Set on the mean streets of Memphis, Oscar-nominated documentary Undefeated, chronicles the Manassas Tigers' 2009 football season on and off the field as they struggle to win the first playoff game in their high school's 110-year history. (In past years the hopeless team apparently sold their home games to the highest bidder.) In Spring 2004, things start turning around when a team of promising players join forces with former high school football coach turned lumber salesman, Bill Courtney.
Still wondering why you should see the film? We have a few reasons that might persuade you, six to be precise.
1. The Academy says so
You know you care what they think, even if you claim you don't. When the Academy nominates a film for a Best Documentary Oscar, you take note, and rush to see it in time for the award ceremony broadcast. If not, how will you fill out your Oscar-party ballot? Unless you just copy the picks of a certain respected film critic whose name rhymes with tree-yurt (or something like that). Not that I have any friends who would cheat like that to win a free popcorn coupon and a tote bag with George Clooney's face on it. Even after the Oscars, you'll still want to see all the film contenders you missed in theaters.
2. Super Bowl syndrome
You need a real-life (i.e. Friday Night Lights won't do) football drama fix - and fast. With the Super Bowl played out for another year, this bittersweet sports saga could be exactly what you need.
3. The 99%
Undefeated takes place in a hard-knocks community and relates the woes of everyday heroes who got the economic shaft, just like most us (who haven't made it to the wealthy 1%). It's a tale that should resonant strongly with those struggling to stay afloat in tough economic times.
4. Underdogs forever
Speaking of everyday heroes, sometime the best kind are the most downtrodden and seemingly doomed. Until pluck, dedication and the support friends, family and good Samaritans propel them out of the mire of defeat so they can triumph over unlikely odds. Most audiences can't help but root for them.
5. True Grit
You're bored with glossy blockbusters and crave unscripted cinema that explores the hard, gritty truth of the world. You want to know what's really going on with real people, not real people played by over-paid actors.
6. Growing up is hard to do (and fun to watch)
The only thing you love more than an epic sports movie is an epic sports movie paired with a gripping coming of age tale. With injuries, anger issues, and poor grades, Undefeated takes an unrelenting look at the inner-city perils the team's youths must face on a daily basis to survive, and eventually thrive, as adults.