Critic Consensus: An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn't mean the fun has to end.
Critic Reviews for Murderball
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.
A leftfield sports documentary that's as insightful and thought-provoking as it is fast and furious.
Audience Reviews for Murderball
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.
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