David's Sports Top 10
by David Hartwell
August 24, 2006
With Mark Wahlberg's appearance as Vince Papale in the anticipated inspirational Invincible just around the corner, I got to thinking about sports movies in general. There are a lot of sports movies out there that I don't like because I usually find the stories too overdone and repetitive. But every now and then, a sports movie comes along that has something special, and these are those movies:
It was hard to choose the absolute best sports movie, but I think I found mine. It's a movie that combines the magical possibilities of former legends with America's favorite pastime. And perhaps contains one of the most famous movie lines ever "If you build it he will come."
2. Rudy (1993)
Few movies actually make me cheer every single time I watch them, but Rudy is one of those movies. It captures heart and determination better than any other sports movie and always forces me to stand up and chant "Rudy" with the crowd in the movie.
Deniro, Pesci, Scorsese- no I'm not talking about Goodfellas, it's the Best Picture nominated Raging Bull. It's a movie that clearly and emotionally captures a man whose violence and paranoia transcend the ring and lead into his life.
A great classic sports movie that has everything you could need in a movie. It chronicles the story of overcoming odds, maintaining discipline, and redemption. Gene Hackman gives one of his best performances ever.
This soon-to-be-classic vividly portrays one of the greatest moments in sports history. It captures people and a time period better than most historical dramas and provides an undoubted answer to the famous question, "Do you believe in miracles?"
Cool Runnings is a great inspirational movie about a group of Jamaicans who are at the most unlikely place for them: The Winter Olympic Bobsledding Finals. With a disgraced former Olympiad as their coach, the team steps out of their comfort zone and into foreign territory: Canada.
This may seem out of place on this list because it really isn't inspirational or remotely true, but it is known as the best golf movie ever made (The worst golf movie ever made: Caddyshack 2). To describe this movie in two words: Comedy Classic.
A pure knockout (Pun Intended). In my opinion it is Russell Crowe at his most likable. It's a good historical sports movie that tells the tale of both the man and the family and what is important. It can be a little bit of a tearjerker.
If you haven't ever lived in a small Texas town like I have, you may not relate to the power of high school football, but this movie definitely conveys the community feeling revolved around a sport.
I'm not afraid to admit that I enjoy Cameron Crowe's work. Jerry Maguire is a tale about the "other side" of sports- the agents. Even though it may be, in many respects, a "chick flick," it really is a good sports movie and is a good one to "Show you the money."
Be sure to check out our review of Invincible.