Top 40 Sports Movies Part 4 – FINALE
10. Million Dollar Baby
Story: A grumpy boxing gym owner breaks one of his rules and takes a female boxer under his wing.
MVP: Hilary Swank as the motivated boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, which earned her a second Academy Award.
Sport: American football
Story: Rudy is a young man who was told he was too small to play football, but he keeps trying to fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.
MVP: Before he was in Lord of the Rings, Sean Astin was probably recognized by either The Goonies or this movie as the titular character.
8. Rocky Balboa
Story: Rocky, now an old man and a widower, decides to get back into boxing when he is challenged by a younger rival.
MVP: Sylvester Stallone is capable of more than just hitting. The first Rocky proved that, and so did Copland, but this movie is the icing on the cake. This is such a fantastic likable, understated performance especially in a franchise that gave in to cheesiness.
Story: Rocky Balboa is a simple man who dreams of being an all-star boxer. Along the way, he falls in love with a girl who fuels his motivation.
MVP: This is the movie that put Sylvester Stallone on the map. He has a deadpan delivery that makes him unintentionally funny but intentionally charming.
Sport: Mixed Martial Arts
Story: Two estranged brothers find themselves pitted against each other in a grand prix style fighting tournament.
MVP: Nick Nolte as the boys estranged father. They know him as a lousy, abusive drunk, but when we meet him he is a sober and humbled man. We fall instantly for him and feel even more heart-broken when he is punished for his past actions.
5. Slap Shot
Story: A down and out hockey team resorts to violence in order to fill the seats since they can’t seem to win.
MVP: Jeff Carlson, Steve Carlson, and David Hanson who play the Hanson brothers. They happen to be the key to their violent strategy.
4. Raging Bull
Story: The ups and downs of the boxer Jake LaMotta’s life.
MVP: Robert DeNiro as Jake LaMotta gives one of the strongest performances of his career and one of the strongest performances of cinema history.
3. Mystery, Alaska
Story: Mystery, Alaska is a small town where hockey is a tradition. When a hometown boy returns, he brings the New York Rangers with him to test their mettle against the mythic Alaskan team.
MVP: Russell Crowe, who plays the sheriff and the captain of the team, grounds the mythic proportions of which the team has been talked about.
Story: A basketball coach with a shady past and a town drunk team up to turn around a highschool basketball team.
MVP: Dennis Hopper as the town drunk. Hackman gets a lot of the attention, but for my money, Hopper keeps stealing the spotlight from him.
1. The Sandlot
Story: A new kid in town is recruited by group of locals for their daily pick-up baseball games. When he loses his step-father’s Babe Ruth signed baseball, the group has to save it from a yard with a monster dog.
MVP: Patrick Renna as Ham Porter, aka The Great Hambino. He has a big ego and a bigger mouth.