If you're a sports fan—no, if you're a human—you will be seeing the much-ballyhooed new sports film 42 this weekend. The story of Jackie Robinson is a long-overdue tribute to the man who broke the color barrier in baseball and became a hero in a generation that sorely needed one.
Yours truly was lucky enough to snag a pass to an advanced screening in San Francisco this week, and I took in all the glory and emotion a few days early.
Even if I wasn't a Dodgers fan, I would have been moved by the film, which brings together a fantastic cast (Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson) under an experienced writer and director (Brian Helgeland of L.A. Confidential and Mystic River fame).
But for someone who stubbornly worships The Natural and defends the cultural significance of The Sandlot, I wasn't sure how 42 would stack up against the best sports movies ever made.
Does the 90-minute story of Jackie Robinson really top Remember the Titans? Is it possibly more riveting than Field of Dreams? Can I name-drop any more awesome movies into one intro?
Here are three reasons I think 42 will become your new favorite sports movie.