I’m no sports fan and movies about sports tend to be only one notch above “chick flicks” in my book. However, when a movie is good, it doesn’t matter what the subject of the movie is. A “chick flick” can be great (see WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… (1989)) and so can sports movies! So here are my favorites:
5. POINT BREAK (1991) - Why settle for a movie that features one sport when you can have one that features three?!! Surfing, skydiving AND bank robbing! You can’t beat a movie that features a stiff talking Keanu Reeves, a crazy as usual Gary Busey and the late great, cool as always Patrick Swayze! Directed by Kathryn Bigelow whose other badass movies include NEAR DARK (1987) and THE HURT LOCKER (2009).
4. MURDERBALL (2005) – This awesome sports doc features wheelchair rugby or what it’s affectionately called by its players and fans, murderball. Wheelchair rugby is played by quadriplegics who have a thirst for violence, destruction and mayhem. The heated competition between the U.S. and Canadian teams as they head into the 2004 Paralympic Games is on display in this Oscar nominated documentary. Directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro.
3. THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) – There’s not much I can say about this film that hasn’t been said already, except that the Coen Brothers’ musical ode to bowling dream sequence alone warrants this movie being on this list and if you don’t get why this should be here, you’re obviously not a golfer.
2. SLAP SHOT (1977) – This violent and vulgar gem is not only the best hockey movie ever, but it’s the most perfect sports movie ever. The Charlestown Chiefs led by the lovable Paul Newman find success on the ice by not playing the game, but by fighting on it! Finally a movie that tells it like it is. The only way to win is to cheat! George Roy Hill’s finest work since BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969).
1. THE WRESTLER (2008) – Mickey Rourke knocks it out of the park in one of the biggest movie comebacks of all time. Granted it’s the story of a man who’s been chewed up and spit out by a profession that’s more performance than sport, but the physical endurance it takes to participate well past one’s prime is on gut wrenching display here. Darren Aronofsky is no stranger to unsettling stories and this one is no different. Once you’ve seen this film, you’ll never look at pro-wrestling the same way again.
HONORABLE MENTIONS - Here are some other great flicks that just didn’t quite make my big five, but I feel still need to be mentioned.
THRASHIN’ (1986), SHAOLIN SOCCER (2001), THE SANDLOT (1993), TEEN WOLF (1985) and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (1992)
I know what you’re thinking, “Teen Wolf? Really?”
“Yes. Yes, really.”
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