I caught Murderball, the 2005 doc about wheelchair rugby, over the past week. I have to say, I haven't been so disappointed in a film in a while. The praise it earned seems baffling.
First, the film is too strung-together. It doesn't flow. It seems like the filmmakers are doing what journalists call "emptying the notebook," i.e. getting 12 inches any way that you can by unloading every single fact and quote. Did we really need five minutes on the sexual practices of paraplegics? No.
But the killer: A number of the emotional high points seem staged. Not scripted. I trust the emotions are genuine. But after a while, I wondered exactly how much the filmmakers interfered to set up dramatic situations. That sort of lingering suspicion is deadly to a documentary.