Matthew McConaughey as Jack Lengyel
Matthew Fox as Red Dawson
Anthony Mackie as Nate Ruffin
David Strathairn as President Donald Dedmon
Ian McShane as Paul Griffen
Kate Mara as Annie Cantrell
January Jones as Carol Dawson
Kimberly Williams as Sandy Lengyel
Arlen Escarpeta as Reggie Oliver
Brian Geraghty as Tom Bogdan
Tommy Cresswell as Gene Morehouse
Christian Kanupke as Young Keith Morehouse
Nina Jones as Mrs. Morehouse
Kevin Atkins as George Olson
Mark Patton as Bill James
Directed by McG
Matthew McConaughey plays the new team’s head coach Jack Lengyel. People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man of the Year” is anything but. (Let me just say that the ’70s fashion style never worked and I am very glad that it will not be making a comeback anytime soon.) What McConaughey does bring is a cowboy charm that only he can bring that blends seamlessly with this heart-wrenching tale. The star power of McConaughey does not supercede the story of Marshall.
“Lost” star Matthew Fox plays the Marshall Thundering Herd’s assistant coach Red Dawson. By fate, Dawson does not board the plane that crashed. Instead, Dawson is forced to grieve and live a guilt-ridden life as he returns to help coach Marshall for one final year. Fox is able to respectfully show the courage needed to step back into life once again after a tragedy.
Also playing a prominent role is “Deadwood” star Ian McShane. No parent should have to bury his or her child, and McShane delivers a powerful performance as Paul Griffen, a parent of one of the fallen players. The pain of losing a son can be felt in each of McShane’s scenes. His eyes convey a pain that cannot be accurately be described, a truly memorable performance to say the least.
The Bottom Line: