List compiled by Eddie on 19/02/2016
The sporting movie; a genre that must walk the tricky line of paying homage to often true life stories, the line of mawkishness that can sometimes overplay events (Disney sports movies are frequent offenders of this) and the line of thrilling the audience with faithful re-enactments of their chosen sporting code.
Looking at the sporting genre of films in a more personal and biased view, below are 5 highly proficient and often inspirational sporting movies that are required viewing for movie fans and while there are many others films that could’ve made the list, there’s little doubt these are fine examples of why sport themed movies are often so beloved by movie goers of all ages.
Happy reading and happy watching!
For Jordan’s list of 5 Must-See Sports Movies click here.
Disclaimer – plot summaries from IMDB.com
5. Moneyball (2011)
Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.
A sports movie in which most of the action takes place in the boardroom, who would’ve thought stats were so fun! Thanks to a larger than life true story, a great team up of stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill and a savvy Aaron Sorkin script, Moneyball is a sports movie with a difference and one of the most engaging sports films ever made.
4. Murderball (2005)
Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
A no holds barred look at the intense and in many ways uplifting world of wheelchair basketball, Murderball is a both a must see documentary and must see sporting tale that will have you on the edge of your seat. Filled with memorable real life characters and a great tale of trials over adversity, Murderball is a film that should be seen by all regardless of their love for sport.
3. Undefeated (2011)
A documentary on an underdog football team who look to reverse their fortunes with coach Bill Courtney.
Winner of the Best Documentary Feature at the 2012 Academy Awards, Daniel Lindsay and T.J Martin’s inspirational look at the Manassas Tigers High School football team and their coach Bill Courtney is emotionally powerful stuff. Filled with human interest stories and also a great tale of rising through the ranks by a team of underdogs, Undefeated is a film deserving a much larger audience than it’s been privy to so far.
2. Warrior (2011)
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he’s trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament – a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother.
While MMA fighting doesn’t exactly scream standout family drama mixed with white knuckle sporting thrills, Warrior is one of the most successful ever sporting dramas that is deserving of its spot in the IMDB Top 250 films of all-time list. Featuring standout performances from a then still up and coming Tom Hardy and an awards worthy supporting turn from industry veteran Nick Nolte, viewers be not mindful of whether they enjoy MMA as Warrior transcends its background to become a moving motion picture that will make you cheer and shed a tear in equal measure.
1. Friday Night Lights (2004)
Based on H.G. Bissinger’s book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.
This based on a true life story that spawned the highly successful TV show of the same name, Friday Night Lights is quite possibly the greatest feature film centred around the world of American football and arguably one of if not the greatest sporting film ever produced. Filled to the brim with young up and coming acting talent, a sturdy central turn from Billy Bob Thornton and a career making directional turn from actor turned director Peter Berg (whose never come close to matching his work here), Friday Night Lights is a film every sports fan should see and a quintessential part of modern day cinema.
Best of the Rest
6. Seabiscuit (2003)
7. Remember the Titans (2000)
8. Senna (2010)
9. Any Given Sunday (1999)
10. Miracle (2004)
Honourable Mentions – Raging Bull, Rocky, King of Kong, Happy Gilmore, Hoop Dreams, We Are Marshall, Cool Runnings, The Mighty Ducks, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Radio, Slap Shot, Field of Dreams.