10 Must Watch Sports Movies

By Duncan Ritchie

24-March-2020 on News

9 minute read

We know that you video analysts are a hard-working bunch. Long hours day in, day out.

 

But sometimes you need to take a break and chill for a while, you know? And what better way to kick back and relax than with a movie?

 

Now, we’re not going today get entirely away from our field here. We’re not going to recommend sci-fi or historical epics, although they have their place. No, today we’re going to recommend some sport movies to you.

 

Some you may have seen, some are cult-classics. But we believe that all of these are worth watching. We hope you enjoy them too!

 

So…in no particular order, let’s begin!

1. The Damned United (2009)

 

Brian Clough, considered to be one of England’s greatest soccer coaches, has always been a controversial figure. In 1974, he took over as the coach at Leeds United and ruffled the feathers of fans and players alike. He lasted 44 days in the job. This film by Tom Hooper recounts those 44 days in detail.

 

 

 

2. Escape to Victory (1981)

 

Let’s stick with soccer for our second entry, the classic Escape to Victory.

 

As allied P.O.W.s prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers make plans for the team's escape.

 

The movie stars Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine but it’s the inclusion of legendary footballers such as Pele, Booby Moore and Ossie Ardiles that elevate it to the realms of classic.

 

 

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3.The Longest Yard (1974)

 

Let’s move to football of the American variety now.

 

A sadistic warden asks former pro-quarterback, Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds), now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on the guards. The film follows Crewe’s attempts to whip a rag-tag bunch of inmates into shape for the big game. It’s unsure whether sport analytics could’ve helped him in this endeavour.

 

The movie has been remade twice. Once starring Adam Sandler (avoid) and once starring English footballer Vinnie Jones in the lead role. The British movie transfers the action to the soccer field and is renamed The Mean Machine and is actually quite good too.

 

 

 

4. Moneyball (2011)

 

Yeah, we know that you’ve probably already seen this one but we can’t leave it out!

 

The story of Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players is a classic that needs no introduction.

 

 

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5. Slap Shot (1977)

 

Time for Paul Newman’s cult-classic ice-hockey movie.

 

Set in the world of minor-league hockey, the movie follows the efforts of player-coach Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) to turn around the Charlestown Chiefs' final, losing season in a dying Pennsylvania steel town.

 

Gritty with some moments of violence interspersed with humour, if you haven’t seen this, check it out!

 

 

6. Hoosiers (1986)

 

Here’s a classic basketball movie for you. Hoosiers (sometimes known as Best Shot) is based on the true story of the 1954 Indiana State champs, Milan Indians and chronicles the attempts of a coach with a spotty past, and the town's basketball-loving drunk to lead their high school team to victory.

 

A heart-warming movie.

 

 

7. Diego Maradona (2019)

 

A beautiful and powerful documentary of one of the greatest players soccer has ever seen. This shows the meteoric rise and success of Diego Armando Maradona with Argentina at the 1986 World Cup and at club level with Italian team Napoli in 1987.

 

But what goes up, must come down. The film goes on to document Maradona’s descent into drugs and alcohol.

 

A must see for soccer fans or anyone who likes a good story.

 

 

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8. Caddyshack (1980)

 

There’s something about golf that lends itself to comedy. Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore are great examples of this.

 

They’re both worth watching but we’ll go with the zany Caddyshack where an exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.

 

 

9. Champions (Campeones) (2018)

 

We’re all aware of the story. A coach whips a bunch of seeming hopeless players into a winning team. We can see the same premise in many of the movies above, like The Longest Yard.

 

But none have done it in such as hilarious fashion as this Spanish film in which a basketball coach sentenced to community service is forced to work with a team of mentally disabled players.

 

Free from the sentimentally or political correctness of a Hollywood production, this is nevertheless a heart warmer for the ages.

 

 

10. Invictus (2009)

 

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as President of South Africa, initiates a unique venture to unite the Apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

 

There’s not many movie about rugby, and strictly speaking this is more about Mandela and the South African regime, but this is a beautiful story filled with fantastic performances. Enjoy!

 

 

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Honorable Mentions

 

What? Still not enough sports action for you? Well, how about the Rocky saga. There’s 6 movies plus the Creed spin-offs. More than enough to keep you going for a while.

 

Want more documentaries? For football fans, we recommend Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait a beautiful film that follows one of the world’s greatest players over the course of one match, both on and off the ball. Fascinating!

 

Want a laugh? We’d recommend the basketball movie White Men Can’t Jump. The hilarious story of two basketball hustlers in ‘90s America.

 

What’s Your Favourite?

 

So, there you have some of Nacsport’s favourite sports movies. Some classics, some cult favourites, but all worth your time. If we’ve missed any of your favourites out, let us know on Facebook or Twitter, maybe we’ll include them in a future post.

 

But for now, happy watching!

 

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