In every inspirational sports movie, there’s a seemingly insurmountable obstacle that the home team must overcome: a lack of natural ability, a tough opponent, a star player who turns into a wolf. There’s one obstacle so huge, though, that no jock flick had ever dared deploy it before now. After watching We Are Marshall—in which the home team gets killed in the first act—it’s easy to understand why. When United 93 meets Rudy, the deaths tend to overshadow the football.

Marshall is based on the real-life 1970 plane crash that