Lights, Camera, Athletics! 5 sports-themed movies to check out

Colleen Drangines, Sports Editor

Daisy Rymer

Scrolling through Netflix and attempting to find something to watch based on the comically uninformative captions is a challenge that every college student must face. Never fear, The Hullabaloo is here with a run-down of sports movies for every mood, all currently streaming.

42” (2013)

Our list kicks off with a film that is utterly underappreciated in the world of sports cinema, “42.” This fantastic flick brings the incredible story of the legendary Jackie Robinson, portrayed by “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, to the big screen.

There are countless elements of this movie that could warm even the coldest of hearts. From the adorable boy who finds hope for his future in Robinson, to the strength of his relationship with his wife Rachel – and their obvious playful chemistry, the film offers all of the fuzzy feelings expected of a biopic about one of the greatest athletes of all time.

What makes this movie truly memorable, however, is its brutal depiction of the struggles Robinson faced. The language is far from censored, and many of the scenes are downright difficult to watch. As Robinson is pushed to his breaking point again and again, it is an authentic telling of one of the most important stories in the history of baseball.

“The Fighter” (2010)

While admittedly not the most family-friendly flick in the genre, “The Fighter” offers a very raw commentary on the difficulties of dealing with those closest to us. Despite the dark plotline, the ending is surprisingly uplifting, made even more lovable by a clip of the real-life brothers upon which the story is based.

Featuring a beautiful collection of loud and eccentric characters brought to life by an remarkably well-chosen cast, it’s no wonder this film received so much attention from the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. It’s one of those movies that you finish and can’t help but think to yourself, ‘Holy cow, that was such a quality movie.’

“Icarus” (2017)

There are no words that can describe this documentary better than “bananas.” From start to finish, it is two hours full of mind-blowing, jaw-dropping information.

Delving into the world of performance-enhancing drugs in professional athletics, this movie specifically details the state-sponsored doping that, according to the film, has been occurring in Russia for decades. The fact that this investigation evolved almost as an accident makes the story that much more intriguing. Fans of conspiracies, athletics, politics or of just being bewildered should check out this Netflix-original. It is hard to imagine anyone not being compelled.

“4 Minute Mile” (2014)

If you’ve been on the hunt for a classic, overdramatic teen film, then this is the choice for you. This story of a talented high school runner has every trademark genre trope: a quiet teenage boy who hides his feelings, a pretty girl who “just understands” aforementioned boy, an older brother who’s mixed up in a bad crowd, an overwhelmed single mother – indicated by her permanently disheveled hair – and a grumpy old neighbor who, after agreeing to coach the athlete, develops a soft spot for him.

No, this movie certainly didn’t receive any Oscar buzz, but it sure is entertaining. Sometimes, a cheesy, simplistic movie with an inspiring, almost-too-perfect ending just really hits the spot.

“Mary Kom” (2014)

The foreign film collection on Netflix can be a daunting place, but this movie stands out as an instant sports classic. Fans of “A League of their Own” and “Remember the Titans,” look no further for your next movie night than “Mary Kom,” the unbelievable tale of the six-time world champion boxer from Manipur, India.

This film is beautifully done, empowering women everywhere and emphasizing the strength and resiliency that accompanies becoming a mother. It has the edge-of-your-seat intensity and heartwarming sentiment that fans of the genre crave, and, as the cherry on top, a phenomenal soundtrack (available on Spotify).

There are undoubtedly countless other wonderful options in this fantastic genre. Leave your favorites in the comments!

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