By Jason Lynch Alexis Chiu Kristen Mascia
September 04, 2006 12:00 PM

Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks

BY JASON LYNCH

CRITIC’S CHOICE

DRAMA

With nothing left to lose—his wife and teaching job are already gone—Vince Papale (Wahlberg) attends open tryouts for his beloved, basement-dwelling Philadelphia Eagles. His grit impresses new coach Dick Vermeil (Kinnear) and reinvigorates both the team and its downtrodden fans.

It could be just another artificial, manipulative feel-good film, but Invincible, based on a true story, honestly earns its grins, tears and goose bumps. In a confident debut, director Ericson Core smartly goes easy on the schmaltz. Ditto Wahlberg, who keeps Papale grounded, as if he expects his improbable dream to end at any moment. (PG)

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