(Photo by Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox Film Corp, TriStar/Courtesy Everett Collection)

RT Recommends: 68 Inspiring Sports Movies

We’ve put together the ultimate starting lineup of inspiring sports movies! In no time, you’ll be riding horses, climbing rocks, driving powerful race cars, bolting cross-country, and coaching underdog teams to miraculous victory.

Or they’ll at least get you off the couch.

Some of the most esteemed Certified Fresh inspirational sports movies take on MMA (Warrior), boxing (Creed, Cinderella Man), auto-racing (Rush, Senna), basketball (Hoosiers, He Got Game), hockey (Miracle, Goon). Of course, not everything that glitters is strictly critics’ gold. Which is why we included movies like The Cutting Edge, Stick It, or Lords of Dogtown: They may be lower on the Tomatometer, but they’re high on electric inspiration.

Read on for our recommendations of the most inspiring sports movies of all time! (And you can find them all in Vudu’s inspiring sports movies collection, with most on sale!)

#68

42 (2013)
81%

#68
Adjusted Score: 87776%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 98704%
Critics Consensus: The Bad News Bears is rude, profane, and cynical, but shot through with honest, unforced humor, and held together by a deft, understated performance from Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: Hard-drinking, ex-minor-league hopeful Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) grumpily agrees to coach a Little League team at the behest of lawyer-councilman... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 90204%
Critics Consensus: Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.
Synopsis: Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra), the daughter of a strict Indian couple (Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan) in London, is not permitted... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#65

Blades of Glory (2007)
70%

#65
Adjusted Score: 78000%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the spirited performances of a talented cast - particularly Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rivals-turned-teammates -- Blades of Glory successfully spoofs inspirational sports dramas with inspired abandon.
Synopsis: Figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) take their intense rivalry too far during the... [More]
Directed By: Will Speck, Josh Gordon

#64

Brian's Song (1971)
92%

#64
Adjusted Score: 92567%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by standout performances from James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, Brian's Song is a touching tale of friendship whose central relationship transcends its standard sports movie moments.
Synopsis: Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) are teammates on the mid-1960s Chicago Bears. At a time... [More]
Directed By: Buzz Kulik

#63

Bring It On (2000)
64%

#63
Adjusted Score: 67406%
Critics Consensus: Despite the formulaic, fluffy storyline, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch, mostly due to its high energy and how it humorously spoofs cheerleading instead of taking itself too seriously.
Synopsis: The Toro cheerleading squad from Rancho Carne High School in San Diego has got spirit, spunk, sass and a killer... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#62

The Bronze (2015)
36%

#62
Adjusted Score: 41584%
Critics Consensus: Enthusiastically unpleasant and mostly unfunny, The Bronze fails to stick the landing -- or much else along the way.
Synopsis: A spoiled and largely forgotten Olympic medalist (Melissa Rauch) takes action when a promising young gymnast (Haley Lu Richardson) threatens... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Buckley

#61

Chariots of Fire (1981)
82%

#61
Adjusted Score: 88074%
Critics Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.
Synopsis: In the class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#60

Cinderella Man (2005)
80%

#60
Adjusted Score: 87609%
Critics Consensus: With grittiness and an evocative sense of time and place, Cinderella Man is a powerful underdog story. And Ron Howard and Russell Crowe prove to be a solid combination.
Synopsis: During the Great Depression, ex-boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) works as a day laborer until his former manager Joe... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#59

Cool Runnings (1993)
76%

#59
Adjusted Score: 79070%
Critics Consensus: Cool Runnings rises above its formulaic sports-movie themes with charming performances, light humor, and uplifting tone.
Synopsis: Four Jamaican bobsledders dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#58

Creed (2015)
95%

#58
Adjusted Score: 106968%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born.... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#57

The Cutting Edge (1992)
57%

#57
Adjusted Score: 59392%
Critics Consensus: Part contrived romance, part hackneyed sports drama, The Cutting Edge shows how difficult it can be to figure skate through cheese.
Synopsis: Stuck-up figure skating whiz Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) is denied a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics after a fall.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 97326%
Critics Consensus: Better than your average football pic, Damned United is carried by another star turn from Michael Sheen as Brian Clough.
Synopsis: The story of Brian Clough's 44 day stint as manager of Leeds United Football Club takes place in 1974 England.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hooper

#55

Downhill Racer (1969)
85%

#55
Adjusted Score: 85229%
Critics Consensus: Downhill Racer plunges the viewer thrillingly into the action of the sport -- and continues to hold the attention as a thoughtful drama.
Synopsis: A smug and overly self-assured downhill skier, David Chappellet (Robert Redford), joins the American ski team and quickly makes waves... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#54

Eddie the Eagle (2016)
81%

#54
Adjusted Score: 93633%
Critics Consensus: Eddie the Eagle's amiable sweetness can't disguise its story's many inspirational clichés -- but for many viewers, it will be more than enough to make up for them.
Synopsis: Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael "Eddie" Edwards travels to Germany to test his skills at ski... [More]
Directed By: Dexter Fletcher

#53

Endurance (1998)
50%

#53
Adjusted Score: 50337%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This docudrama focuses on the life and accomplishments of Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie, who won a gold medal at the... [More]

#52

Fair Play (2014)

#52
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the 1980s, Anna, a Czech sprinter, starts training for the Olympics. After she collapses during training, she learns she... [More]
Directed By: Andrea Sedlácková

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 106886%
Critics Consensus: Much like the sport it celebrates, Fighting with My Family muscles past clichés with a potent blend of energy and committed acting that should leave audiences cheering.
Synopsis: Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Merchant

#50

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#50
Adjusted Score: 114298%
Critics Consensus: Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect -- and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts.
Synopsis: American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#49

Free Solo (2018)
97%

#49
Adjusted Score: 106087%
Critics Consensus: Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason - and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal.
Synopsis: Alex Honnold completes the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan's 3,000-foot vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.... [More]

#48

Girlfight (2000)
88%

#48
Adjusted Score: 91715%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Rodriguez gives a compelling performance, despite lack of a boxing background; Karyn Kusama packs a punch with this directorial debut.
Synopsis: Newcomer Michelle Rodriguez in an astounding performance alongside Jaime Tirelli, Paul Calderon and Santiago Douglas. Nothing comes easy for Diana... [More]
Directed By: Karyn Kusama

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell are thrown together in the double sculls just five weeks before the final of the... [More]
Directed By: David Blair

#46

Goon (2011)
81%

#46
Adjusted Score: 84988%
Critics Consensus: Goon is a crude slapstick comedy with well-formed characters and a surprising amount of heart.
Synopsis: Though a misfit among his brainy family members, Massachusetts bouncer Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) has a knockout punch that... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#45

Gracie (2007)
61%

#45
Adjusted Score: 64452%
Critics Consensus: Gracie can be rousing and touching in spots, but is ultimately undone by its predictable story arc and a lack of nuance.
Synopsis: Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder) is the only girl among her parents' four children. Her brothers and father (Dermot Mulroney) eat,... [More]
Directed By: Davis Guggenheim

#44
Adjusted Score: 66004%
Critics Consensus: Despite all the underdog sports movie conventions, the likable cast and lush production values make The Greatest Game Ever Played a solid and uplifting tale.
Synopsis: Blue-collar Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) fights class prejudice while mastering golf, a game guarded by the upper crust. Employed as... [More]
Directed By: Bill Paxton

#43

Happy Gilmore (1996)
61%

#43
Adjusted Score: 63865%
Critics Consensus: Those who enjoy Adam Sandler's schtick will find plenty to love in this gleefully juvenile take on professional golf; those who don't, however, will find it unfunny and forgettable.
Synopsis: All Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) has ever wanted is to be a professional hockey player. But he soon discovers he... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#42

He Got Game (1998)
81%

#42
Adjusted Score: 83074%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee near the top of his game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.
Synopsis: Jake Shuttleworth (Denzel Washington) has spent the last six years in prison after accidentally killing his wife during a violent... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#41

Hoosiers (1986)
91%

#41
Adjusted Score: 94988%
Critics Consensus: It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.
Synopsis: Failed college coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) gets a chance at redemption when he is hired to direct the basketball... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#40

I Am Bolt (2016)
86%

#40
Adjusted Score: 79138%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The career and the legacy of Jamaican runner Usain Bolt.... [More]

#39
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This sequel to "National Velvet" follows Sarah Brown (Tatum O'Neal), a young girl who is sent to England after her... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Forbes

#38

Invictus (2009)
76%

#38
Adjusted Score: 85438%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#37
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this stirring biographical drama, young Native American Jim Thorpe (Burt Lancaster) pursues his dreams of athletic stardom. Mentored by... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#36

The Karate Kid (1984)
89%

#36
Adjusted Score: 91181%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#35
Adjusted Score: 100573%
Critics Consensus: The King of Kong is funny and compelling with more than a few poignant insights into human behavior. Director Seth Gordon presents the dueling King Kong players in all their obsessive complexity and with perfectly al dente observations.
Synopsis: Named "Video Game Player of the Century" in 1999, Billy Mitchell sets a record score in "Donkey Kong" that many... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon

#34

Lords of Dogtown (2005)
55%

#34
Adjusted Score: 59525%
Critics Consensus: Lords of Dogtown, while slickly made and edited, lacks the depth and entertaining value of the far superior documentary on the same subject, Dogtown and Z-Boys.
Synopsis: A drought in 1970s Southern California has an unexpected side effect: as people empty their swimming pools, a group of... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 86387%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy,... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince

#32

Maiden (2018)
98%

#32
Adjusted Score: 104747%
Critics Consensus: Enthralling viewing even for audiences with little to no knowledge of or interest in sailing, Maiden pays powerful tribute to a true pioneer.
Synopsis: In 1989 Tracy Edwards leads the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling yachting competition... [More]
Directed By: Alex Holmes

#31

Major League (1989)
83%

#31
Adjusted Score: 84879%
Critics Consensus: Major League may be predictable and formulaic, but buoyed by the script's light, silly humor -- not to mention the well-built sports action sequences and funny performances.
Synopsis: The new owner of the Cleveland Indians, former showgirl Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), has a sweetheart deal to move the... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#30

Meru (2015)
88%

#30
Adjusted Score: 90452%
Critics Consensus: Gripping visually as well as narratively, Meru is the rare documentary that proves thought-provoking while offering thrilling wide-screen vistas.
Synopsis: Three elite climbers fight through obsession and loss as they struggle to climb Mount Meru.... [More]

#29

Miracle (2004)
81%

#29
Adjusted Score: 85821%
Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.
Synopsis: When college coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) is hired to helm the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, he brings... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#28

Nadia (1984)

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci trains as a child (Leslie Weiner) and wins three gold medals as a teen (Johann Carlo)... [More]
Directed By: Alan Cooke

#27

The Natural (1984)
82%

#27
Adjusted Score: 85275%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: On the way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs, young baseball phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is shot by... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 87506%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The story of Lithuania's 1992 Olympic basketball team whose athletes won the bronze medal.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Marius A. Markevicius

#25

Pacific Rim (2013)
72%

#25
Adjusted Score: 84164%
Critics Consensus: It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
Synopsis: Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#24

Personal Best (1982)
73%

#24
Adjusted Score: 74346%
Critics Consensus: Mariel Hemingway has a career-making star turn in this highly physical drama about two Olympic athletes who find each other during competitive training.
Synopsis: Young sprinter Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) is having difficulty reaching her potential as an athlete, until she meets established track... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

#23

Prefontaine (1997)
56%

#23
Adjusted Score: 56681%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Olympic defeat matures a selfish distance runner (Jared Leto) into a sports activist before his 1975 death in a car... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#22

Pride (2007)
47%

#22
Adjusted Score: 50314%
Critics Consensus: Pride features a typically stellar performance from Terrence Howard, but ultimately falls victim to its over usage of sports movie clichés.
Synopsis: In 1970s Philadelphia, Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), who is driven by a love of competitive swimming, fixes up an abandoned... [More]
Directed By: Sunu Gonera

#21

Pumping Iron (1977)
91%

#21
Adjusted Score: 93896%
Critics Consensus: In addition to offering an enlightening early look into the world of future star/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron provides a witty and insightful overview of competitive bodybuilding.
Synopsis: This partly real and partly scripted film documents what many consider to be the golden age of bodybuilding that occurred... [More]

#20

Race (2016)
63%

#20
Adjusted Score: 71772%
Critics Consensus: Race is nowhere near as thrillingly fleet or agile as its subject, but the story -- and a winning central performance from Stephan James -- are enough to carry it over the finish line.
Synopsis: Young Jesse Owens (Stephan James) becomes a track and field sensation while attending the Ohio State University in the early... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#19

Redbelt (2008)
67%

#19
Adjusted Score: 72546%
Critics Consensus: Mamet's mixed marital arts morality play weaves between action and intellect but doesn't always hit its target.
Synopsis: Martial artist Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor) lives by a strict code of no competitions, for he feels that such contests... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 76982%
Critics Consensus: An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it's also well-crafted and features terrific performances.
Synopsis: In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas,... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#17

Rocky (1976)
91%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97731%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#16

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87870%
Critics Consensus: A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.
Synopsis: A true story about a coach who discovers that it's never too late for dreams to come true. Jim Morris... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#15

Rudy (1993)
78%

#15
Adjusted Score: 81458%
Critics Consensus: Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination.
Synopsis: Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) wants to play football at the University of Notre Dame, but has neither the money for... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#14

Rush (2013)
89%

#14
Adjusted Score: 97522%
Critics Consensus: A sleek, slick, well-oiled machine, Rush is a finely crafted sports drama with exhilarating race sequences and strong performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.
Synopsis: In the mid-1970s, charismatic English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) share an intense... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#13

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#13
Adjusted Score: 68719%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#12

Senna (2010)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 96743%
Critics Consensus: Even for filmgoers who aren't racing fans, Senna offers heart-pounding thrills -- and heartbreaking emotion.
Synopsis: Ayrton Senna becomes a three-time Formula One racing champion and Brazil's national hero before his untimely death at age 34.... [More]
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#11

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
90%

#11
Adjusted Score: 93172%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
Synopsis: All his life, an ordinary young man (Stephen Chow) has been treated like dirt. Still, he's never given up believing... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

#10

Space Jam (1996)
45%

#10
Adjusted Score: 48941%
Critics Consensus: While it's no slam dunk, Space Jam's silly, Looney Toons-laden slapstick and vivid animation will leave younger viewers satisfied -- though accompanying adults may be more annoyed than entertained.
Synopsis: Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Pytka

#9

Stick It (2006)
31%

#9
Adjusted Score: 34716%
Critics Consensus: Director Jessica Bendinger is unable to transfer her winning Bring It On formula to the world of gymnastics, despite Missy Peregrym's strong lead performance.
Synopsis: Haley (Missy Peregrym) is a naturally gifted athlete but, with her social behavior, the teen seems intent on squandering her... [More]
Directed By: Jessica Bendinger

#8

Sugar (2008)
92%

#8
Adjusted Score: 97281%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: Like many young men in the Dominican Republic, 19-year-old Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) dreams of winning a slot... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#7

Teen Wolf (1985)
42%

#7
Adjusted Score: 44216%
Critics Consensus: Though Michael J. Fox is as charismatic as ever, Teen Wolf's coming-of-age themes can't help but feel a little stale and formulaic.
Synopsis: When high school nerd Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) learns from his father, Harold (James Hampton), that being a werewolf... [More]
Directed By: Rod Daniel

#6

Unbroken (2014)
51%

#6
Adjusted Score: 60993%
Critics Consensus: Unbroken is undoubtedly well-intentioned, but it hits a few too many of the expected prestige-pic beats to register as strongly as it should.
Synopsis: As a boy, Louis "Louie" Zamperini is always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turns... [More]
Directed By: Angelina Jolie

#5

Victory (1981)
63%

#5
Adjusted Score: 32074%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The head of a German POW camp, soccer enthusiast Karl von Steiner (Max von Sydow) organizes a match between Nazi... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#4

Warrior (2011)
83%

#4
Adjusted Score: 90314%
Critics Consensus: Warrior relies on many of the clichés that critics of the genre love to mock -- and it transcends them with gripping action, powerful acting, and heart.
Synopsis: An estranged family finds redemption in the unlikeliest of places: the MMA ring. Tommy (Tom Hardy), an ex-Marine with a... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#3

The Way Back (2020)
84%

#3
Adjusted Score: 97953%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
Synopsis: Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball superstar who suddenly walked away from the game for unknown reasons. Years later,... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#2

Whip It (2009)
84%

#2
Adjusted Score: 91770%
Critics Consensus: While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.
Synopsis: Bliss Cavendar lives in small-town Texas and yearns to break free of her mother's world of beauty pageants and conformity.... [More]
Directed By: Drew Barrymore

#1

Without Limits (1998)
79%

#1
Adjusted Score: 80522%
Critics Consensus: This drama about American track star and hero Steve Prefontaine intelligently looks at the character of this oft mythologized athlete and features a fantastic performance by Donald Sutherland as Prefontaine's trainer.
Synopsis: Before Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) makes it to the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he is an unlikely track star at... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

It’s a good week to catch up on your favorite shows before the new TV season begins (Heroes Season Two) and a good week to satisfy your curiosity for a certain guilty pleasure (Uwe Boll‘s Postal). Read on for exclusive clips from Heroes Season Two and Postal, and find out what new releases you should be looking for this week on DVD, including Redbelt, What Happens in Vegas, Son of Rambow, and more!

NBC’s Heroes was a pop culture phenomenon from the get-go, a riveting comic book come to life that followed a host of heroes — and villains — as they gradually developed their powers. Season 2, on DVD this week, continues the epic story as the line between good and evil becomes blurred, new characters emerge, and the fate of the world once more lies in the hands of Peter Petrelli.

We’ve snagged an exclusive clip from the Heroes Season Two DVD release, in which cast member Zachary Quinto (who will also appear as Spock in next year’s Star Trek) sheds light into the motivations of the show’s preeminent villain: the all-powerful sociopath (we think he’s just misunderstood) Sylar.


But wait, there’s more! We’ve got another exclusive bonus clip for you from another of this week’s most anticipated — and notorious — titles: Postal, from director-businessman-pugilist Uwe Boll. (Get an intriguing rare glimpse into the mind of Boll in our interview here.) Postal, adapted from the video game of the same name, offers an irreverent, bawdy, and violent satire of American society and politics made the only way Uwe Boll could have done it: with a star-crossed romance between George W. and Osama bin Laden, full frontal Dave Foley, Verne Troyer as himself, and a cameo by none other than…Uwe Boll!

As a treat for our readers, we exclusively bring you a sneak peek at the full “Raging Boll” bonus feature from the DVD release of Postal. Watch and see why Uwe earned his pugilistic nickname, as he enters the ring to go head-to-head with Something Awful critic Richard “Lowtax” Kyanka!


Click on for this week’s exciting new releases, including What Happens in Vegas, Redbelt and more!

What Happens in Vegas



Tomatometer: 27%

If only this movie had stayed in Vegas. The unholy union of pretty boy Ashton Kutcher and bubbly blonde Cameron Diaz was a summer event destined for boffo box office returns, released smack dab in the middle of wedding season as the chick-friendly alternative to muscular blockbusters like Iron Man and Indiana Jones. And, thanks to their combined powers of evil — vapid good looks and daffy charm, the movie-star equivalent of a smile and nod — Ashton and Cameron raked in a whopping $211 million in worldwide returns.

Bonus Features:

A single-disc and an extended “Jackpot” edition are available, which begs the question: is it worth the gamble? You’ll find extra features galore on both DVD releases, though seven deleted and extended scenes are only available on Blu-ray.



Postal



Tomatometer: 9%

Shockingly, it would seem Uwe Boll‘s projections for Postal, his latest video game adaptation, is far from Fresh. Congrats are nevertheless in order, since Uwe Boll’s comically violent, self-referential political satire is, at nine percent on the Tomatometer — his highest-rated film since debuting with 2002’s Blackwoods (11%). So celebrate his career upswing (and satisfy your own morbid curiosity, dear reader) as Postal debuts on DVD this week.

Bonus Features:

Uwe Boll is a smart man. And he knows what we want. The media-savvy filmmaker includes a feature commentary on Postal‘s DVD release, footage of his infamous “Raging Boll” boxing matches, a clip of Verne Troyer as Indiana Jones, and more. Showing their support for what Boll hath wrought from their video game, the makers of Postal have included the complete PC game Postal 2 in the release (creator Vince Desi also cameos in the film as himself).

**Reminder: Buying Postal on DVD is exactly what Uwe Boll wants you to do. If you watch it, he wins…and we all lose.

Redbelt



Tomatometer: 71%

If you did a double take when you heard of Redbelt, join the club. A Mixed Martial Arts movie written and directed by…David Mamet?? Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, and Randy Couture star in the favorably-reviewed morality play, written with less of Mamet’s signature talkiness. Watch it in a double feature with the other MMA drama of 2008, Never Back Down.

Bonus Features:

Featurettes on the making-of process and Mixed Martial Arts put the focus on the fighting, as do “Fighter Profiles” and an interview with UFC President Dana White. The crown jewel of Redbelt‘s DVD release is its feature-length commentary, which presents the unlikeliest of duos together, at long last: David Mamet and Randy Couture.


Son of Rambow


Tomatometer:
75%

Ever daydream as a child and find yourself smack dab in the middle of your favorite movie? Young Will (Bill Milner) does just that, as a chance viewing of Rambo: First Blood inspires him to let his imagination fly, leading him and his friends to make their own sequel for a local filmmaker’s competition. It’s a throwback to the sounds, sights, and great action flicks of the ’80s (and ladies, catch Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick in a supporting role). If you see one new release this week, make it this gem of a film, which is Certified Fresh to boot.

Bonus Features:

Director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith (the filmmaking team known as Hammer & Tongs, who also made 2005’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and their tremendously poised young actors Bill Milner and Will Poulter provide a commentary and look at the making of the film, including peeks inside their production offices, parked on barges on a London canal.



Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?


Tomatometer: 36%

The most interesting discovery in Morgan Spurlock‘s latest documentary isn’t whether or not he actually finds Osama bin Laden (guess what — he doesn’t) but what he learns along the way. As with his Oscar-nominated Super Size Me, Where in the World relies a bit too heavily on gimmicks (such as a faux-video game showdown between a pixilated Spurlock and bin Laden), but unearths common ground between Americans and the people of nations halfway around the world.

Bonus Features:

Additional interviews with political figures and an animated history of Afghanistan bolster Spurlock’s cross-cultural debate.


A/k/a Tommy Chong


Tomatometer: 70%

As one half of the duo Cheech & Chong, Tommy Chong became one of the biggest pro-cannabis celebrities in Hollywood; in 2003, that fame also made him one of the biggest targets in a $12 million DEA sting, one of the biggest “enemies” in the War on Drugs. Director Josh Gilbert’s involving documentary follows the actor-comedian as he grapples with the government, pleads guilty, and is sentenced to nine months in prison for financing a glass pipe company owned by his son — a conviction pursued and intentionally made harsher because of Chong’s famous onscreen persona. (Last May, 10,000 copies of A/K/A Tommy Chong DVDs were seized by federal agents under the direction of U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, the same prosecutor who spearheaded Tommy Chong’s case.)

Bonus Features:

Chong appears with former partner Cheech Marin for an interview (the duo reunited for a road show following Chong’s incarceration) and sits down to discuss his case with his family in an additional featurette.


Heroes – Season Two


Tomatometer: N/A

Having aired only eleven episodes during its second season (thanks, writers’ strike!), Heroes didn’t have the chance to show us what it really had in store for Peter Petrelli, Claire Bennett, Hiro Nakamura and the rest of the super gang…until now. Snag Heroes Season Two on DVD to hear insightful episode commentaries and deleted scenes — but most importantly, learn of the Season Two that might have been. Think plague, contamination, and large-scale action set pieces — elements that might have saved Heroes from its perceived sophomore slump.

Bonus Features:

Watch the alternate ending and a featurette that delves deeper into the original story arcs planned for Season Two, plus deleted scenes, faux documentaries, and a sneak peek at Season Three!


Entourage – Season Four


Tomatometer: N/A

Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and Co. go on location for a film about a Columbian drug lord, then take it all the way to the Cannes Film Festival in the Emmy-nominated fourth season of HBO’s Entourage. Watch for guest stars like Anna Faris, M. Night Shyamalan, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West.

Bonus Features:

Three episode commentaries and the fake trailer for Vincent’s film, Medellin, should prove entertaining, but core fans will really love a panel filmed during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, featuring Entourage‘s cast and crew as interviewed by critic Elvis Mitchell.


Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas 2-Disc Collector’s Edition


Tomatometer: N/A

It always seems to happen this way; your favorite movie comes out in a special edition DVD, only to be upgraded years later with yet another, more special, collector’s edition! If you can come to terms with this inevitability, you’ll do a celebratory skeleton dance for the latest home video release of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which has been digitally restored (read: more vivid colors, previously unnoticeable visual details) and is available in a 2-disc Collector’s Edition, an Ultimate Collector’s Edition that comes with a talking Jack Skellington bust, and on Blu-ray.

Bonus Features:

The limited run Ultimate Collector’s Edition Skellington bust will be a must-have item for diehard fans, something the goth kids won’t be able to pick up at Hot Topic. Otherwise, a host of new featurettes accompany previously released DVD extras, including a tour of Disneyland’s Nightmare-themed Haunted Mansion, a newly recorded commentary track combining the memories of Tim Burton, director Henry Selick, and composer Danny Elfman, and the reading of Burton’s original Nightmare poem read by Christopher Lee, animated in 2-D with Burton’s early concept art.

Want another glimpse of this super-special, hand-painted Jack Skellington bust that doubles as a DVD set and comes with optional Sandy Claws dress-up gear? Disney’s put together a nifty stop-motion demo of their own to show you what it will be like to have Jack sitting on your mantle this Christmas. Watch below.


To read previous installments of RT on DVD, check out our column archives here. ‘Til next week, happy renting!

This week at the movies, we’ve got metal-plated superheroes (Iron Man,
starring Robert Downey Jr. and
Gwyneth Paltrow) and matrimonial mishaps (Made
of Honor
, starring
Patrick Dempsey and
Michelle Monaghan). What do the
critics have to say?

The summer movie season has officially begun — and it’s starting off with a big
bang. The critics say Iron Man is everything a blockbuster should be —
action-packed, witty, and thoughtful.
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, a
brilliant inventor and weapons manufacturer who is taken hostage by a terrorist
group and builds a suit of armor to free himself; realizing what a great idea he
had, Stark becomes Iron Man, a crime-fighting force to be reckoned with. The
pundits say Iron Man is a marvel (pun intended): Downey imbues his role
with smarts and good humor; director
Jon Favreau
stages several thrilling action set-pieces; and co-stars
Gwyneth Paltrow,
Terrence Howard, and
Jeff Bridges turn
in stellar supporting performances. Plus, the film mixes in a healthy dose of
politics for good measure. At 94 percent on the Tomatometer, Iron Man is
not only Certified Fresh; it’s the best-reviewed wide release of the year, and
one of the best-reviewed superhero movies of all time. (Check out this week’s
Total Recall, in which we recount other memorable Man movies here, and
take a look at our interview with Favreau here.)




“Miss one Family Circus and you’re totally out of the loop!”

Ah, counter-programming. When a superhero movie hits theaters, you can generally
expect that it will go up against a romantic comedy for box-office bounty. And
critics say you can expect every chick flick shtick imaginable to turn up in the
nondescript
Made
of Honor
.
Patrick Dempsey stars as Tom, a man who
realizes that he’s in love with his best friend Hannah — just as she’s become
engaged to a wealthy Scotsman. Naturally, an attempt to get her to love him
before the wedding ensues. Sound familiar? Critics say Made of Honor is
essentially a gender reversal on
My Best Friend’s Wedding
, and a mediocre
one at that; the performers are fine, but the script revels in cliché and
formula. At 15 percent on the Tomatometer, Made of Honor has the wedding
bell blues.




“Sure, you can cut in. But wait a second or I’ll drop her.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

Son of Rambow, a Britcom about a group of schoolboys’ attempt to make
their own homemade Rambo flick, is at 79 percent (check out our take from
Sundance here).

Fugitive Pieces, a drama about a man haunted by his childhood World War
II experiences, is at 63 percent.

Viva, the tale of a bored 1970s housewife who takes a walk on the wild
side, is at 60 percent.

The Argentine import XXY, about the life and loves of a intersex teen, is
at 60 percent.

David Mamet‘s
Redbelt
, starring
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Jiu-Jitsu teacher who
is forced to step into the ring, is at 62 percent.

And Harmony
Korine
‘s
Mister Lonely
, starring
Diego Luna,
Samantha Morton,
and Werner Herzog in the tale of a commune filled with celebrity impersonators,
is at 44 percent.




“So seriously, which is better: ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ or ‘Happy Birthday Lisa?'”

Best-Reviewed Wide Releases of 2008:
—————————————————
95% — Iron Man
92% — U2 3D
85% — Forgetting Sarah Marshall
80% — The Spiderwick Chronicles
77% — Cloverfield

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