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In case you haven’t heard, Space Jam: A New Legacy — a.k.a Space Jam 2 — was bad.
Like watching Dwight Howard shoot three’s for two hours, the movie’s 31% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and social media pandering — due to its unashamed 120 minutes of pure HBO Max subscription promotion — may have kicked the movie off your weekend watchlist.
Yeah, but, it’s got an 81% audience score and it wasn’t made for adults, bozo.
Full credit to kids that understood the Dick Dastardly and Clockwork Orange references, in that case.
Instead of spending additional funds to venture out to a movie theater, here are the top three sports movies to watch at home this weekend, along with additional picks for good measure.
An MMA movie that doesn’t hold you to your knowledge of the sport, Warrior‘s story about two brothers on different sides of life’s journey is a flick as inspirational as director Gavin O’Connor’s 2004 hockey classic, Miracle.
Sticking to a simple formula of the underdog’s story, a high school physics teacher (Joel Edgerton), moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter, is forced to join a tournament in pursuit of prize money that will be the difference between keep, or losing, a home for his family.
Meanwhile, his brother Tommy, a former Marine with a shady past, is looking for recalibration in life and turns to fighting in the Octagon. Played by British actor Tom Hardy, in a physical state that will make you join a UFC Gym by Tuesday, the character’s relationship with his estranged father — an Oscar-nominated role from Nick Nolte — keeps him on an emotional journey that culminates into a championship bout between him and his brother.
Ford v. Ferrari (2019)
Fighting time, physics and greedy corporate executives, this retelling of the relationship between real-life driver Ken Miles and automaker Carroll Shelby, played exceptionally by Matt Damon and Christian Bale, shows a friendship develop in the midst of their quest to win Le Mans ’66 — using the fastest car they can build from scratch.
With a heartwarming family dynamic to add to the complexity of Ken Miles’ struggle between being a father and menace on the racetrack, Ford v. Ferrari is a perfectly balanced sports drama thanks to its characters and practical car stunts. Some of the best since Bullitt.
A memorable theater experience in 2019, the sound work in this movie will make good use of your surround sound once the tires start screeching throughout several of its tense races.
It will also have you driving your Toyota like a Chevelle.
2011 was a great year for movies.
One of the most overlooked sports drama of all damn time, director Bennett Miller’s adaptation of the Michael Lewis novel is equal amounts underdog story and pure love of baseball, meshed into an incredible story following the Oakland A’s success during their historic 20-game win streak in 2002.
The story of a locker room full of “misfit” players, led by their own flawed leadership in Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane, gives the story heart that’ll keep you rooting for the ragtag Oakland A’s to win in October — even though that story’s already been told.
With Aaron Sorkin dialogue that doesn’t have the usual cringe, Oscar-nominated performances by Jonah Hill and Pitt, and a group of tertiary characters that can easily serve as the focus of their own films, Moneyball kicks way too much ass to not be seen.
- Slap Shot (1977)
- The Longest Yard (1974, 2005)
- Talladega Nights (2006)
- Major League (1989)
- The Fighter (2010)
- Rush (2013)