In less than a week every major sport has been cancelled or suspended for an indefinite hiatus, leaving most of us battling the effects of withdrawal. We look to our teams, athletes, and coaches to find inspiration, to be motivated and moved by the sheer athleticism and to rally behind a community. Whether you’re looking for an underdog to root for, an inspiring path to greatness or just want a few laughs, we’ve compiled some of the top sports movies to help fill the void, just a little.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Starring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
Plot:Academy Award winners Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman star in this gritty drama of a veteran boxing trainer, his former boxing cohort — and the woman who strides into his gym and announces she intends to become a professional fighter, a Million Dollar Baby. Frankie(Eastwood) doesn’t think much of women boxing and thinks she lacks experience, has no technique and is too old at 31. But Maggie is determined. A tragedy befalls them and they have to navigate their relationships and life and death.
He Got Game (1998)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ray Allen
Plot: Directed by Spike Lee, the film revolves around Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington), father of the top-ranked basketball prospect in the country, Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen). Jake is serving life in prison for accidentally killing his wife and is released on parole for a week by the state’s governor to persuade his son to play for the governor’s alma mater in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.The catch: Jake has not seen Jesus since the murder and Jesus wants nothing to do with the man he no longer calls “father.”
Love & Basketball (2000)
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Glenndon Chatman
Plot: Childhood friends, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) navigate youth and adulthood, with basketball remaining one of the constants in their lives. They both share the same goal: they dream of playing in the NBA/WNBA, but despite her outstanding skills, Monica’s athleticism is not respected nearly as much as she deserves. When injuries and family issues arise, they are put to the test and discover themselves and one another in the process.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr, Renee Zellweger
Plot: As a top agent at Sports Management International, Jerry (Tom Cruise) is unquestionably a master of his universe. But Jerry’s mind and mouth get him in trouble. When he has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent and begins his road to redemption with unlikely allies: Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.) a second-tier wide receiver and his former secretary (Renee Zellweger).
The Mighty Ducks (1992)
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Joss Ackland, Lane Smith
Plot: Who hasn’t seen this feel good ’90s classic? After a self centered Minneapolis lawyer (Emilio Estevez) is sentenced to community service for a drunk-driving conviction, he begins coaching a pee-wee league hockey team made up of misfits and delinquents. Haunted by past shortcomings while on the ice, he tries to coach teamwork on the way to the cup.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill,
Plot: Based on a true story, Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game.
Battle of The Sexes (2017)
Starring: Steve Carell, Emma Stone
Plot: Based on the true story: At the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennismatch between women’s World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time. Off-court each was fighting personal battles from sexuality to gambling and family issues.
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez
Plot: Billy Hoyle (Harrelson) is a white con artist who spends his days hustling basketball games with black players, lulling his victims into the misguided notion that white men can’t match up with black players. One of his victims, Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes), becomes Hoyle’s “agent,” arranging his various inner city scams. Deane doesn’t feel as though he’s selling out his own people; he goes along with Hoyle to provide a better life for his wife, Rhonda (Tyra Ferrell), and son. The unlikely duo join forces to double their chances of winning money on the street courts and in a basketball tournament.
Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel
Plot: Not satisfied with his job as a bouncer at a local bar and labeled as a bit of an embarrassment to his brainy family, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) dreams of the kind of success enjoyed by minor league hockey goon Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber). When he finds himself up against an on-ice thug in a bloody fist fight, Doug wins and catches the eye of the coach of the Halifax Highlanders who sees potential in his size despite not having any hockey playing ability. Glatt tries to overcome the odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.
Space Jam (1996)
Starring: Michael Jordan, Bill Murray
Plot: Basketball superstar Michael Jordan and cartoon classic Bugs Bunny team up with other basketball greats and Looney Tunes characters in this combination animated/live-action feature. Jordan must help the Looney Tunes gang with a basketball game against a group of outer space creatures whose plan, if they win, is to kidnap the Looney Tunes and take them to a failing intergalactic amusement park as the latest attraction.
Remember The Titans (2000)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton
Plot: Based on real events that took place in 1971, a white southern high school is integrated with black students from a nearby school. Both schools are recognized for their football programs which are now unified. The black coach is chosen to be the head coach of the integrated team, leaving the previous white head coach with feelings of animosity at having to be an assistant under a black man.
Starring: Will Smith, Jon Voight, Jamie Foxx
Plot: Will Smith takes on the life story of heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, following the champ’s early days as Cassius Clay and his rise in sports and politics, including his controversial refusal to fight in the Vietnam War and his infamous comeback battles against Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti, Rob Brown
Plot: Based on the true story of coach Ken Carter(Samuel L. Jackson) who returns to his former high-school in Richmond, CA as the new basketball coach to the unsuccessful team. Quickly, Carter notices players tendencies to fight, miss class and make poor life decisions and he begins teaching them life lessons about respect, teamwork and leadership. Controversy surrounds him after he benches his entire team for letting their grades slip and breaking their academic contract with him. This opens the debate of whether student athletes should have goals beyond their sport.