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Top 10 Inspirational Sports Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Craig Butler. Going for the gold. Knocking it out of the park. Making a slam-dunk. In movies, sports provide not just action but also motivation. With inspiring dialogue, crazy sports sequences and moments that make you stand up and cheer, we can’t get enough. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 inspirational sports movies. For this list, we’ve chosen those sports flicks we deem most moving, and have excluded those we find funniest or those that are mainly popular because of one great speech. Those are lists for another day. Special thanks to our user GForGhost for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Craig Butler.

Top10 Inspirational Sports Movies


Going for the gold. Knocking it out of the park. Making a slam-dunk. In movies, sports provide not just action but also motivation. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 inspirational sports movies.

For this list, we’ve chosen those sports flicks we deem most moving, and have excluded those we find funniest or those that are mainly popular because of one great speech. Those are lists for another day.

#10 – “Warrior” (2011)

Sports are all about conflict and competition, so they’re a perfect metaphor for the family dynamics at work in “Warrior.” Sibling rivalry reaches new heights as two estranged brothers – each a mixed martial arts expert – fight it out. They’re not just in it to win the crown, but also their dreams – but one of them’s gotta fail. In the end, they learn that the battle of the heart is bigger than any battle of the body.

#9 – “Seabiscuit” (2003)

This isn’t really about a racing horse that comes from behind to win big: it’s about how America, still struggling through the Depression, would come from behind and win big. Lines like “I guess you’re all here today because this is a horse who won’t give up, even when life beats him by a nose” and “You don’t throw a whole life away, just because it’s banged up a little” are all about the American “can do” spirit. Corny? A little, but who can resist it – especially when the racing scenes pack such a wallop.

#8 – “The Blind Side” (2009)

We all know that, in life as in sports, playing fields aren’t always level. In this real-life story, Sandra Bullock wages a one-woman campaign to see that a disadvantaged but good-hearted and massively talented football player gets the chance he deserves. She’s an unstoppable force who shows it’s guts, and not greenbacks, that carry the day.

#7 – “The Natural” (1984)

Can you really mix metaphysics and symbolism with baseball and still get a film that makes you stand up and cheer? This flick proves you can. “The Natural” is filled with texture, adversity and challenges; but ultimately it boils down to a man chasing the chance to do what he was born to do – no matter what gets in his way.

#6 – “Rocky” (1976)

You want inspiration? As the famous tagline said, Rocky’s “whole life was a million to one shot.” The fact that the same applied to then-struggling actor-writer Sylvester Stallone gives the film an amazing added punch. Throw in Bill Conti’s fantastic score, a run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a knock-down, drag-out climax fight and you’ve got a classic, and one of the most thrilling underdog stories ever put to film.

#5 – “Hoosiers” (1986)

How many underdogs can fit into one film? “Hoosiers” has a down-on-his-luck basketball coach, an ex-alcoholic assistant coach and a run-of-the-mill high school team. Watching all of these losers turn into winners gets your pulse racing and puts a smile on your face – and might even make you put down that beer and go shoot a few hoops yourself.

#4 – “Miracle” (2004)

This inspirational sports flick gets its name from the real-life Miracle on Ice, when the U.S. men’s hockey team won a totally unpredictable victory over the Soviets at the 1980 Olympics. Telling the story from the viewpoint of the men who made it happen, this film employs electrifying camerawork and real hockey players to put you right in the game. By the end, you’re breathless and way, way uplifted.

#3 – “Field of Dreams” (1989)

“If you build it he will come.” That oft-quoted movie line captures “Field of Dreams”’ strange appeal: some mystical fate moves all of us, but if we listen, it will move us in the right direction. Not only does this film capture that spirit, and those of some baseball legends; it also plays a redemption song we can all relate to. And that’s good comfort food for the soul.

#2 – “Brian’s Song” (1971)

Pulling all the right emotional levers, this movie tells the true story of football players and teammates Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. In addition to telling a tale of interracial friendship during less-enlightened times, “Brian’s Song” also features exciting football sequences and a fruitless struggle with a fatal disease. Through it all, the players’ friendship shines like a beacon of inextinguishable hope and love, reminding us of true heroism.

#1 – “Rudy” (1993)

Even the toughest guy won’t be able to hold back a tear when watching “Rudy.” The title character dreams of playing football for Notre Dame, but everything’s against him: his size, his grades, his family’s lack of money, his learning problems. But the boy has one secret weapon: determination. “Rudy” celebrates the sheer, unadulterated power of the human spirit. And that is something never to be trifled with.

Do you agree with our list? Which sports movie makes you want to win one for the Gipper? For more top 10s about your favorite flicks, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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