a classic feel-good movie but has the realistic element of defeat. The underlying themes of hard work and pride truly make the film all the better. Any audience would enjoy watching this movie more than once.

Reviewed by Schwendi 9 / 10

Undefeated is an exceptional movie for families and avid followers of football across the world

Whether you are a sucker for feel-good documentaries or cannot get enough of football or sports in general, "Undefeated" will soothe your needs and fulfill your viewing pleasure. The documentary takes place at a small high school called Manassas in the inner city of Memphis, Tennessee. The crew follows the Manassas Tigers during their most promising season in which they aspire to win their first playoff game in school history.

The film is structured with an indirect interview technique where the head coach of the program, Bill Courtney, is speaking to the camera without the presence of a question – giving the impression that he is speaking directly to the audience. The film focuses mainly on coach Courtney and three of the players on the team: Montrail Brown, O.C. Brown, and Chavis Daniels.

Montrail Brown, often nicknamed "Money", is an offensive lineman for the Manassas Tigers. He is one of the smartest and sincere members of the team and looks to have the brightest potential in terms of his future due to his hard work and determination. "Money" is considered to be very undersized for his position, but is one of the best linemen on the team because of this nonstop hustle.

O.C. Brown is another offensive lineman for the Tigers. He is one of their best players due to his large stature and athletic ability. However, because of his failing grades, his hopes of playing at an elite college program are not promised. The film follows his performance on the field as well as off.

Chavis Brown is the Outside Linebacker. He is portrayed as the black sheep of the documentary because of his radical behavior. In the beginning of the film, he is involved in two fights and is constantly on and off the team due to his hot temper. However, Chavis changes his state of mind and behavior later on. He becomes one of the most impactful players on the field, and one of the most impactful characters in the movie.

"Undefeated" uses a variety of film techniques. It contains various usages of long shots, close-ups, and reaction shots. One particular long shot used was on coach Courtney and O.C. Brown after their final game of the season. They were shown hugging on the field, crying and telling each other how grateful they were for one another. The film uses this long shot to show the compassion that the team has for their coaches and teammates, giving the viewer a sense of soft- heartedness.

One of the most significant reaction shots was used on Montrail. In the middle of the documentary, he tears his knee during a game. He has to go through countless rehabilitations and continuous visits to the doctor where the doctor would have to tell him that he will not be able to play because of his condition. Because of this, he goes into a state of depression. However, an anonymous character finds out about him and his determination to get back on the field and decides to pay for his college in full at any University of his choice. The camera films him dropping to the floor with his hands over his face when hearing the news. This is one of the most touching moments in the film and is shot with perfection by the camera. I am a great fan of this film. Not only because of its relevance to football, but also because of its overall plot and message. Whether you enjoy a feel-good documentary, or just simply enjoy anything that involves sports, "Undefeated" is a film that should not be swept under the rug.

Reviewed by Veronica Westfall 10 / 10

Awesome Inspirational Documentary

The documentary, Undefeated, is about a film that reveals and builds up a person's character. Daniel Lindsey and T.J. Martin did an outstanding job directing this inspirational movie. This documentary is about three deprived young student-athletes from a town called Memphis. They all have their differences and struggles with football, school, and families. But after a volunteer coach comes in and helps out the team and these three athletes, things start changing for Manassas High School.

Manassas High School in North Memphis was a school that wasn't very successful in football. Other teams would take advantage of this program and basically use them for practice. When Bill Courtney arrived as a volunteered coach, he changed the ability and attitudes of the athletes he had to deal with. Not only did he help this team turn into an athletic team but he also helped build this team into an academic team as well.

There are a few athletes that are being focused on in this documentary that have struggles of their own. One athlete named O.C. Brown, was a strong left tackle for Manassas. He was one of the main star players on the team. He has many scholarship opportunities for college, but struggles with keeping his grades up, and scoring high on his tests. Another athlete named Montrail, also known as "Money", was an offensive lineman. He is pushing to get an academic scholarship but struggles because he suffers a knee injury and stops going to school. The last main athlete in this film is a returning player that just got out of Juvy, named Chavis. Chavis learns to overcome a lot of things in high school and his anger management is the main one. He is an explosive and talented linebacker but his temper sets him off at times that are unacceptable to the team and to the coaches.

Bill Courtney, the volunteer coach for Manassas High School, was a life changer for these young men and for the rest of the football team. He brought passion, and heart into these boys. He taught them life lessons, and preached that it's not only about being an athlete, but being a student before an athlete. He did not care about the wins or the losses, but he was more concerned about revealing the character out of these young men; one of his main objectives was helping each other grow together as a team and also grow individually. He seen the outcomes he had on the athletes, and it was all love from Courtney and his ability to help these boys grow up and overcome adversity and their struggles.

This film gives great detail and goes in depth about the real feelings of the athletes and coach. The camera men get great footage of the external and internal emotions out of the coach and the athletes. With that being said, throughout most of the documentary the camera men are actually holding the camera. It makes the film better, I believe because if it was just a movie being caught on a standing camera, you wouldn't get the same emotional touch from the characters. It's more of a live perspective and makes you feel like it is not even a movie, and it's just something that's happening in the moment. This documentary gives actual features and behind the scenes of an everyday life at Manassas high school and the football program. This gives you a better understanding and helps you grasp the details about the film. 

The target audience for this documentary would be coaches, players, and anyone involved in an athletic program. This also could be for anyone who wants to watch an inspirational film. Even if you weren't ever involved in football or another athletic program, this movie would show you that kids not only struggle with school, sports, and football but also with outside complications. It shows that one person, which is Bill Courtney in this film, can impact and help build character out of a hopelessness athlete and motivate them to be a better player, teammate, and student.

Overall this 10 out of 10-star movie did an astounding job at showing us that this film was an Oscar- winning high school football documentary. From showing the background of where each of the main athletes in the movie came from and what their home-life was like, to parts of the film that keep you emotionally engaged by coach to player. This documentary is one for the books, and I would totally recommend seeing it. You will never get uninterested, and you will always be entertained by something passionate throughout the film. If you're looking for a gratifying sports flick, Undefeated is the way to go.

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