On November 14, 1970, a plane crashed killing all 75 people onboard. All were members of Huntington, West Virginia's Marshall University football team. After considering cancelling the school's football program, University President Donald Dedmon (Strathairn) hired Coach Jack Lengyel (McConaughey) to start anew. With the help of Red Dawson (Fox), an assistant coach who wasn't on the downed plane, the two men brought the college and community back together with a group of inexperienced young players who had little chance of winning. We Are Marshall is a true story. (Tricia Spears)
Special features include the 37-minute Legendary Coaches featurette, a one-minute Marshall Now promo, the theatrical trailer, and up-front ads.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD exhibits deep blacks and appropriately well-saturated colors. Shadow delineation is adequate, but details in the darkest shadows can occasionally be lost into black. Details are captured well, but the delivery of these details is inconsistent, occasionally looking soft and smeared. Contrast is slightly high, but it does generally work well with the presentation, although outdoors the picture can often look unnatural. Edge enhancement can be noticed, especially over high-contrast transitions, and pixel breakup can also be noticed at times throughout. When the picture looks good, it can look very good. Unfortunately, it is also very inconsistent. The VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD also show deep blacks with slightly improved shadow delineation, and details are delivered more consistently than in the DVD. Unfortunately, though, colors can bleed and contrast can be more noticeably overblown. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolbyģ Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is slightly lacking in overall dynamics, with a lack of the punch and immediacy that can bring a soundtrack to life. The front stage is amply wide, and fidelity is generally good with respect to music. Dialogue often sounds harsh and thin, though, further limiting the realism of the soundtrack. The noise floor is acceptably low, making the more quiescent scenes. Music is the most impressive aspect of this soundtrack. The Blu-ray Disc's Dolby Digital encoding sounds almost identical to the HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus offering, with perhaps a slight increase in overall fluidity heard in the HD DVD release. The lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding found on both high-definition versions provides even greater naturalness to the audio, but it cannot do anything with the deficiencies in the recording and mix. (Danny Richelieu)