As the upcoming release of the widely-tipped Oscar hopeful, Moneyball, sees Brad Pitt play the role of an eccentric baseball coach, MouthLondon has decided to look at the best sports movies to date.  There are haystacks to choose from, with many films testing the boundaries of what actually counts as a sport.  So, after intense, exam revision-worthy consideration, here are the top five must-see sports movies in cinema history.


5. Bend it like Beckham

… attempt to explore controversies…

No list of top 5 sports movies could be with merit without one about football (or soccer for our American counterparts) as there are, indeed, a host of them. Though, surprisingly, it isn’t Goal or Victory that is the first name off people’s lips.  Bend it like Beckham is essentially a modern classic.  Its immense popularity is matched only by its quality and ability to inspire.  The catchy name is backed up by a daring (and successful) attempt to explore controversies regarding important everyday themes such as gender, culture and homosexuality.  Moreover, you can’t beat a bit of Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keira Knightley.


4. The Karate Kid

…landscape of ‘80s cinema…

Wax on!  Wax off!  That will be all, readers.

Check the IMDB website and it is there written in stone: The Karate Kid counts as a sports movie, and, as such, would be criminal to leave out of our top 5.  A cult classic, Karate Kid spawned 3 sequels (albeit one slightly unrelated with Hilary Swank) and a modern remake with Jaden Smith.  The landscape of 80s cinema just wouldn’t be the same without the calm and calculated voice of Mr Miyagi and the troubles of his reluctant padawan, Daniel LaRusso. Another inspirational picture, The Karate Kid delivers a viewing experience to remember, especially that momentous kick at the end…


3. Mean Machine/The Longest Yard

…pure comedic value…

At the risk of cheating and making this top 5 into a top 6, the inclusion of Mean Machine requires the inclusion of The Longest Yard, as it is, in essence, two versions of the same film.  One is British and one is American.  One is Vinnie Jones and one is Adam Sandler.  Watch either one and you’ll get the jist of the plot; nonetheless, as sports movies, they have everything.  For pure comedic value, they are worth watching (especially Jason Statham as the Monk); for sporting action- they are worth watching; and, once again, for the ability to inspire- they are, you guessed it, worth watching.

Top 5 continues tomorrow, check back to see who made  the top 2…

Images courtesy of Bend it like Beckham, Longest Yard and The Karate Kid


About The Author

An aspiring sports journalist - I've seen the light, I don't want superficial riches. I want to be happy and report on sport for a living. Intern with and Sports Editor at the Beaver. Write for a few sites, including this one :) so follow me on Twitter @TimothyPoole to see more!

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