Tylt Recs: Most beloved sports movies ever
Sports itself may have changed forever due to the pandemic, but one thing that will remain the same are sports movies. There are no mandatory quaratines or social distancing in these films. There's only inspiring underdog stories or tales of unbreakable friendships that conquer any opponent. No outbreak can take that away.
There are a mountain of sports movies to choose, so we asked what's your favorite. You voted and gave us a list of the most loved sports movies, including a movie that was crowned the Most Beloved Sports Movie Ever. Check out our user-voted ranking below!
16. 'Raging Bull'
“Raging Bull,” Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, looks at Jake LaMotta, an Italian boxer whose vices destroyed himself and his family. The film is so sublimely technical with perfect storytelling that it was the first film to be put in the National Film Registry in its first year of eligibility. While it is a classic, the film ran into another cinematic giant, "Rocky," in the first round and only got 3.7 percent of the vote. Still, with seven Academy Award nominations to its name, including an Oscar-winning performance from Robert De Niro, this movie still has plenty to offer.
15. 'Friday Night Lights'
“Friday Night Lights,” based on the New York Times bestselling book, gave a look into the small-town football, where the sport is the religion of the region. The exploration of each player’s struggles under the small town microscope made it a gripping movie. While it was a popular movie, it could not get over the hump in the first round of the Most Beloved Sports Movie Bracket, only getting 16 percent of the votes against "Remember the Titans." However, with an 85 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication) and a great performance by Billy Bob Thornton, the film can still give an audience plenty of entertainment.
“Rudy” tells the story of a Notre Dame football superfan who is undersized in stature, but not in heart. His inspiring story gave many people hope they could accomplish anything if they tried hard enough. Unfortunately, the luck of Irish wasn't with the film going to head to head with "The Sandlot," only getting 21.7 percent of the vote. The 90 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication), however, speaks volumes about the movies impact on its audience, no matter what movie it is stacked up against.
13. 'Cool Runnings'
Many people love the up and down journey of the first Jamaican bobsled team in “Cool Runnings.” Everyone wants to overcome impossible odds and this film balances slapstick comedy with great moments of victory. While the Jamaican bobsledders slide into everyone's hearts, they couldn't slide to a win against "Space Jam," only grabbing 22.9 percent of the votes in that matchup. The movie still has plenty of love from fans as over 530,000 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes rated "Cool Runnings" at 76 percent fresh (at the time of publication).
12. 'Love and Basketball'
"Love and Basketball" centers around the up and down romance between two elite basketball players, who no matter what pressures they felt about their careers, always find their way back to each other. Like its theatrical run, the film couldn't compete with bigger competition in the Most Beloved Sports Movie Bracket, falling to "White Men Can't Jump" in the first round. Still, the film is bouyed by a cult like following, resulting in a 95 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication) that can't be ignored.
11. 'A League of Their Own'
“A League of Their Own” tells the story of an all-women’s professional baseball league made when World War II threatened to shut down MLB. Actresses like Madonna, Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell star, but Tom Hanks steals the show with his classic line lamenting that “there’s no crying in baseball.” The film couldn't overcome "Field of Dreams" in the first round, only grabbing 39.2 percent of vote, but this charming movie with its star-studded cast is still a hit with its 84 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication).
"Miracle" tells the story of the scrappy 1980 United States Olympic hockey team, a group of college players who overcame incredible odds to beat the USSR's superpower hockey squad. These underdogs couldn't unseat "The Mighty Ducks" in the first round of the bracket, but still holds a 90 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication), and the film still has people screaming "USA! USA! USA!" over and over again.
9. 'Bring It On'
“Bring It On” is an iconic movie that puts the spotlight on the competitive cheerleading culture. Many don’t look past the fun and catchy routines, but the film offers an often biting critique about race and economic disparities. While it barely lost to "Bend It Like Beckham" in the first round, the film still has plenty of cultural cache to break the Top-10 of this Tylt Recs list.
8. 'The Mighty Ducks'
For many puck heads, the love of the sport all started by watching a troubled businessman forced to coach a group of disjointed hockey underdogs from Minnesota. Whether it’s the “Flying V” or the final shootout shot, fans of hockey look back fondly on “The Mighty Ducks.” The film got past "Miracle" in the first round but fell to another Disney product in the second ("Remember the Titans"). Despite its low scores on Rotten Tomatoes, people keep coming back to the classic '90s hockey flick.
7. 'Field of Dreams'
“Field of Dreams” follows a farmer who had a troubled relationship with his deceased father, who loved baseball. The farmer builds a baseball field where deceased stars of the sports past would come to play. The last scene of the film is often cited as the only time many have cried during a movie. The movie got past "A League of Their Own" but couldn't overcome "The Sandlot" with only 23.3 percent of the vote. Still, the film still has a 86 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication) and can captivate fans with this whimsical charm.
6. 'White Men Can't Jump'
“White Men Can’t Jump” has everything from Wesley Snipes' flipped up hats to a random “Jeopardy” competition. But at the heart of it are two dudes who love to win and love each other. This story of rivals turned friends had enough juice to beat "Love and Basketball" in the first round, but couldn't defeat Michael Jordan and the power of "Space Jam" in the next round. It may not be the most beloved, but its throngs of fans who keep coming back for the chop-busting jokes and well choreographed basketball action are enough to keep this movie relevant.
5. 'Bend It Like Beckham'
"Bend It Like Beckham" surprised many who judged the film by the lighthearted name with a deep story challenging social norms and what ambition should be in Great Britain. It beat the aforementioned "Bring It On" in the first round, but fell to powerhouse "Rocky" in the next round. Despite its shortcomings in the bracket, many still love this uplifting film.
4. 'Space Jam'
Many can remember a time when Michael Jordan was best basketball player, but when he teamed up with the Looney Toons to take on the Monstars in “Space Jam,” he rocketed to legendary status in popular culture. The film is a favorite among anyone who loves basketball, but its also just a fun movie with classic Looney Tunes gags with one of the greatest athletes ever. What's not to love? "Space Jam" was stopped in the semi-final round, but it remains in the upper echelon of sports films, according to our audience.
3. 'The Sandlot'
Nostalgia is a huge part of sports movies and no two films tapped into that more than this classic. “The Sandlot” brings baseball fans back to childhood where nothing mattered but the game and getting into trouble with your friends. And who didn't have a Wendy Peffercorn they had a crush on? The Sandlot made it all the way to the semifinals before falling to "Rocky", but its endearing look at adolesence endures. Just look at its 89 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication). This is a movie people aren't afraid to love.
“Rocky” follows an aspiring boxer from Philadelphia who gets the shot of a lifetime to fight a world champion. His scrappy training regimen consisting of punching meat to drinking raw eggs resonated with audiences and propelled Sylvester Stallone into the hearts of everyone. It almost captured the title of Most Beloved Sports Movie Ever, but was knocked out in the final round, but this critically acclaimed film is a top film sports fans would select if they were on a deserted island.
1. 'Remember the Titans'
Here it is, folks. The Most Beloved Sports Movie Ever. Based on a real team is the squad in “Remember the Titans,” one of the first integrated high school football teams in Virginia. The combination of racial tension as well as great performances from Denzel Washington and a talented supporting cast make this one of the best football movies ever. With a 93 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of publication), it should be no surprise that this film was crowned the most beloved sports movie.