Sports movies come in many shapes and sizes, but the thing that most have in common are groups of people coming together to overcome insurmountable odds and doing the improbable. To me, those are the boring ones. Sports movies these days have largely become cookie cutter studio films with about the same amount of personality as ceiling tiles. Here are some exceptions to that rule, 7 best sports movies ever made!
1. Jerry Maguire
Here’s the movie that put Cameron Crowe on the map, showed us all the money, and turned “you had me at hello” into one of the biggest clichés of the 90’s. It’s not the traditional sports movie, as sports is more of the backdrop for the film, but it’s definitely one of the best. I miss sane Tom Cruise.
Here’s an oldie, but a goodie and one of my favorite sports movies. Debuting in 1977 and based on a real team, it stars Paul Newman as a player on a hard luck, small time hockey team who become known for their massive in game fights. The twins steal the show, but Paul Newman on the ice kicking butt is pretty great in and of itself.
3. A League of Their Own
“There’s no crying in baseball!” Guarantee that line just ran through your head. At face value a drunk Tom Hanks coaching team of baseball playing ladies during the prohibition era doesn’t sound all that enticing, but let me tell you it is. This is your average sports movies, only done with a twist. It has all the heart and lovable characters to keep you into it, but it goes the extra mile and stays memorable where so many others don’t.
4. The Hurricane
This definitely isn’t your typical sports movie. It chronicles Ruben “the Hurricane” Carter, a boxer who was wrongly imprisoned for murder he had nothing to do with. He was left for years to rot in prison, becoming disenfranchised with the world, until three people took it upon themselves to have his name cleared. Denzel Washington puts on an amazing performance in this equally amazing movie.
5. Remember the Titans
Here’s another true story starring Denzel. In this one, we see a white house school that faces the integration of black students and all the tension that came with the situation in that time. The players are forced to work together and come to terms with it working together although neither side wants to. This movie is so ridiculously good on so many levels. The scene where Gerry calls Julius his brother gets me every time.
6. The Sandlot
If you can watch this movie without thinking that your childhood kind of sucked, then you obviously had way more adventures as a twelve year old than I did. In it we see a hodge-podge group of small town kids during their summer vacation with one common bond, baseball. This sports movie pretty much defines what a kid’s movie should be for me. Sports may be the theme in this movie, but the thing that really makes it great are the kids and the length they’re willing to go for one another. If you’ve seen it you know that it’s an instant classic, if not, you’re killing me Smalls.
This movie defines sports films for me in the same way that The Sandlot defines kids movies. Everyone loves to root for the underdog and in the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, there’s never been a better one. Rudy had one dream in life, to play football for Notre Dame, the only problem was he was a pretty small guy. Somehow Rudy managed to work himself into the university and even red shirt on the football team. I don’t want to say anymore at risk of ruining something, but the one last thing that I will say is if the last scene doesn’t choke you up, check your pulse.
There’s been tons of sports movies come and go over the years, but what makes the perfect one? Is your fave sports movie on this list? Please comment below and let me know what YOUR favorite sports movies are!
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