The month is September. And while we couldn’t be more ready for football, baseball playoffs are about to happen, hockey is coming, and basketball won’t be too far behind. Over the last month or so, every uber-fan has been scrounging together details on sure things, ‘sleepers’, and such to draft their fantasy team (even a few of us got in on the fun).
For the rest of the year, we’ll all be huddled around our TV sets every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday waiting for that all-too-familiar NFL theme song to tell us: it’s go time!
But for now, until that magical day when our teams play, we’ll just have to remember the good ol’ days. Like Superbowl LI when my New England Patriots made a comeback for the ages. Or, if you’re a fellow movie nerd like me, you can binge watch those movies that will get your competitive juices flowing, and bring you that buzzing excitement you know only comes when you’re watching sports.
So for those of you about to rock…here are the top ten sports movies of all time.
Before Sean Astin was in Stranger Things and Jon Favreau knew Iron Man they starred together in the fan-favorite Rudy. This sports film is on most “best of” lists including the top college football movies, for a reason, because it’s just that good. Based on a true story, and full of heart, you won’t be able to stop from joining in on the chant.
“Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!”
Any time you give me a movie with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, I’m going to be all in. Add to that one about America’s favorite past time? You had me at “Play ball!”
One of the best baseball movies ever, Moneyball is an intelligent look at the real-life story of Billy Beane and his influence on the Oakland As baseball team. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are two peas in a pod, taking the starring roles and doing the characters justice. If you’re looking for a different type of sports movie, a thinking man’s sports film, this is the one for you.
8. The Karate Kid
I hope you know that when I talk about The Karate Kid, I’m talking about the original. For this humble reviewer, no one beats Ralph Macchio. Even the adorable Jaden Smith. A total product of the ’80s, this movie is predictable yet heartwarming, and the underdog story of young Daniel is enough to catapult this movie to number eight. A perfect Sunday afternoon watch for the whole family, and guaranteed to make you want to land that crane kick (trust me, it’s a lot harder than it looks).
Marky Mark plus football pants, equals a movie I’ve seen many, many times. In all seriousness, Invincible is easily one of Mark Wahlberg’s best and most popular movies to date. The based-on-a-true-story Disney film is a feel good, exciting, and scrappy movie about the triumph of 30-year old bartender turned Philadelphia Eagle, Vince Papale. A surprise, toned-down performance by the entire cast is exactly what this story needs. Even this die-hard New England Patriots fan is rooting for the Eagles to come out on top in this one. Invincible is a game winner.
6. Remember the Titans
“We are the Titans! The mighty, mighty Titans!” if that fight song doesn’t give you goosebumps then you need to watch this movie again. Based on a real high school football team at a precarious time in U.S. history. The themes that play out in this movie still exist today and it reminds us all that while we may be different on the outside, a strong heart and the will to succeed binds us together. Watch the Titans, Remember the Titans.
5. The Blind Side
The film that (finally) earned Sandra Bullock her Oscar. The Blind Side is (another) stellar true story brought to life on the silver screen. The entire cast is so natural as a closely knit family. You are easily transported to their home, their lives, and their story. Even though (the real) Michael Oher has expressed his less-than-stellar feelings on the accuracy of the film, it’s still one of the best sports movies ever made. It’s a film that teaches us something about more than just football. Whether you’re a left tackle in the NFL, or just a brother to a younger sibling, you always protect your own.
4. Field of Dreams
“If you build it, they will come.”
That quote is arguably one of the most iconic lines of any movie, ever. It’s also the one line that sums up the entire film. Even though this is one of the few movies on this list that isn’t based on a true story it still includes some of the most infamous names in baseball. Mixing sports and fantasy seems like it could be destined for disaster, but Field of Dreams is the perfect balance between sports and sci-fi subtext. For any baseball fan, this movie is the cream of the (corn) crop.
3. The Fighter
For a movie that’s on a “top 10” list, this one is admittedly a tough watch. Definitely not one for the kids, but for those of you who love a gritty, real story, The Fighter doesn’t disappoint. Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, and a practically unrecognizable Christian Bale are a knockout cast, dysfunctional as they may be, they’re all brilliant. The standout really is Christian Bale as the drug-addled Dicky Eklund, physically he is unrecognizable, but his talent is unmistakably Bale. For a brutal story, stellar cast, and impressive film — The Fighter is more effective than a blow to the head.
For anyone who’s read my articles before, you already know what a huge fan of this movie I am. It has everything that I love about a good movie: killer script, stacked cast, brilliant direction, and even the soundtrack is full of chart-toppers like Dream On by Aerosmith. Not only does it nail the details of the real “Miracle on Ice” but it adds all the flair that is expected in a Hollywood blockbuster. The details are so immaculate that the last 30 seconds of the ‘big game’ actually include the real commentary. Are you ready to watch this movie yet?
Babum-babum-ba-ba-bada…you get the idea..How can you even think about writing a ‘best sports movies’ list and not include the godfather of sports movies, Rocky? That’s right, you can’t. Not only are we going to include it we’re going to give it the title. Rocky is arguably one of the most iconic movies ever made, sports or otherwise.
This heartbreaking, underdog story was written by and stars the man, the myth, the legend, Sylvester Stallone, and he absolutely crushes the role. Rocky is a story that transcends sports, it’s a story of overcoming obstacles, hope, and perseverance. Even though it’s bittersweet it leaves us with a warm heart and a need to see the sequel.
Rocky is the undisputed best sports movie of all time. Say it with me (you know you want to), “Yo Adrian, I did it!“ (I know, I know that’s from Rocky II)
Football is back, get ready for the action with some of the best sports movies of all time and always remember…Go Patriots!