Since we’re in the middle of World Cup fever, we decided to put together the best sports related films that you can currently stream on Netflix Canada. Just promise to not bite anyone, okay?
In need of a good cry (or if you’re still crying from The Fault in our Stars, something to make you cry less, possibly?), check out Radio. Based on a true story, Radio follows a high school coach (Ed Harris) who takes a developmentally challenged man (Cuba Gooding Jr.) under his wing. It’s a little too sweet sometimes, but it has the best of intentions and Cuba Gooding Jr gives a great performance.
Moneyball tells the inspiring true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) attempt to assemble a baseball team on a budget. He recruits a Yale economics graduate (Jonah Hill) who helps him build a roaster of players based on a non-traditional approach to statistics analysis.
Moneyball is a slow burn but very much worth your time; while the subject at hand isn’t all that engaging (blame it on baseball and/or that stats class you always slept through), it delivers a smart, sharp and funny story about the other side of the game. In addition, the cast is spectacular: Pitt knocks it out of the park (pun intended) and Jonah Hill hits a home run (intended again). In fact, they both earned Oscar nominations for their performances.
Stop! Don’t skip over this one!
Starring Sylvester Stallone and his original face was nominated for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay at the 1977 Academy Awards (the film itself won Best Picture). It’s had several ridiculous sequels that followed (…which are all on Netflix and worth your time if you’re a completest).
Rocky is about Rocky Balboa (Stallone), a small-time boxer who gets a rare chance to fight the heavy weight champion, Apollo Creed. It’s a little cheesy, sure (he’s got the eye of the tiger after all) and has aged, but it’s still as inspiring as ever and will have you cheering at your computer by the end of it.
Tom Cruise plays the titular character in Jerry Maguire, a sports agent who has an epiphany and is fired for expressing it. He then decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with only one athlete by his side (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Much like Moneyball, Maguire shows the behind scenes stuff of sports and if you have never seen it, it’s quintessential Tom Cruise; it’s him at his best.
Friday Night Lights (The TV Show)
[Ed. Note: Not a sports movie, but I'll let it slide.]
I’ve mentioned Friday Night Lights before, and I’m bring it up again because a) Remember The Titans is not currently available to stream on Netflix Canada and b) because you must watch it.
Friday Night Lights is about the trials and tribulations of small town Texas football players, their friends, family and coaching staff. Sports can be done so well, especially when it’s integrated with such compelling real-life drama. What FNL manages to do is make you care about both, which is a feat in and of itself; you don’t have to love football to love the show because it’s not always about football but everything surrounding it; life, love, growing up, heartbreak, family, and every thing in-between.