Just in time for the Holidays, a more lighthearted list in which I rank my top 5 greatest sports movies ever made.
Whether they have made you laugh, cry, feel inspired, or maybe all of the above, these films capture the spirit of the game, as well as the human soul.
I was hard-pressed to shorten the list down to only five movies, as there are many deserving films. These five, however, remain the most timeless in my opinion.
Now, without further ado, let the debating begin!
Yet another great baseball movie based off another great baseball novel, The Natural combines the magic of the game of baseball, which a little bit of real magic, making this an awesome movie for baseball fans or anyone who ever dreamed of playing the game.
Who as a kid, didn't take an old Louisville Slugger and write "Wonderboy" across it? Who doesn't stand up and cheer when they watch Roy Hobbs round the bases as the stadium grows dark?
One of the best baseball movies in a long line of excellent choices.
Jake Lamotta's story is one of the most complex and enticing sports story we have ever seen. Harks back to the "Golden Age" of boxing where the sport was about fighting to survive, not to be on HBO.
As much as a human interest story as a great sports story, Robert DeNiro's performance is one of the single greatest film performances of all time.
Very real, gritty, and raw, this movie is both inspiring and captivating. Easily the best boxing movie ever made, with apologies to Sylvester Stallone.
I guess you all could have seen it coming, but I dare anyone to say why this shouldn't be on any top list. The quintessential baseball movie, Bull Durham, while comical, is about the game of baseball, pure and simple.
Costner once again is outstanding as Crash Davis, the aged veteran who toils in the minor leagues for years. This film may have also given us some of the greatest sports cliches ever.
Although often branded as a romantic comedy, it is much more than that, as it touches on the pure joy of the game, and the connection between life, and it's perfect metaphor: baseball. For everyone that believes in the "Chuch of Baseball," this movie is for you.
An extremely underrated sports movie, this film is gritty, real, and is almost like a docu-drama instead of an adaption of a non-fiction novel.
Billy Bob Thornton is great as Coach Gary Gaines, and the story of the 1988 Permian Panthers is both inspiring and heartbreaking.
The cinematography, the acting, and especially the soundtrack, which was covered almost exclusively by the band Explosions in the Sky is both an homage to high school football in middle America, and to the comradary that exists in the game of football.
Whoever doesn't have this film in their in personal favorites needs to have their head examined. Not only is this my favorite sports movie, it is probably my favorite movie of any genre.
Costner is legendary, but it is the timeless story, the beautiful music score, and the ingenious execution by all involved that make this movie a true masterpiece.
From Shoeless Joe, to Moonlight Graham, to Terance Mann, to John Kinsella, every character is true and memorable.
W.P. Kinsella's 1982 novel was brought to life, and it is a treasure that sports fans and non-sports fans alike can enjoy. Who doesn't have tears in their eyes when you hear,
"Hey Dad, do you wanna have a catch?"