Now, I’ll warn you right away that despite the football reference above, only one movie below is actually about American football – and it’s not We Are Marshall or Remember the Titans.
Of course a list like this is highly subjective, so if you disagree with my picks, tell me why in the comments.
Anyway, here goes…
Top Ten Favorite Sports Movies
10) Shaolin Soccer: This movie was a lot of fun. Completely and utterly fanciful, but a lot of fun nonetheless. It does require the viewer to suspend quite a bit of disbelief (I mean, let’s face it who would believe that someone would make a movie about boring soccer?), but the comedy and special effects make it totally worth it.
9) Slap Shot: Paul Newman is at his ice-skating best in this ode to the perpetually juvenile male, but what sticks out most for me are those lovable, cuddly Hanson brothers who could totally kick the crap out of the Hanson brothers (MMMBop indeed).
8) Chariots of Fire: I like this film a lot because it manages to be a success (four Oscars can't be wrong) without resorting to tired clichés (see We Are Marshall).
7) Raging Bull: In this classic recounting of the career of boxer Jake La Motta, you come to respect then revile then pity the main character as he goes from rags to riches to rags.
6) Brian' Song: The lone football movie on the list. I don't care if it was a made-for-television movie, if you can watch this heartbreaking tale without getting verklempt, then there's just something wrong with you, boy.
5) The Big Lebowski: Some might be surprised to see this film on a list of best Sports movies, but I don't think you can ignore the importance of bowling to the storyline, in both the literal and metaphorical senses. Watch it again, you'll see what I mean.
4) Caddyshack: Crude? Yes. Juvenile? Absolutely. But this classic comedy makes the top five on the strength of quotable one-liners alone. Not to mention an amazing cast. "Be the ball, Danny. Be the ball... You're not being the ball, Danny."
3) Breaking Away: This coming of age story set against a backdrop of The Little 500 bicycle race in Bloomington, Ind., features a great cast, strong directing and genuine characters. The writing is smart, subtly tacking various social issues with charm and humor.
2) Pride of the Yankees: Gary Cooper's portrayal of Lou Gehrig may be my all-time favorite sports movie role. I still get teary just thinking of the final scene when Gehrig gives his goodbye speech in Yankee Stadium. This is not only one of the best sports movies, but also one of the best biographical movies EVAR!
1) ROCKY: Say what you will about Sylvester Stalone. The latter works of his career definitely merit the rotten tomatoes (personally, I never forgave him for Tango & Cash). But this classic underdog fairytale has great characters and great writing and pretty solid acting. With all of the crappy sequels, it's easy to forget how good this film is. If you haven't watched it in a while, give Rocky another chance.
tagged: Top Ten, list, sports, movies, Rocky, Pride of the Yankees, Breaking Away