Undefeated (2011)

undefeated poster 2011 movie
9.0 Overall Score

Great story, big emotion


Movie Info

Movie Name:  Undefeated

Studio:  Zipper Bros Films

Genre(s):  Documentary/Sports

Release Date(s):  March 13, 2011 (South by Southwest)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

undefeated coach bill courtney chavis daniels

Will Chavis stay in school and on the team?

Manassas High School needs a break. In a depressed area outside of Memphis, the people of the community haven’t had much luck recently. With a strong team coached by volunteer Bill Courtney, the Manassas Tigers have a chance to do something they’ve never done…win a playoff game! With college hopeful Montrail “Money” Brown, massive lineman O.C. Brown, and troubled Chavis Daniels, the team’s chances are high, but even if they fail, they could be undefeated!

Directed by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin, Undefeated is a sports documentary. The film was released to critical acclaim and premiered at South by Southwest. It received financial backing by Sean “Diddy” Combs and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Sports movies are often a dime a dozen, and they generally follow the same path. The underdog rises up against the odds and succeeds! The little guy scores the winning touchdown against giants and is carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates…but Undefeated immediately sets the tone that anything is possible and the tension is real. A ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

undefeated money brown

Will Money be able to play?

The movie focuses on three compelling students. You have Money who really, really wants to get out of Memphis and finds his hopes of getting a college scholarship dashed by an injured knee. Chavis is the player you think has no hope at the beginning of the season. He’s angry and already spent time in jail…but he surprises you in the end. You also get the gentle giant O.C. who seems like a nice kid who recognizes his faults but still hopes he can succeed…plus, he’s a monster on the field.

If this was a fictionalized drama, you could see where these “characters” are going, but real life is stranger than fiction. Chavis manages to shelve his anger and becomes humbler as the season progresses. O.C. manages to get the score he needs to move on to college even if it will be a struggle, and Money gets the greatest gift of all with an outside backer agreeing to foot his college cost regardless of his playing status. It is a Hollywood ending in real life.

undefeated oc brown coach

Can the team do it?

Behind all the players is Coach Courtney who also seems too good to be true, but through the course of the film, you really do see the level of caring he has for the players. He knows them, knows he can’t be everything they need, but tries to be what he can to them. He’s a coach that might struggle in today’s society because of how he talks and coaches, but he isn’t abusive in his behavior since even he recognizes that the young men he’s coaching probably have enough problems in their lives.

Undefeated is a nice, uplifting film because it feels real and is real. These aren’t characters and their story does go on after the movie ends. It has been a few years since Undefeated was released and the people have moved on as life moves on. I don’t know where they went after the film, but I hope they made it and keep making it. Undefeated isn’t a just a title, but also motto.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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