What’s the best sports movie?
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Disney+ is the hot, new streaming service to hit the market. Many people have been feeling quite nostalgic watching shows, cartoons and movies from their youth.
Especially us millennials.
As a consumer of Disney+ myself, I’ve mostly used it thus far to catch up on all the Marvel movies I’ve missed over the years but scrolling through the queue some other movies definitely caught my eye.
You probably guessed it, the sports movies! This week, let’s take a look at some of the greatest sports movies of all-time.
While some of the Disney Channel original movies might not fit the bill of classics or all-timers, they definitely took me back to my childhood.
I can definitely recall chowing down on some popcorn with my siblings watching “Johnny Tsunami,” “Alley Cats Strike” and “Brink” at my grandma’s house. And if you’re interested in some cheesy, late ‘90s to early 2000s acting and plot lines, Disney Channel original movies are for you!
Now, the following movies are probably not the best rated on Rotten Tomatoes or won many awards, but they hold a special place in my heart when it comes to sports flicks. Also, for full disclosure, there are some classics I am a little ashamed to admit to having not seen.
Movies such as “Raging Bull,” “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams.” But don’t give me too much flack, I’ll get around to them eventually even though I’ve been telling myself that for years.
Also not included below are documentaries. I believe sports documentaries are some of the best around. The entire ESPN 30 for 30 collection is top notch and HBO is known to crank out top-of-the-line documentaries also.
I recently watched the two-part documentary, “What’s My Name - Muhammad Ali,” that is certainly worth your time. I’ve also heard the same about the recently released doc on Diego Maradona, add another one to the list I need to get around to.
Here are a few of the honorable mentions that are great in their own right but didn’t quite crack the top-10: “The Karate Kid” (original, not Jaden Smith), “A League of Their Own,” “The Hurricane,” “Rudy,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Love & Basketball,” the “Mighty Ducks” trilogy and “Major League.” Just to name a few.
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Now let’s get to the good stuff.
10. Coach Carter
Samuel L. Jackson has played every role under the sun but his portrayal of basketball coach Ken Carter is one of the more underrated jobs he’s undertaken. Lots of life lessons in this one, so if you got young aspiring athletes, not a bad idea to have them watch this.
9. Cool Runnings
Inspired by the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympics, this is a funny and inspiring movie.
It’s got those moments that will pull at your heart-strings and features the late John Candy. He was definitely an awesome comedic actor who often gets overlooked.
8. Rocky I to V
While the Rocky universe expanded into Creed and will seemingly keep Sylvestor Stallone in the movie industry forever (along with Rambo), the originals will always be the best. They’ve given us some of the best villains in sports movie history, with Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang and Apollo Creed. Although the latter redeemed himself.
They have some of the best montages and gave us the sports anthem, “Eye of the Tiger.” Like Stallone, Rocky will never die.
7. White Men Can’t Jump
When people think of hustling, pool is the sport that usually comes to mind, but it can be done in a number of fashions. This movie explores how it’s done on the basketball court between an unlikely combination of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
Rosie Perez will also have you thinking about how many foods start with the letter “Q,” but I’ll let you watch to find out why.
To be honest, it’s been a hot-minute since I’ve watched but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it in this list. *Takes mental note to watch* Without “Caddyshack,” we wouldn’t have “Happy Gilmore.”
5. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Is “Dodgeball” a cult classic? Maybe not but it is pretty hilarious. At one point or another, we’ve all played the classic game and it’s hard not to relate to someone in the movie. Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are a pretty good comedic duo and the one-liners come one after another.
It’s one of those movies that gets funnier as it ages, especially the Lance Armstrong cameo. Don’t forget to stay for the post-credit scene.
4. Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy
Even if the quality of his films has fallen off in recent years, these two are peak Adam Sandler. Happy Gilmore and Bobby Boucher (characters played by Sandler) will have you laughing so hard your face hurts.
I couldn’t have one without the other and they are equally awesome, so together they go!
3. Remember the Titans
Hard to believe that this came out in 2000 but it still holds up today. The true story of an African-American football coach in the first season of a racially integrated team. It’s got a lot of memorable scenes like the team singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in the locker room and a warm-up that I’m sure was imitated by some school at some point.
It also gave us one of the more underrated memes in recent memory.
(It’s also a 35-minute drive from our Washington bureau when you cross the Potomac River.)
2. The Sandlot
I debated these top-two for a while in my head. One of the most quotable movies of all-time, “The Sandlot” presents a cast of characters that are hard not to love. It’s a coming-of-age story that many of us can relate about a group of misfits and their adventures.
Additionally, Wendy Peffercorn was the boyhood crush of many.
1. Space Jam
This movie brought two aspects of my childhood into one major motion picture, basketball and cartoons. What’s not to love about the combination of Looney Tunes and Michael Jordan? In fact, if I see “Space Jam” on TV, there’s a good chance I stop what I’m doing to watch.
The soundtrack is A1, has classic Looney Tunes comedy and I haven’t even mentioned Bill Murray. As I stated earlier, what’s not to love? In my opinion, it should have never produced a sequel but let’s hope that “Space Jam 2” is half as good as the first.
If you haven’t seen any of these movies, you have a list to refer to over the holidays to cozy up and watch! You’re welcome.
Well, there you go, my top-10 sports movies of all-time. Certainly, I doubt you agree with many of my selections. So I ask: What’s the best sports movie of all-time?
Kolby KickingWoman is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is Blackfeet/Gros Ventre from the great state of Montana and currently reports and lives in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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