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Undefeated Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal John Anderson

    One of the reasons documentaries often take so long to make is the filmmakers' need to keep their subject from giving a performance. They want something genuine, something that materializes only when the camera disappears. Nothing Mr. Courtney is says is inaccurate or, God knows, dishonest. But it isn't quite true either.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    It's impossible not to root for these guys, or to leave Undefeated without feeling enormously moved by the experience of their joys and disappointments.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    For a documentary that's almost engineered to lift your heart, Undefeated is very well done.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Deftly balancing the students' stories with that of Courtney's, the film creates a fully rounded portrait of a corner of America rarely examined.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Undefeated is an emotional and effective film.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Inspiring football documentary about the power of teamwork.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this inspiring football documentary includes a few uses of strong language ("s--t") but is otherwise a great example of how one fatherly mentor can make the difference in the lives of many young men. Even better is the fact that Coach Bill isn't a fictional movie character; he's the real deal -- a successful businessman who wants to show underprivileged teens that with discipline and teamwork, they can rise above their surroundings and make it to college and beyond.

  • Families can talk about Undefeated's messages. Are they all positive? How about role models? Who do you find most inspiring?
  • Discuss the movie's inherent race and class issues. Does race a play a role in how the team relates to Coach Bill?
  • How does Undefeated compare to other inspiring football films about underdog teams? Did the movie end how you expected?
  • Why are sports films so compelling, even if you're not a fan of that particular sport?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: Positive messages about the transformative power of team sports, the importance of a father figure in young men's lives, and the idea that when you do what's right with integrity and character, good things will follow. Coach Bill is instrumental in teaching the young guys that character isn't about how much you have, but how you handle life's failures. Even in the face of defeat, the Tigers are encouraged to stand tall.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Bill is an amazing role model. He's a generous, caring businessman who coaches low-income teens whom others have underestimated. Although it means his own immediate family has to sacrifice time with him, Bill dedicates himself to helping the guys on the Manassas football team reach their potential. And the guys themselves are also inspiring, despite a few flaws: OC rises to the challenge of studying and practicing to meet the requirements necessary to play college ball, Money stays true to the team even after an injury makes him question whether he's part of it, and Chavis learns from his mistakes and becomes a leader in the team.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Two players push each other, and one calls the other "gay." Chavis is known for having anger management problems, and he's suspended from playing for a portion of the season for his behavior. The actual game can get fairly violent, and one fall injures a key player.

  • sex false0

    Sex: A brief mention of a girl whom OC is trying to impress.

  • language false3

    Language: A few uses of "s--t," "damn," "ass," "hell," and one pejorative use of the word "gay."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A couple of players are shown wearing Nike athletic wear or sneakers.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue