150 Best Sports Movies of All Time

In the arena of the sports movie, every story can be told. The impossible underdog team that survives a brutal season into the final game. The kid who’s just starting out and the veteran being pulled back into the game, who both share the same odds: Against. Stories of the power of coming together as a selfless team, and myths of individual strength when you remove all the limits. Sports movies make us cheer, laugh, cry, and scream. They even make us think about renewing that gym membership.

We’re going all the way to the end zone with our list of the 150 Best Sports Movies of All Time, sorted by Adjusted Tomatometer from at least 20 reviews each. (The Adjusted Tomatometer is our special formula which takes into account, among other factors, the movie’s year of release and its number of reviews.) Just about every sport ever played is here: football (Rudy), baseball (Bull Durham), hockey (Miracle), soccer (Bend It Like Beckham), boxing (Rocky), ice skating (I, Tonya). There’s racing: by foot (Without Limits), by car (Talladega Nights), by horse (Seabiscuit). We got fictional sports (Rollerball) and sports we made up through sheer tyranny of will (Murderball). If it’s in the spirit of competition, it’s in this list.

Because this is a movie list, there are no TV movies (we pour one out for Brian’s Song), and nothing rated Rotten — even fan favorites like Any Given Sunday. Please deal with your rage accordingly before continuing.

And with our most recent updates, we welcome in new popular hits like Ben Affleck’s The Way Back, Best Picture nominee Ford v Ferrari, wrestling family drama Fighting With My Family, the vertigo-inducing Free Solo, and Maiden, about the first all-woman crew in a global yacht race.

Ready? For the leisure, life, and love of the game, here are the 150 Best Sports Movies of All Time!

#150

Blue Crush (2002)
62%

#150
Adjusted Score: 65422%
Critics Consensus: The surfing sequences are exhilarating, but the plot is pretty forgettable and trite.
Synopsis: Nothing gets between Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) and her board. Living in a beach shack with three roommates including her... [More]
Directed By: John Stockwell

#149
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

#148

The Express (2008)
62%

#148
Adjusted Score: 65425%
Critics Consensus: The Express crosses the goal line as an inspirational sports drama, although fans of the genre will recognize many -- if not most -- of its clichés.
Synopsis: Born into poverty, Ernie Davis (Rob Brown) overcomes many obstacles to get into Syracuse University's football program. Under the guidance... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder

#147

Rocky III (1982)
66%

#147
Adjusted Score: 68160%
Critics Consensus: It's noticeably subject to the law of diminishing returns, but Rocky III still has enough brawny spectacle to stand in the ring with the franchise's better entries.
Synopsis: Having become the world heavyweight champion, former working-class boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is rich and famous beyond his wildest... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#146

Cobb (1994)
65%

#146
Adjusted Score: 66801%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.
Synopsis: Baseball legend Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) pressures biographer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) to whitewash the sordid details of his... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#145

Bring It On (2000)
64%

#145
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

#144
Adjusted Score: 68227%
Critics Consensus: Though formulaic, this horse story's saving grace is its strong performances.
Synopsis: Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) is a horse trainer who is struggling to connect with his precocious daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning).... [More]
Directed By: John Gatins

#143

Secretariat (2010)
64%

#143
Adjusted Score: 68707%
Critics Consensus: Rousing, heartwarming, and squarely traditional, Secretariat offers exactly what you'd expect from an inspirational Disney drama -- no more, and no less.
Synopsis: Despite her lack of experience, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over management of the family... [More]
Directed By: Randall Wallace

#142

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#142
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

#141

Race (2016)
63%

#141
Adjusted Score: 71768%
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

#140

Coach Carter (2005)
64%

#140
Adjusted Score: 69701%
Critics Consensus: Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.
Synopsis: In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Carter

#139

Rollerball (1975)
68%

#139
Adjusted Score: 69687%
Critics Consensus: In Rollerball, social commentary collides with high-speed action -- and the audience is the winner.
Synopsis: The year is 2018 in a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries. A violent futuristic game known as Rollerball... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#138
#138
Adjusted Score: 70003%
Critics Consensus: Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.
Synopsis: In a last-ditch effort to save his career, sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) plans to find baseball's next star... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#137

More Than a Game (2008)
71%

#137
Adjusted Score: 71317%
Critics Consensus: Though the film may not delve as deep as some would prefer, More Than a Game is an inspiring documentary featuring likable youngsters, a positive message, and some exciting in-game footage.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Kristopher Belman chronicles the early career of basketball superstar LeBron James. James and four other talented teammates were a... [More]
Directed By: Kristopher Belman

#136

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#136
Adjusted Score: 71756%
Critics Consensus: While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit.
Synopsis: When Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, begins dating pretty businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), the two don't seem... [More]

#135

Olympic Dreams (2019)
70%

#135
Adjusted Score: 72491%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's mainly distinguished by its unique setting, Olympic Dreams remains a romcom with a heartfelt story and likable leads.
Synopsis: A young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor in the Olympic athletes village.... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Teicher

#134

Rocky II (1979)
71%

#134
Adjusted Score: 72156%
Critics Consensus: Rocky II is a movie that dares you to root again for the ultimate underdog -- and succeeds due to an infectiously powerful climax.
Synopsis: Although working-class Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) lost his high-profile bout with the cocky world champion Apollo Creed (Carl... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#133

Ali (2001)
68%

#133
Adjusted Score: 72998%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps no film could fully do justice to the fascinating life and personality of Muhammad Ali, Mann's direction and Smith's performance combine to pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: With wit and athletic genius, with defiant rage and inner grace, Muhammad Ali forever changed the American landscape. Fighting all... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#132
#132
Adjusted Score: 72928%
Critics Consensus: Beastie Boy Adam Yauch proves his worth as a director with Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, a fun-filled chronicle of the top high school hoopsters of 2006.
Synopsis: Rucker Park in New York City's Harlem has been host to many legends, such as Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Yauch

#131

The Blind Side (2009)
66%

#131
Adjusted Score: 74361%
Critics Consensus: It might strike some viewers as a little too pat, but The Blind Side has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#130

The Karate Kid (2010)
66%

#130
Adjusted Score: 73968%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as powerful as the 1984 edition, but the 2010 Karate Kid delivers a surprisingly satisfying update on the original.
Synopsis: When his mother's career results in a move to China, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) finds that he is a... [More]
Directed By: Harald Zwart

#129

Tin Cup (1996)
72%

#129
Adjusted Score: 73794%
Critics Consensus: Breezy and predictable, Tin Cup is a likeable sports comedy that benefits greatly from Kevin Costner's amiable lead performance.
Synopsis: Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) was a golf pro with a bright future, but his rebellious nature and bad attitude cost... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#128
Adjusted Score: 75035%
Critics Consensus: Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is far more risk-averse than its thrill-seeking subject, but still provides a reasonably inspiring introduction to her story.
Synopsis: One of the most accomplished athletes of her generation, Bethany Hamilton, became a surfing wunderkind when she returned to the... [More]
Starring: Bethany Hamilton
Directed By: Aaron Lieber

#127
#127
Adjusted Score: 74782%
Critics Consensus: Taking full advantage of the large IMAX screen, Ultimate X is a thrill ride for extreme sports junkies and novices alike.
Synopsis: Bruce Hendricks highlights events of the 2001 Summer X Games, including skateboarding, BMX biking and the street luge.... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Hendricks

#126
Adjusted Score: 75821%
Critics Consensus: Proudly profane and splendidly silly, Dodgeball is a worthy spiritual successor to the goofball comedies of the 1980s.
Synopsis: Average Joe's Gym and its owner, Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), are both down on their luck. A fancy competing... [More]

#125

Personal Best (1982)
73%

#125
Adjusted Score: 74349%
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

#124

Jungleland (2019)
73%

#124
Adjusted Score: 76157%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to muscular work from director/co-writer Max Winkler and his stars, Jungleland punches above its weight in a crowded genre.
Synopsis: When a devastating loss in the ring leaves Lion and his manager/brother Stan in debt to a local crime boss,... [More]
Directed By: Max Winkler

#123

Invincible (2006)
72%

#123
Adjusted Score: 77478%
Critics Consensus: As simple and authentic as the gritty South Philly invirons in which it's set in, Invincible sends a uplifting and heartfelt message packed with an athletic enthusiasm that shouldn't be missed.
Synopsis: Lifelong football fan Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) sees his wildest dreams come true when he becomes a member of the... [More]
Directed By: Ericson Core

#122

Blades of Glory (2007)
70%

#122
Adjusted Score: 77996%
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

#121
#121
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

#120
Adjusted Score: 78908%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle.
Synopsis: NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is at the top of his game; adored by fans, a trophy wife by... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#119

Caddyshack (1980)
73%

#119
Adjusted Score: 77315%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue.
Synopsis: Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#118

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#118
Adjusted Score: 80126%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and emotionally affecting, The Phenom proves a baseball movie can step away from the mound and still deliver a heater down the middle.
Synopsis: A sports therapist (Paul Giamatti) tries to help a troubled rookie pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who grew up with an abusive... [More]
Directed By: Noah Buschel

#117

Cool Runnings (1993)
76%

#117
Adjusted Score: 79071%
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

#116

The Hammer (2007)
80%

#116
Adjusted Score: 80793%
Critics Consensus: The Hammer perseveres as both an above-average sports comedy and a perfect starring vehicle for Carolla.
Synopsis: On his 40th birthday, chronic underachiever Jerry Ferro (Adam Carolla) loses his carpentry job and his girlfriend. However, all is... [More]

#115
Adjusted Score: 80846%
Critics Consensus: The harder they come, the harder they fall -- this film shows, in raw, gripping detail, that even skater dudes can't resist the life of the rich and famous. It's more poignant than hard-core, and gives us a portrait of a life run over by the whims of the entertainment industry.
Synopsis: This documentary film explores the life of former skateboarding pro Mark "Gator" Rogowski, who, in 1991, was sentenced to 31... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Helen Stickler

#114

Without Limits (1998)
79%

#114
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

#113
#113
Adjusted Score: 80426%
Critics Consensus: White Men Can't Jump provides a fresh take on the sports comedy genre, with a clever script and a charismatic trio of leads.
Synopsis: Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a white basketball hustler who banks on black players underestimating his skills on the court.... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#112

Safety (2020)
80%

#112
Adjusted Score: 82046%
Critics Consensus: Fans of uplifting sports dramas will find Safety in this skillfully told fact-based story about an athlete overcoming adversity.
Synopsis: “Safety” is a drama inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), a... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#111

Breath (2017)
80%

#111
Adjusted Score: 82277%
Critics Consensus: A coming of age drama with a surfing twist, Breath navigates seemingly familiar waters -- but has surprising depth below the surface.
Synopsis: In the 1970s, in a remote corner of the Western Australian coast, two teenage boys, Pikelet and Loonie, are hungry... [More]
Directed By: Simon Baker

#110

Rudy (1993)
78%

#110
Adjusted Score: 81459%
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

#109

The Short Game (2013)
84%

#109
Adjusted Score: 75000%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The world's best 7-year-old golfers travel to Pinehurst, N.C., to compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.... [More]
Directed By: Josh Greenbaum

#108
Adjusted Score: 82810%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a soccer fan to enjoy this stylish, breezy slice of 1970s sports history.
Synopsis: This documentary looks back on a time when soccer briefly captured America's attention. The film profiles the North American Soccer... [More]
Starring: Matt Dillon
Directed By: Paul Crowder, John Dower

#107

The Longest Yard (1974)
79%

#107
Adjusted Score: 81967%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts tough and funny, and led by a perfectly cast Burt Reynolds, The Longest Yard has an interesting political subtext and an excellent climax -- even if it takes too long to get there.
Synopsis: An ex-football star doing time is forced by the warden to organize a team of inmates to play against his... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#106

Step Into Liquid (2003)
81%

#106
Adjusted Score: 83142%
Critics Consensus: A perfect companion piece to The Endless Summer.
Synopsis: In a documentary shot in waters all over the globe, director Dana Brown takes on tall waves and surfers who... [More]
Starring: Dana Brown
Directed By: Dana Brown

#105

He Got Game (1998)
81%

#105
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

#104

Seabiscuit (2003)
77%

#104
Adjusted Score: 84129%
Critics Consensus: A life-affirming, if saccharine, epic treatment of a spirit-lifting figure in sports history.
Synopsis: In the midst of the Great Depression, a businessman (Jeff Bridges) coping with the tragic death of his son, a... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#103

Rocky Balboa (2006)
77%

#103
Adjusted Score: 84717%
Critics Consensus: Implausible but entertaining and poignant, Rocky Balboa finds the champ in fighting form for the first time in years.
Synopsis: Now long-retired, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) runs a Philadelphia eatery and mourns the loss of his beloved wife, Adrian. Yearning to... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#102

The Boxer (1997)
80%

#102
Adjusted Score: 84309%
Critics Consensus: The Boxer is a standard drama that packs a true emotional wallop thanks to the highly tuned central performances.
Synopsis: Rising teen boxer and Belfast native Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) was imprisoned for 14 years after getting involved with the... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan

#101

Beyond the Mat (1999)
82%

#101
Adjusted Score: 84447%
Critics Consensus: Even if you aren't a fan, Beyond the Mat provides a riveting, perceptive look into the world of professional wrestling by taking a closer look at the people beneath the personas.
Synopsis: "Beyond the Mat," Barry Blaustein's honest, intimate, revealing, highly entertaining, and critically acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at wrestling, takes viewers beyond... [More]
Directed By: Barry W. Blaustein

#100

Miracle (2004)
81%

#100
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

#99

Invictus (2009)
76%

#99
Adjusted Score: 85442%
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

#98

Major League (1989)
83%

#98
Adjusted Score: 84881%
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

#97

Goon (2011)
81%

#97
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

#96

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#96
Adjusted Score: 85317%
Critics Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.
Synopsis: Two Dominican baseball players face challenges as they try to make it to the Major Leagues.... [More]

#95

McFarland, USA (2015)
80%

#95
Adjusted Score: 84961%
Critics Consensus: Disney's inspirational sports drama formula might be old hat, but McFarland, USA proves it still works -- especially with a talented director and eminently likable star in the mix.
Synopsis: Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California's Central Valley. Coach White... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

#94
#94
Adjusted Score: 85172%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 85546%
Critics Consensus: Muddled overall, but perceptive and brutally realistic, North Dallas Forty also benefits from strong performances by Nick Nolte and Charles Durning. Football fans will likely find it fascinating.
Synopsis: A brutal satire of American professional football in which a veteran pass-catcher's individuality and refusal to become part of the... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#92

The Natural (1984)
82%

#92
Adjusted Score: 85279%
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

#91
Adjusted Score: 86433%
Critics Consensus: Overcomes its formulaic storyline thanks to Anthony Hopkins' warm and endearing portrayal of an age-defying thrill seeker.
Synopsis: New Zealander Burt Munro spent years perfecting his classic Indian motorcycle. The year is 1967, and Burt takes his machine... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 85734%
Critics Consensus: Smartly constructed and scathingly sharp, The Armstrong Lie presents an effective indictment of its unscrupulous subject -- as well as the sports culture that spawned him.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Alex Gibney chronicles Lance Armstrong's attempt to return to cycling, his admission of doping and subsequent fall from grace.... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 87152%
Critics Consensus: An acute survey of the football-obsessed heartland that succeeds as both a stirring drama and a rousing sports movie.
Synopsis: A small, turbulent town in Texas obsesses over their high school football team to an unhealthy degree. When the star... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 86380%
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

#87

Cinderella Man (2005)
80%

#87
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

#86
#86
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

#85

Looking for Eric (2009)
85%

#85
Adjusted Score: 88245%
Critics Consensus: Ken Loach's latest is an uplifting, entertaining and amusing socio-drama featuring a match-winning performance from Eric Cantona.
Synopsis: Ever since his wife (Stephanie Bishop) left him, Eric Bishop's (Steve Evets) life has fallen apart. His two teen sons... [More]
Directed By: Ken Loach

#84

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#84
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

#83

Slap Shot (1977)
83%

#83
Adjusted Score: 84896%
Critics Consensus: Raunchy, violent, and very funny, Slap Shot is ultimately set apart by a wonderful comic performance by Paul Newman.
Synopsis: In the small New England town of Charlestown, the local mill is about to lay off 10,000 workers. The town's... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#82

Downhill Racer (1969)
85%

#82
Adjusted Score: 85228%
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

#81

The Hurricane (1999)
83%

#81
Adjusted Score: 87862%
Critics Consensus: Thanks in large part to one of Denzel Washington's most powerful on-screen performances, The Hurricane is a moving, inspirational sports drama, even if it takes few risks in telling its story.
Synopsis: Denzel Washington is Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a man whose dreams of winning the middleweight boxing title were destroyed when he... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#80

Big Fan (2009)
86%

#80
Adjusted Score: 88740%
Critics Consensus: Featuring Patton Oswalt's sympathetic portrayal, Big Fan humorously and effectively captures the dark and lonely world of a sports fanatic.
Synopsis: Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt), a parking-garage employee, is a huge fan of the New York Giants. He lives at home... [More]
Directed By: Robert D. Siegel

#79

Happy Valley (2014)
89%

#79
Adjusted Score: 88569%
Critics Consensus: Sober, even-handed, and quietly devastating, Happy Valley illuminates the wreckage of a tragedy while leaving viewers room to draw their own conclusions.
Synopsis: In 2011, longtime Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse, rocking... [More]
Starring: Joe Posnanski
Directed By: Amir Bar-Lev

#78

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#78
Adjusted Score: 89300%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he pens a heartfelt company-wide memo that... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#77

Early Man (2018)
80%

#77
Adjusted Score: 90372%
Critics Consensus: Early Man isn't quite as evolved as Aardman's best work, but still retains the unique visuals and sweet humor that have made the studio a favorite among animation enthusiasts.
Synopsis: A plucky cave man named Dug, his sidekick Hognob and the rest of their tribe face a grave threat to... [More]
Directed By: Nick Park

#76

42 (2013)
81%

#76
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

#75

Fire in Babylon (2010)
91%

#75
Adjusted Score: 90167%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Capt. Clive Lloyd transforms his 1970s-era West Indies cricket team into champions who dominate the sport for many years afterward.... [More]
Directed By: Stevan Riley

#74

Chariots of Fire (1981)
82%

#74
Adjusted Score: 87981%
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

#73

Tyson (2008)
85%

#73
Adjusted Score: 90680%
Critics Consensus: A fascinating, emotional, and frank confessional from Iron Mike that sheds a sympathetic light on one of boxing's most controversial icons.
Synopsis: Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson reflects on his tumultuous life both in and out of the ring. Filmmaker James... [More]
Starring: Mike Tyson
Directed By: James Toback

#72
#72
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

#71
#71
Adjusted Score: 90740%
Critics Consensus: This group of high school girls and their eccentric basketball coach easily win your heart with their unusual humanity and dynamism.
Synopsis: Filmed over a period of seven years, director Ward Serrill profiles Bill Resler, a university professor who coaches a basketball... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Ward Serrill

#70

Warrior (2011)
83%

#70
Adjusted Score: 90315%
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

#69

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#69
Adjusted Score: 89569%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.
Synopsis: The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#68

Eddie the Eagle (2016)
81%

#68
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

#67

Whip It (2009)
84%

#67
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

#66

Meru (2015)
88%

#66
Adjusted Score: 90447%
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]

#65
Adjusted Score: 92277%
Critics Consensus: John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection offers a compelling analysis of what made its subject special - and gives audiences a courtside seat to a pivotal match.
Synopsis: Archival footage showcases top-ranked tennis player John McEnroe competing in the 1984 French Open at Roland Garros Stadium in France.... [More]
Directed By: Julien Faraut

#64

The Karate Kid (1984)
89%

#64
Adjusted Score: 91184%
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

#63

Up for Grabs (2004)
92%

#63
Adjusted Score: 92144%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.
Synopsis: During the final leg of Major League Baseball's 2001 season, Giants batter Barry Bonds scores a historic 73rd home run... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

#62

Girlfight (2000)
88%

#62
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

#61

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
90%

#61
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

#60

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#60
Adjusted Score: 92115%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: When Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying "If you build it,... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 92704%
Critics Consensus: Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is compelling viewing even though it spoils the score of the titular college football matchup - and even if you aren't a fan of the sport.
Synopsis: In November 1968, undefeated Ivy League football teams from Harvard and Yale square off in a historic game in which... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Kevin Rafferty

#58

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
89%

#58
Adjusted Score: 93322%
Critics Consensus: A throwback to the high-gloss screwball comedies of the 1940s, Heaven Can Wait beguiles with seamless production values and great comic relief from Charles Grodin and Dianne Cannon.
Synopsis: Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty), quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, is killed in an auto accident. In the afterlife, Joe... [More]
Directed By: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry

#57

Diego Maradona (2019)
90%

#57
Adjusted Score: 94319%
Critics Consensus: Diego Maradona traces the arc of a standard sports documentary, but illuminates its subject with uncommon clarity and depth.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#56

The Way Back (2020)
84%

#56
Adjusted Score: 97954%
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

#55

The Way Back (2020)
84%

#55
Adjusted Score: 97954%
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

#54

Dream Horse (2020)
88%

#54
Adjusted Score: 94506%
Critics Consensus: Spurred on by an excellent Toni Collette, Dream Horse has a comfortably crowd-pleasing gait that makes the most of the story's familiar formula.
Synopsis: The film tells the inspiring true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely race horse bred by small town bartender, Jan... [More]
Directed By: Euros Lyn

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 93097%
Critics Consensus: That it's inferior to the original goes without saying, but Paul Newman and Tom Cruise are a joy to watch, and Martin Scorsese's direction is typically superb.
Synopsis: Former pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 93718%
Critics Consensus: Dogtown and Z-Boys is a colorful, exhilarating look at the skateboarding subculture.
Synopsis: "Dogtown and Z-Boys," directed and co-written by skateboard legend-turned-filmmaker Stacy Peralta, is the story of a group of accidental revolutionaries,... [More]
Directed By: Stacy Peralta

#51

Riding Giants (2004)
93%

#51
Adjusted Score: 94969%
Critics Consensus: A great addition to the existing surfing documentaries.
Synopsis: Part sports history, part thrill ride, skateboarder Stacy Peralta's documentary pays homage to the brave, foolish surfers who dare ride... [More]
Directed By: Stacy Peralta

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 95112%
Critics Consensus: A Prayer Before Dawn is far from an easy watch, but this harrowing prison odyssey delivers rich rewards -- led by an outstanding central performance from Joe Cole.
Synopsis: The amazing true story of Billy Moore, an English boxer incarcerated in Thailand's most notorious prison. Thrown into a world... [More]

#49

Pumping Iron (1977)
91%

#49
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]

#48

Hoosiers (1986)
91%

#48
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

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 95221%
Critics Consensus: Bang the Drum Slowly is a touching melodrama that explores the inner workings of a baseball club and its players' personalities with remarkable depth.
Synopsis: When hotshot pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) is signed to the New York Mammoths, his confident ways quickly win over... [More]
Directed By: John D. Hancock

#46

Red Army (2014)
92%

#46
Adjusted Score: 95522%
Critics Consensus: Fun and fascinating, Red Army delivers absorbing documentary drama for hockey fans and sports novices alike.
Synopsis: Hockey captain Slava Fetisov and four other players form a nearly unbeatable unit known as the "Russian Five," but their... [More]
Directed By: Gabe Polsky

#45

Senna (2010)
93%

#45
Adjusted Score: 96740%
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

#44

The Crash Reel (2013)
96%

#44
Adjusted Score: 96162%
Critics Consensus: Smart, compassionate, and moving, The Crash Reel uses the familiar sport-doc formula to subvert expectations and ask challenging questions about ambition and achievement.
Synopsis: Snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffers a traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 Winter Olympics. His family stands by his... [More]
Directed By: Lucy Walker

#43
#43
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

#42

Offside (2006)
94%

#42
Adjusted Score: 97022%
Critics Consensus: A spirited film that explores gender politics with comedy, intelligence, and a variety of interesting characters.
Synopsis: Since women are banned from soccer matches, Iranian females masquerade as males so they can slip into Tehran's stadium to... [More]
Directed By: Jafar Panahi

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 96434%
Critics Consensus: While taking full advantage of its subject's colorful baseball career, No No: A Dockumentary also imparts broader, thought-provoking messages that should resonate with viewers who aren't sports fans.
Synopsis: Baseball pitcher Dock Ellis had a controversial life and career, once pitching a no-hitter while high on LSD.... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Radice

#40
Adjusted Score: 96313%
Critics Consensus: Lagaan is lavish, rousing entertainment in the old-fashioned tradition of Hollywood musicals.
Synopsis: The year is 1893 and India is under British occupation. In a small village, the tyrannical Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne)... [More]
Directed By: Ashutosh Gowariker

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 96374%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: "One Day in September" is a new kind of thriller - one where real lives are at stake and every... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 97498%
Critics Consensus: Gripping even though the outcome is known.
Synopsis: In 1985, two young climbers, Joe Simpson (Brendan Mackey) and Simon Yates (Nicholas Aaron), set out to be the first... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#37

Deep Water (2006)
96%

#37
Adjusted Score: 97632%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts mystery and biography, Deep Water is both an engrossing documentary and an affecting treatise on human folly and obsession.
Synopsis: In 1968, Donald Crowhurst, an inexperienced British sailor, puts up his home as collateral, gains financial backing and enters the... [More]
Starring: Tilda Swinton

#36

Sugar (2008)
92%

#36
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

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 96296%
Critics Consensus: The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankee's first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.
Synopsis: This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#34
Adjusted Score: 98342%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" is a humorous and nostalgic documentary about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 98408%
Critics Consensus: Bigger, Stronger, Faster* is a fascinating, informative, entertaining and especially introspective account of the American 'enhancement' culture.
Synopsis: This documentary presents the pervasive use of steroids in sports as an indication of the American obsession with winning at... [More]
Starring: Christopher Bell
Directed By: Christopher Bell

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 100203%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at arm's length, except his... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#31

Breaking Away (1979)
95%

#31
Adjusted Score: 98173%
Critics Consensus: At once a touching, funny coming-of-age story and a compelling sports film, Breaking Away is a delightful treat.
Synopsis: Dave (Dennis Christopher) and his working-class friends Cyril (Daniel Stern), Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley) and Mike (Dennis Quaid) spend their... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#30

Rush (2013)
89%

#30
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

#29

The Fighter (2010)
91%

#29
Adjusted Score: 99782%
Critics Consensus: Led by a trio of captivating performances from Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, The Fighter is a solidly entertaining, albeit predictable, entry in the boxing drama genre.
Synopsis: For Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), boxing is a family affair. His tough-as-nails mother is his manager. His half-brother, Dicky (Christian... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#28

Foxcatcher (2014)
87%

#28
Adjusted Score: 97114%
Critics Consensus: A chilling true crime drama, Foxcatcher offers Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum a chance to shine -- and all three of them rise to the challenge.
Synopsis: When wealthy John du Pont (Steve Carell) invites Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) to move to his estate and... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

#27

Creed II (2018)
83%

#27
Adjusted Score: 101853%
Critics Consensus: Creed II's adherence to franchise formula adds up to a sequel with few true surprises, but its time-tested generational themes still pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: In 1985, Russian boxer Ivan Drago killed former U.S. champion Apollo Creed in a tragic match that stunned the world.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Caple Jr.

#26
#26
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

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 99508%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing documentary that's as much about a time and a place as it is about a fight.
Synopsis: On October 30, 1974, perhaps the most famous heavyweight championship boxing match of all time took place in Kinshasa, Zaire:... [More]
Directed By: Leon Gast

#24
Adjusted Score: 101475%
Critics Consensus: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki sidesteps sports biopic clichés with a beautifully filmed, well-acted look at the balance between career fulfillment and personal happiness.
Synopsis: Olli Mäki loses a fight for the world championship in the second round by knockout in front of a packed... [More]
Directed By: Juho Kuosmanen

#23

Racing Dreams (2009)
100%

#23
Adjusted Score: 100146%
Critics Consensus: Racing Dreams offers an absorbing peek at the lives of young NASCAR hopefuls that should resonate with racing enthusiasts as well as viewers with no connection to the sport.
Synopsis: Marshall Curry goes behind the scenes of the World Karting Association, a youth racing league that often serves as a... [More]
Starring: Annabeth Barnes
Directed By: Marshall Curry

#22

The Hustler (1961)
96%

#22
Adjusted Score: 99402%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason give iconic performances in this dark, morally complex tale of redemption.
Synopsis: Story Fast Eddie Felsen (Paul Newman) and his adventures in the world of professional pool. Fast Eddie is a young... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#21

Undefeated (2011)
96%

#21
Adjusted Score: 99394%
Critics Consensus: It covers familiar sports documentary territory, but Undefeated proves there are still powerful stories to be told on the high school gridiron.
Synopsis: Since its founding in 1899, Manassas High School in North Memphis has never had a football team win a playoff... [More]
Starring: Bill Courtney
Directed By: Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin

#20
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

#19

Win Win (2011)
94%

#19
Adjusted Score: 100625%
Critics Consensus: Rich, wonderful characters and strong performances populate Win Win, with writer/director Thomas McCarthy continuing to emerge as a great American humanist.
Synopsis: Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is a struggling, though not overly ambitious, lawyer. As the court-appointed attorney of Leo Poplar (Burt... [More]
Directed By: Tom McCarthy

#18

Next Goal Wins (2014)
100%

#18
Adjusted Score: 100410%
Critics Consensus: Finding beauty in sports beyond the mere satisfaction of winning, Next Goal Wins is a moving documentary filled with a lovable array of underdogs.
Synopsis: Dutch coach Thomas Rongen attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into... [More]
Directed By: Mike Brett, Steve Jamison

#17

Rocky (1976)
91%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97736%
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

Horse Feathers (1932)
97%

#16
Adjusted Score: 99863%
Critics Consensus: Horse Feathers finds the Marx Brothers in fine madcap form, taking aim at an array of timely targets while serving up classic set pieces.
Synopsis: The Marx Brothers take on higher education and football in this riotous comedy. The newly minted president of Huxley University,... [More]
Directed By: Norman Z. McLeod

#15

Changing the Game (2019)
100%

#15
Adjusted Score: 101419%
Critics Consensus: Urgent and empathetic, Changing the Game takes an affecting and admirably nuanced look at young transgender athletes.
Synopsis: This intimate story takes us into the lives of three high school athletes from across the US -- all at... [More]
Directed By: Michael Barnett

#14

Murderball (2005)
98%

#14
Adjusted Score: 102302%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn't mean the fun has to end.
Synopsis: This documentary introduces the U.S. quad rugby team -- a team composed entirely of young paraplegic men. Using special wheelchairs... [More]
Starring:

#13

Raging Bull (1980)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 100240%
Critics Consensus: Arguably Martin Scorsese's and Robert De Niro's finest film, Raging Bull is often painful to watch, but it's a searing, powerful work about an unsympathetic hero.
Synopsis: The story of a middleweight boxer as he rises through ranks to earn his first shot at the middleweight crown.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#12

Hoop Dreams (1994)
98%

#12
Adjusted Score: 101752%
Critics Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.
Synopsis: Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St.... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#11

The Endless Summer (1966)
100%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102254%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown, himself a competition-level surfer, follows surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August on an around-the-world surfing adventure.... [More]
Starring: Bruce Brown
Directed By: Bruce Brown

#10

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102355%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner is at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.
Synopsis: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#9

Maiden (2018)
98%

#9
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

#8

National Velvet (1944)
100%

#8
Adjusted Score: 103403%
Critics Consensus: National Velvet makes the most of a breakout performance from Elizabeth Taylor, delivering a timeless family-friendly tearjerker that avoids straying into the sentimental.
Synopsis: When Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor), an equine-loving 12-year-old living in rural Sussex, becomes the owner of a rambunctious horse, she... [More]
Directed By: Clarence Brown

#7

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#7
Adjusted Score: 104489%
Critics Consensus: Director Bennett Miller, along with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, take a niche subject and turn it into a sharp, funny, and touching portrait worthy of baseball lore.
Synopsis: Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manager of the Oakland A's, one day has an epiphany: Baseball's conventional wisdom is all... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

#6

Free Solo (2018)
97%

#6
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]

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 106889%
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

#4

The Wrestler (2008)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 107604%
Critics Consensus: Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler, a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama.
Synopsis: Aging wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is long past his prime but still ready and rarin' to go... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#3

I, Tonya (2017)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 118231%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong work from Margot Robbie and Alison Janney, I, Tonya finds the humor in its real-life story without losing sight of its more tragic -- and emotionally resonant -- elements.
Synopsis: In 1991, talented figure skater Tonya Harding becomes the first American woman to complete a triple axel during a competition.... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#2

Creed (2015)
95%

#2
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

#1

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 114308%
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

30 Essential Football Movies

The best football movies capture the grit, the drama, the glory, and even the absurd comedic potential of the sport. To that tight end, we’ve huddled together the 30 Essential Football Movies, as fine a lineup of critics’ choices and fan favorites as you’ll ever see.

Filling the roster are classics synonymous with football flicks (Remember the Titans, Rudy), comedies to tackle the funny bone (The Waterboy, The Replacements), industry insiders (Jerry Maguire, Draft Day), and the inspirational tearjerkers (Brian’s Song). And it’s an-all ages club, from elementary (Little Giants), to high school (Varsity Blues), to college (We Are Marshall), and, of course, the winding road to the pros (Invincible). Whether they’re set on field, in the locker room, or in the halls, these movies capture the spirit of football in its complex glory. These movies are not ranked by Tomatometer scores, but by their stature and impact inside the arena of sports cinema. So even if some critics gave these movies a hard time, the fact that they’ve been accepted by audiences and fans as film ambassadors to the football life was the true weighing factor.

So welcome to Rotten Tomatoes’ 30 Essential Football Movies. No need to review the play on this one: We guarantee you’re seeing a big dogpile of the gridiron movie greats.

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 16191%
Critics Consensus: The tropes of both football and evangelical movies are gracelessly on parade in this banal, insipid drama.
Synopsis: Grant Taylor, a Christian high-school football coach (Alex Kendrick), gets some very bad news. Besides his and his wife's (Shannen... [More]
Directed By: Alex Kendrick

#29

Lucas (1986)
73%

#29
Adjusted Score: 73386%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lucas (Corey Haim) is an unusually bright teenager whose nerdy looks and meek demeanor make him a favorite target for... [More]
Directed By: David Seltzer

#28

Go Tigers! (2001)
85%

#28
Adjusted Score: 85794%
Critics Consensus: Go Tigers! is an absorbing and evenhanded documentary that takes a perceptive look at the world of high school sports and its impact on a community.
Synopsis: "Go Tigers!" is a rare behind-the-scenes chronicling of a remarkable season for the Massillon Tiger's high school football team, played... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Kenneth A. Carlson

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 92704%
Critics Consensus: Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is compelling viewing even though it spoils the score of the titular college football matchup - and even if you aren't a fan of the sport.
Synopsis: In November 1968, undefeated Ivy League football teams from Harvard and Yale square off in a historic game in which... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Kevin Rafferty

#26

The Longshots (2008)
41%

#26
Adjusted Score: 42183%
Critics Consensus: The Longshots means well, but it's a largely formulaic affair, rarely deviating from the inspirational sports movie playbook.
Synopsis: Curtis Plummer (Ice Cube), a down-on-his-luck former football player, becomes the new coach of the Minden, Illinois, Pop Warner football... [More]
Directed By: Fred Durst

#25

Little Giants (1994)
36%

#25
Adjusted Score: 31357%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ever since childhood, nerdy Danny O'Shea (Rick Moranis) has felt inferior to his brother, Kevin (Ed O'Neill), a former college... [More]
Directed By: Duwayne Dunham

#24

The Replacements (2000)
41%

#24
Adjusted Score: 43785%
Critics Consensus: The cliched characters and obvious outcome make all the fun and excitement amount to nothing.
Synopsis: It's late in the season; the playoffs are fast approaching; and the Washington Sentinels have just gone on strike. Scrambling... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#23

The Longest Yard (2005)
31%

#23
Adjusted Score: 37595%
Critics Consensus: This Yard has some laughs but missing from this remake is the edginess of the original.
Synopsis: Disgraced pro football quarterback Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) lands in jail, where manipulative Warden Hazen (James Cromwell) recruits him to... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 47313%
Critics Consensus: The Last Boy Scout is as explosive, silly, and fun as it does represent the decline of the buddy-cop genre.
Synopsis: Once a first-rate Secret Service agent, Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis) is now a gruff private investigator whose latest gig is... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#21

School Ties (1992)
60%

#21
Adjusted Score: 62876%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When David Greene (Brendan Fraser) receives a football scholarship to a prestigious prep school in the 1950s, he feels pressure... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mandel

#20

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
89%

#20
Adjusted Score: 93322%
Critics Consensus: A throwback to the high-gloss screwball comedies of the 1940s, Heaven Can Wait beguiles with seamless production values and great comic relief from Charles Grodin and Dianne Cannon.
Synopsis: Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty), quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, is killed in an auto accident. In the afterlife, Joe... [More]
Directed By: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry

#19

The Freshman (1925)
94%

#19
Adjusted Score: 96233%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In hopes of making some friends, Harold Lamb (Harold Lloyd) attends college at Tate University. But when the students notice... [More]
Directed By: Sam Taylor, Fred Newmeyer

#18

Draft Day (2014)
60%

#18
Adjusted Score: 65612%
Critics Consensus: It's perfectly pleasant for sports buffs and Costner fans, but overall, Draft Day lives down to its title by relying too heavily on the sort of by-the-numbers storytelling that only a statistician could love.
Synopsis: Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns. One of pro football's most important days,... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#17

Semi-Tough (1977)
82%

#17
Adjusted Score: 81225%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Billy Clyde Puckett (Burt Reynolds) and Marvin "Shake" Tiller (Kris Kristofferson) are professional football players who share a lush Miami... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#16

Invincible (2006)
72%

#16
Adjusted Score: 77478%
Critics Consensus: As simple and authentic as the gritty South Philly invirons in which it's set in, Invincible sends a uplifting and heartfelt message packed with an athletic enthusiasm that shouldn't be missed.
Synopsis: Lifelong football fan Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) sees his wildest dreams come true when he becomes a member of the... [More]
Directed By: Ericson Core

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 85546%
Critics Consensus: Muddled overall, but perceptive and brutally realistic, North Dallas Forty also benefits from strong performances by Nick Nolte and Charles Durning. Football fans will likely find it fascinating.
Synopsis: A brutal satire of American professional football in which a veteran pass-catcher's individuality and refusal to become part of the... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#14

The Waterboy (1998)
34%

#14
Adjusted Score: 37915%
Critics Consensus: This is an insult to its genre with low humor and cheap gags.
Synopsis: Raised by his overprotective mother, Helen (Kathy Bates), Bobby Boucher Jr. (Adam Sandler) is the water boy for a successful... [More]
Directed By: Frank Coraci

#13

The Express (2008)
62%

#13
Adjusted Score: 65425%
Critics Consensus: The Express crosses the goal line as an inspirational sports drama, although fans of the genre will recognize many -- if not most -- of its clichés.
Synopsis: Born into poverty, Ernie Davis (Rob Brown) overcomes many obstacles to get into Syracuse University's football program. Under the guidance... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder

#12

Gridiron Gang (2006)
42%

#12
Adjusted Score: 45859%
Critics Consensus: The role of probation officer Sean Porter fits Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson like a glove; however, the execution is so cliched, the youths' stories (based on real events), fail to inspire.
Synopsis: A counselor (The Rock) at a juvenile detention facility decides to turn the young inmates in his charge into a... [More]
Directed By: Phil Joanou

#11

Undefeated (2011)
96%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99394%
Critics Consensus: It covers familiar sports documentary territory, but Undefeated proves there are still powerful stories to be told on the high school gridiron.
Synopsis: Since its founding in 1899, Manassas High School in North Memphis has never had a football team win a playoff... [More]
Starring: Bill Courtney
Directed By: Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin

#10

The Longest Yard (1974)
79%

#10
Adjusted Score: 81967%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts tough and funny, and led by a perfectly cast Burt Reynolds, The Longest Yard has an interesting political subtext and an excellent climax -- even if it takes too long to get there.
Synopsis: An ex-football star doing time is forced by the warden to organize a team of inmates to play against his... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#9

Varsity Blues (1999)
43%

#9
Adjusted Score: 43880%
Critics Consensus: This is a predictable football movie that lacks intensity.
Synopsis: In West Canaan, Texas, high school football reigns supreme. When starting quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) turns up injured, the... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#8

Any Given Sunday (1999)
52%

#8
Adjusted Score: 57380%
Critics Consensus: Sometimes entertaining, but overall Any Given Sunday is a disappointment coming from Oliver Stone.
Synopsis: Four years ago, DAmato's (Al Pacino) Miami Sharks were at the top. Now, his team is struggling with three consecutive... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#7

We Are Marshall (2006)
48%

#7
Adjusted Score: 53002%
Critics Consensus: Matthew McConaughey almost runs We Are Marshall to the end zone, but can't stop it from taking the easy, feel-good route in memorializing this historic event in American sports.
Synopsis: In 1970, Marshall University and the small town of Huntington, W.Va., reel when a plane crash claims the lives of... [More]
Directed By: McG

#6

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89300%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he pens a heartfelt company-wide memo that... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#5

The Blind Side (2009)
66%

#5
Adjusted Score: 74361%
Critics Consensus: It might strike some viewers as a little too pat, but The Blind Side has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#4

Brian's Song (1971)
92%

#4
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

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 87152%
Critics Consensus: An acute survey of the football-obsessed heartland that succeeds as both a stirring drama and a rousing sports movie.
Synopsis: A small, turbulent town in Texas obsesses over their high school football team to an unhealthy degree. When the star... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#2
#2
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

#1

Rudy (1993)
78%

#1
Adjusted Score: 81459%
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

Her rise to fame in the mid 1990s was followed by a box office drought so profound that it was hard not to wonder if she’d ever find her way out of it – but the 21st century has been pretty good to Sandra Bullock so far, granting her successes both commercial (Miss Congeniality, The Proposal) and critical (Crash, Gravity). To celebrate that resurgence, as well as the arrival of her latest release, the political dramedy Our Brand Is Crisis, we decided to devote this week’s Total Recall to a look back at 10 of Ms. Bullock’s most essential films!


Demolition Man (1993) 60%

01DemolitionMan2

The year before Speed turned her into a household name, Sandra Bullock scored a supporting role in Demolition Man, a future-set, Joel Silver-produced action extravaganza that pitted Sylvester Stallone against Wesley Snipes in a battle so big that even Sting showed up for the soundtrack. (Possibly just for the opportunity to repurpose an old Police tune as a solo track, but still.) As corrections officer Lenina Huxley, Bullock gave Stallone his most adorably diminutive co-star since Estelle Getty in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot — and her character’s fascination with icky 20th-century culture helped inject a touch of relatability (and, let’s face it, sex appeal) into what would otherwise have been just your garden-variety blockbuster about two impossibly built dudes blowing stuff up as they try to kill each other with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. While not a classic by any stretch, Demolition Man lived up to the mayhem implied in its title, increased Bullock’s profile at the box office, and earned begrudging approval from critics like Chris Hicks of the Deseret News, who wrote, “with Snipes giving his role everything he’s got — a considerable amount by any measure — and with some amusing bits tying together the action scenes, there is plenty of eye candy at work here, which should satisfy action fans.”

Watch Trailer


Speed (1994) 94%

02Speed

It shouldn’t have worked, really. Six years after Die Hard, audiences had been subjected to variations of its wildly successful theme that transplanted the action everywhere from a boat (Under Siege) to a mountain (Cliffhanger), and by the time Speed came along, the news that it was “Die Hard on a bus” should have kept moviegoers away in droves. But a funny thing happened instead: Speed turned out to be a lot of fun, not only for the audiences who bought $350 million in tickets, but most critics, too. One of the year’s most successful films, Speed acted as a cinematic coming-out party for Bullock, who stars as a bus passenger roped into helping SWAT explosives expert Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) figure out how to outwit a maniac (Dennis Hopper) who has wired the vehicle with a bomb that will detonate if the bus dips below 50 mph. Though not a few critics were quick to point out the film’s various plot holes, the direction (courtesy of Die Hard cinematographer Jan de Bont) and script (featuring work from an uncredited Joss Whedon) were set to run with such mechanical precision that the movie only needed a pair of charismatic leads to make it work. Reeves and Bullock worked so well together that the leftover goodwill they generated was enough to sell over $100 million in tickets to The Lake House eight years later — but instead of blaming them for that mess, let’s focus on the words of Peter Travers, who counted himself as an early Bullock supporter in his review of Speed: “The smart and sassy Bullock is a knockout. She makes us believe the impossible things Annie is doing and, better, makes us care.”

Watch Trailer


While You Were Sleeping (1995) 81%

03WhileSleeping1

When you’re hot, you’re hot — and in the mid 1990s, Sandra Bullock was on a roll, going from 1994’s Speed to While You Were Sleeping in 1995, and vaulting herself into something like Meg Ryan/Julia Roberts status in the America’s Sweetheart sweepstakes. Though many of the script choices she’d make immediately following this period slowed her career momentum considerably, Sleeping was an enjoyably frothy, perfectly timed scoop of romantic comedy that did such a fine job of highlighting Bullock’s strengths that it might as well have been written for her. Though critics hastened to point out the relatively mindless nature of the script (Janet Maslin of the New York Times murmured that it “has the kind of good cheer and fine tuning that occasionally give slickness a good name”), Bullock’s winsome turn as a lovelorn fare collector on the Chicago el was too much for them to resist — even when packaged with the silly plot and oh-so-Hollywood happy ending. As the Chicago Reader’s Jonathan Rosenbaum put it, “The film’s casual warmth may make you tolerate some of the shortcomings — especially since Bullock seems to be having such a fine time with her first starring role.”

Watch Trailer


A Time to Kill (1996) 68%

04TimeToKill

Bullock was given top billing in this 1996 adaptation of John Grisham’s first novel, but that was just a ruse; the film’s true star, future noted bongo enthusiast Matthew McConaughey, was a virtual unknown when he was cast, and although a mountain of buzz piled up around him before A Time to Kill was released, it’s easy to understand why Warner Bros. chose to emphasize Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson in the movie’s marketing materials. And okay, so Sandra Bullock isn’t really the star of A Time to Kill, but she is rather integral to the plot; she does, after all, play the young, passionate law student who strong-arms McConaughey’s character into letting her help him represent Samuel L. Jackson against the double murder charges he faces after gunning down his daughter’s rapists in the county courthouse — and it’s her character’s predilection for wearing relatively immodest garb that gives Kill a little distaff eye candy to supplement McConaughey’s baby blues and toned pecs. It’s a pretty good movie, too, at least according to 67 percent of Tomatometer critics; though the praise wasn’t universal (TV Guide called it “craven offal”), for the most part, Kill fared better with scribes than you’d expect for a Grisham adaptation. Despite a racially charged premise that some found troublesome (or even offensive), the movie’s sheer entertainment value was prized by writers like the New York Times’ Janet Maslin, who wrote, “if the film doesn’t add up to a cogent legal argument, neither does it have trouble delivering 2 hours and 20 minutes’ worth of sturdy, highly charged drama.”

Watch Trailer


Miss Congeniality (2000) 41%

05MissCongeniality

The late 1990s weren’t particularly kind to Sandra Bullock’s filmography. Although many of her movies made money, critical praise proved increasingly hard to come by as she wavered between big-budget misfires like Speed 2 and well-meaning failures like 28 Days, and when she signed on for Miss Congeniality to play an FBI agent who infiltrates a beauty pageant in order to bust up a bomb threat, it seemed like she might have finally reached her nadir. But in the capable hands of Mystic Pizza director Donald Petrie — and bolstered by a generally impeccable cast that also included Michael Caine and Candice Bergen — the final product proved just the sort of well-assembled, cheerfully undemanding fare that audiences were looking for over the Christmas holiday in 2000. Miss Congeniality wasn’t exactly a critical hit, but it earned more than $200 million at the box office and netted Bullock a Golden Globe, signaling that while the pundits weren’t always on her side, she was very much still a star. “Sandra Bullock is in a class of her own and it’s only partly a matter of beauty,” wrote Jules Brenner for Cinema Signals. “Perhaps the larger part is that shining, irresistible personality that lights a room, a runway, a silver screen. She can get you interested in the phone directory.”

Watch Trailer


Crash (2004) 74%

06Crash2

A decade after rising to prominence as the adorably perky star of perfectly undemanding action movies and romantic comedies, Sandra Bullock tested her dramatic mettle as a member of the ensemble cast of Paul Haggis’ Crash, a drama whose depiction of race relations in 21st-century Los Angeles sparked almost as many debates as it won awards. Hopscotching between seemingly disparate storylines, Haggis utilized a long list of actors — some of whom were familiar to fans of thought-probing indie fare (Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard), and some who… weren’t. Landing squarely on the latter list was Bullock, who appeared as the racially prejudiced wife of the L.A. district attorney (played by Brendan Fraser). It would ultimately go down as one of the more controversial Best Picture winners in Oscar history, but before all the awards and the controversy, Crash helped Bullock break out of a long career rut — and helped prove she was still capable of holding her own against thespians known more for their acting than their ability to provide a pleasant distraction on date night. Though many critics were less than impressed with Crash (Andrew Sarris waved it off as “too facile”), the majority opinion was echoed by Roger Ebert, who wrote, “Haggis writes with such directness and such a good ear for everyday speech that the characters seem real and plausible after only a few words. His cast is uniformly strong; the actors sidestep cliches and make their characters particular.”

Watch Trailer


Infamous (2006) 74%

07Infamous

Like Volcano and Deep Impact before it, Douglas McGrath’s Truman Capote biopic Infamous suffered from poor timing, arriving in the shadow of a better-known film about the same subject. The better-known film, in this case, was Capote, which had already earned Philip Seymour Hoffman a Best Actor Academy Award by the time Infamous debuted in the fall of 2006 — and since both films told roughly the same story, revisiting Capote’s relationship with accused murderer Perry Smith, critics were more or less bound to compare the two. On that front, it’s safe to say Capote emerged the victor, earning a 90 percent Tomatometer rating to Infamous‘ 73 percent — but Infamous collected plenty of positive reviews of its own, including a number that compared the cast favorably to its Capote counterparts. Christy Lemire of the Deseret News singled out Bullock in particular, calling her “the real discovery here — or rather, the rediscovery,” while the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern went further, writing that “the film benefits from three splendid performances: Toby Jones as Capote, an aggressively gay elf exuding a tosspot charm; Sandra Bullock as Nelle Harper Lee, a novelist who uses spoken words with quiet precision, and Daniel Craig as Perry.”

Watch Trailer


The Blind Side (2009) 66%

08BlindSide

Make movies long enough, and you’ll get your shot at starring in an inspirational sports drama; with 2009’s The Blind Side, Bullock took that ball and ran with it all the way to more than $300 million at the box office — as well as an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award. Inspired by Michael Lewis’ nonfiction book about the evolution of the offensive left tackle position — particularly the portion focusing on future NFL player Michael Oher’s poverty-stricken upbringing and subsequent adoption by a married couple who helped him along the way — The Blind Side overcame generally lukewarm reviews while snowballing into a relatively slow-building word-of-mouth success that shattered records for football films, sports dramas, and movies toplined by a sole female star, definitively opening a new chapter in Bullock’s career along the way. While its real-life accuracy has been called into question, and the overall narrative hews uncomfortably close to “white savior” stereotypes for many viewers, The Blind Side wields its formula as expertly as any movie in the genre; as J.R. Jones argued for the Chicago Reader, “As a fable about the power of giving, it hits pretty hard.”

Watch Trailer


The Heat (2013) 66%

09TheHeat

We’ve seen so many buddy-cop comedies that it’s easy to assume there are no longer any fresh twists for filmmakers to wring out of the concept, but with 2013’s The Heat, director Paul Feig added a veneer of originality by performing a gender swap on the traditionally male-dominated genre. Of course, any buddy-cop adventure is only as good as its buddies, and Feig had a couple of ringers — The Heat paired Bullock (playing the uptight, by-the-book partner) with Melissa McCarthy (playing the loudmouthed slob she’s saddled with), creating what looked on paper like it had to be the mismatched comedy duo of the year. That stellar casting, coupled with the welcome distaff twist, may have cursed the movie with unreasonable expectations; although most critics enjoyed the end result, many couldn’t help wishing for more subversive laughs and a little less formula. “There’s no getting away from the fact that The Heat is lightweight and derivative, but its formulas have been freshened just enough to make it fun,” wrote Forrest Hartman for the Reno Gazette-Journal. “With Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock on board, that’s enough.”

Watch Trailer


Gravity (2013) 96%

10Gravity

It takes incredible amounts of luck, hard work, and talent to land a starring role in a movie. To score a gig where you’re pretty much alone on screen for the duration of the film? That’s really special. Bullock entered that elite club with Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, playing an astronaut who finds herself horrifyingly marooned in space after a series of mishaps sends her mission spiraling further and further out of control — a role that allowed her the opportunity to deliver a masterclass in solo dramatic acting while serving as the audience’s constant companion in a film that runs the gamut from big-budget visual thrills to quiet moments of one-on-one (or one-on-none) drama. A critical and commercial smash, Gravity earned almost universal acclaim while racking up more than $700 million at the box office — and an impressive 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Actress for Bullock). Wherever her career goes from here, Bullock can stay secure in the knowledge that she was offered an incredible chance to carry a film almost completely on her shoulders, and she pulled it off with aplomb. “Believe the hype,” wrote Christy Lemire, adding, “Gravity is as jaw-droppingly spectacular as you’ve heard — magnificent from a technical perspective but also a marvel of controlled acting and precise tone.”

Watch Trailer

Coming out this week on home video, we have a couple of multiple-Oscar nominated films (one featuring the winner of the Best Actress award), as well as the usual list of new releases. Luckily, while some of them are Rotten, we don’t have any outright stinkers in this week’s roundup, which is a refreshing change. Then, we’ve also got a couple of little-seen films from the international market, as well as a few Blu-Ray reissues of classics, ranging from a couple of Kurosawa essentials to Pixar’s perhaps best-loved franchise. So dig in, make your list, and pick these up for your next Friday night.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1212694[/tomatometer]

The Blind Side

If you’ve been paying attention to Hollywood news at all lately, then you’re probably already aware of Sandra Bullock’s Best Actress Oscar-winning turn in the inspirational sports biopic, The Blind Side. Playing the adoptive guardian of formerly homeless real-life NFL player Michael Oher, Bullock won praise for her strong performance, helping to elevate what could have easily been just another typical feelgood sports flick. As it turned out, not only did Bullock receive her nomination, but The Blind Side was also thrown into the running for Best Picture as one of the newly expanded group of ten nominees. Critics didn’t seem to think it was a bad film either, rewarding it with a Tomatometer just shy of 70%. What makes this even more interesting is that Bullock also managed to net a Razzie this year for her role in almost universally panned All About Steve – she’s the first actress to do so, and most assuredly the first actress actually to show up to receive both awards. In any case, if you need a light pick-me-up with an Oscar caliber performance, you could do much worse than The Blind Side, which you can pick up this week on DVD or blu-Ray.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1197696[/tomatometer]

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Stop-motion animation was never a wildly popular genre, though a few films have managed to tap into its potential successfully (e.g. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline). But with so many winning elements coming together 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, it’s perhaps not surprising that the film not only won widespread critical acclaim (93% on the Tomatometer) but also garnered Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. First off, there’s the source material, a Roald Dahl novel of the same name about a fox who helps to organize an underground network of tunnels spanning three farms when their lives are put at risk by the resident farmers. Then, there’s director Wes Anderson, a longtime indie darling whose fingerprints are all over the filmed adaptation of the novel. And lastly, there’s the accomplished cast of voices, ranging from George Clooney to Meryl Streep to frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson. While many similarly talent-heavy productions often fail to take advantage of their individual elements, Fantastic Mr. Fox is one case where everything seems to have gone right. If you missed it in the theaters, now’s your chance to catch it.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1217605[/tomatometer]

The Men Who Stare at Goats

If Fantastic Mr. Fox was an example of a film making the most of its elements, then The Men Who Stare at Goats might serve as an example of what can happen despite the caliber of its contributors. Like Fox, Goats is based on a book — not one as beloved as the Roald Dahl classic, but which nevertheless covers a supremely intriguing topic: the use of psychics and paranormal theories by US Military Intelligence. The director, Grant Heslov, was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Night, and Good Luck, which received five other nominations, and Goats also happens to feature Good Night‘s star, George Clooney, as well as the likes of Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey, among others. Unfortunately, critics felt that the film’s satirical edge and dark humor weren’t quite edgy or funny enough, resulting in a mediocre 53% Tomatometer rating. The consolation here is that most felt it was at least relatively entertaining, so there’s a chance this farcical comedy might strike the right tone for you.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1213999[/tomatometer]

Brothers (2009)

Discriminating moviegoers tend to look with a bit of suspicion upon remakes these days, and with good reason: they’re often dreadful, painfully blatant money grabs. What, then, do we make of remakes of films that few have seen or even heard of? Such is the case with 2009’s Brothers, a US remake of the 2007 Danish film of the same title. The story was kept relatively intact: a soldier and family man is presumed dead when his chopper crashes in action, and his younger brother steps in to help out at home with the soldier’s wife. The brother and wife develop a bond in the meantime, before the soldier is ultimately rescued and returned home, where drama ensues. Whereas the Danish original was well-received (89% Tomatometer) for its exploration of social ethics, the remake was hurt by its tendency to veer into melodrama, despite strong performances from its leads (Toby Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal). It still managed a 59% Tomatometer, which isn’t dismal by any means, but most felt that the original was much more effective. Still, if you’re looking for a bit of serious family drama, this might be worth checking out this week.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1189627[/tomatometer]

Red Cliff

Director John Woo isn’t as well known for his historical epics as some of his contemporaries — such as Zhang Yimou (Hero) — are, but he’s done more than prove his mettle in the action realm. In 2008, he brought his distinct eye for explosive set pieces to one of the most influential periods in Chinese history: the end of the Han Dynasty. Basing his film on the historical “Records of Three Kingdoms,” Woo focuses on the Battle of Red Cliffs, in which two allied southern warlords successfully turned back the armies of a northern warlord who boasted far superior numbers — this was the battle that ultimately led to the creation of the two southern kingdoms in China. Though the original incarnation of the film was a four hour epic released in two parts in Asia, an abridged 2.5 hour version was released to the rest of the world, and that version managed to earn a Certified Fresh 88% Tomatometer, with many critics citing the exciting battle sequences and Woo’s attention to historic detail as strengths. You can pick this up this week in its full-length, two-part international version or its shortened theatrical version.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1005376[/tomatometer]

Days of Heaven – Criterion Blu-Ray

Studied in cinematography classes on endless college campuses and idolized by legions of literate fanboys, Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven is a title destined for a reverent Blu-Ray DVD. Stoic direction by Mallick and a look designed to reference both pre-WWI photography and the “magic hour” sheen that this, among other American Renaissance films, made famous, this is the best transfer of Malick’s masterpiece you’ll find outside of an untouched 70mm print. Commentary by the editor, art director, costume designer and casting agent, along with an audio interview with Richard Gere and video interviews with camera operator John Bailey, cinematographer Haskell Wexler and star Sam Shepard are included. Additionally, there’s a booklet with an essay by Criterion regular critic Adrian Martin. It’s said that the scene with Linda Manz in the kitchen, plucking a chicken, was done under duress, that Malick was making Manz do something she didn’t want to and that’s why everything about her expresses sullenness and resentment. “Why” is never really within reach in Days of Heaven, but “what” the film reveals and overturns ad infinitum.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1000459[/tomatometer]

The African Queen

It’s ironic the film is named after a boat that takes a couple of bullheaded strong-wills floating (mostly) freely down a River during WWI because while they cascade along the Congo, their character chemistry moves at the speed of 80-lb, townhall-clock-sized gears. With a degree of gravitas youd be hardpressed to find elsewhere, Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart (awarded his only Oscar for this performance) convert The African Queen into a makeshift torpedo to sink a German gunboat and find harrowing shotgun-style surprises of all sort. Behind-the-scenes and production history sound as fraught and death defying as the film, but with more juicy interpersonal bits included. Everyone on set — Bogart (always with wife, Lauren Bacall), Hepburn and director John Huston — were strong personalities on an epic scale. The enormity of the group’s characters is reportedly the topic of Hepburn’s long out-of-print memoir “The Making of The African Queen or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind,” which incidentally comes with the Commemorative double disk edition (reason enough for purchase, if you ask me). An hour long making-of featurette is included with never-before-seen images and commentary as well.


Yojimbo & Sanjuro – Criterion Blu-Ray

Akira Kurosawa is arguably the most renowned director to emerge from Japan, and his groundbreaking films have influenced countless others. Many modern classics, such as the Star Wars films and the Clint Eastwood-powered spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, owe at least some part of their success to Kurosawa and his work, including 1961’s Yojimbo and its 1962 sequel Sanjuro. In both films, 16-time Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune plays an unnamed rogue samurai who comes to the aid of helpless innocents (a village beset by crime lords in Yojimbo, young samurai beset by corrupt leadership in Sanjuro), leading to duplicitous intrigue and dramatic battles. As Kurosawa himself was inspired by the westerns of John Ford, it’s fitting that Mifune’s character and the plot of Yojimbo in particular were re-appropriated by the genre in films like A Fistful of Dollars (which also spurred a series of similar Sergio Leone films starring Clint Eastwood as “the Man with No Name”), 1996’s Last Man Standing, and even 2007’s Sukiyaki Western Django. While the Criterion editions for both films (and their paired box set) are currently available, they are being offered in Blu-Ray for the first time this week. You can pick either of them up separately, or grab them together in one set.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1205248[/tomatometer]

The Black Balloon

This week in “films you’ve probably never heard of:” The Black Balloon. This small family drama from Australia actually opened back in late December of ’08, but chances are, unless you live Down Under, you probably didn’t even know about it. Starring Toni Collette, Luke Ford, and Rhys Wakefield, the film focuses on an Army family whose younger son Thomas (Wakefield) is charged with caring for his autistic brother Charlie (Ford) when their mother is forced by pregnancy to take life slow. The coming-of-age tale was well-received by critics, who gave it a Certified Fresh 90% Tomatometer for its ability to tackle its material in a tender, heartfelt way without being schmaltzy or moralizing. The film also won several awards at various film festivals, including the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. The good news is, you too can check out this hidden gem and see what the critics were talking about.


Toy Story 1 & 2 – Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-Ray

It’s finally here, folks. The film that began the Pixar legacy and its even more successful sequel have finally come to Blu-Ray, and they’re both available this week. Unless you’ve been living without electricity for the past decade and a half, you’re probably at least familiar with Toy Story and its iconic animated characters, so we won’t bother to go into plot details here. Suffice it to say that Toy Story 2 was, for quite some time, the highest Tomatometer-rated film on RT, and as of this moment, both of these films still maintain a perfect 100% score. This week’s releases feature both films in Special Edition two-disc Blu-Ray/DVD combo sets, and both come with loads of extras. Pixar revolutionized computer-animated features, allowing for greater and greater innovation over the years, but seeing these two classics in Blu-Ray, one is still left with a sense of awe and wonder at the studio’s accomplishments. If you’ve been waiting to pick either or both of these up in hi-def, it’s finally time to snatch them up!

Written by Sara Schieron and Ryan Fujitani

This weekend audiences across North America cheered on Sandra Bullock as she defeated all her opponents to clinch the number one spot at the box office with her runaway hit drama The Blind Side which spent the last two weeks in second place. Flip flopping positions, The Twilight Saga: New Moon finished in the runnerup spot while new releases were met with moderate to dismal results. It was typical for the frame as the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday session always sees huge declines and unimpressive openings from new titles. But overall, the marketplace remained strong with sales up double digits over last year and 2007.

Crowd favorite Sandra Bullock scored her second number one of the year with The Blind Side which climbed from second to first place with an estimated $20.4M for a relatively light 49% decline. Films usually drop by more than 55% on this particular weekend. After 17 days, the Warner Bros. release has banked an impressive $129.3M and has a good chance of rushing past the $200M mark once the holiday season passes. That would make Blind one of the top ten blockbusters of the year and the biggest hit of Bullock’s career surpassing the $164M of last summer’s The Proposal.

[rtimage]MapID=1212694&MapTypeID=2&photo=22&legacy=1[/rtimage]

The pigskin pic also delivered the best gross for a number one film over this post-turkey frame since 2003 when The Last Samurai debuted on top with $24.3M. And it’s another overachiever for Warner Bros. following the summer smash The Hangover and Gran Torino which went wide in early January which both performed well above expectations for the studio which ranks number one in market share by a comfortable margin with a staggering $1.9 billion in sales year to date.

Following its two-week reign at number one, The Twilight Saga: New Moon slipped to second place with an estimated $15.7M dropping a hefty 63% in its third session. This followed its 70% plunge in the sophomore frame. The teen wolves and vampires have now taken in a stellar $255.6M in just 17 days of release breaking the quarter-billion mark on Saturday in only its sixteenth day of play. New Moon is the sixth biggest blockbuster of 2009 and will surpass the $257.7M of Star Trek this week to make the top five. A final tally in the vicinity of $300M is still possible. Overseas, Edward and pals remained red hot pulling in an estimated $40.7M to propel the international cume to $314.5M and the global haul to $570.1M.

[rtimage]MapID=1206167&MapTypeID=2&photo=59&legacy=1[/rtimage]

Lionsgate saw a solid debut for its soldier drama Brothers which led all new releases with a third place bow of $9.7M, according to estimates. The R-rated film played in 2,088 theaters and averaged a commendable $4,646 per site. Brothers stars Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman and attracted decent reviews. It was the best opening on the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday frame since Aeon Flux‘s $12.7M from 2005.

With the Santa holiday approaching, Jim Carrey’s A Christmas Carol showed good legs dropping 52% — a solid showing for this particular weekend — to an estimated $7.5M climbing up one spot. Disney’s other family offering Old Dogs fared worse tumbling 59% to an estimated $6.9M. Totals are $115M and $33.9M, respectively.

[rtimage]MapID=1203102&MapTypeID=2&photo=29&legacy=1[/rtimage]

A pair of films from Sony tied for sixth place with estimates of $6.6M each. The disaster flick 2012 fell a steep 63% in its fourth round and upped its domestic total to $148.8M. Overseas, the Roland Emmerich smash grossed another $35M boosting the international total past the half-billion mark to $517.5M. The worldwide tally is now a staggering $666.2M with a whopping 78% of the gross coming from outside of North America. Sony’s new action film Armored was met with a quiet opening averaging a weak $3,446 from 1,915 locations. The audience was 51% male and 61% over 25.

Competing action title Ninja Assassin stumbled 62% in its second weekend to an estimated $5M putting the 12-day take at $29.8M for Warner Bros. Sony followed with its animated release Planet 51 which collected an estimated $4.3M, down 58%, for a meager $34M sum.

[rtimage]MapID=1198524&MapTypeID=2&photo=26&legacy=1[/rtimage]

Miramax saw dismal results for its Robert De Niro pic Everybody’s Fine which was dumped into the marketplace with little fanfare and debuted in tenth with an estimated $4M. The PG-13 film averaged a terrible $1,888 from 2,133 sites and marks the beginning of the end for the once-dominant indie distrib which has now laid off almost all of its staff.

Paramount generated sensational results for its limited bow of the Oscar contender Up in the Air which grossed an estimated $1.2M from only 15 theaters for a scorching $79,000 average. Directed by Jason Reitman, the George Clooney-starrer took advantage of the publicity it created on Thursday when the National Board of Review named it the best picture of 2009. The R-rated film expands further on Friday and goes nationwide on Christmas Day when the studio hopes the pic will have enough buzz to make it sell to a broad audience.

[rtimage]MapID=1208137&MapTypeID=2&photo=17&legacy=1[/rtimage]

On the complete opposite end of the box office spectrum, the college comedy Transylmania suffered one of the worst wide releases of all-time opening in 1,007 locations to a microscopic estimate of $274,000 for a pathetic $272 average. That means on average, each showtime over the weekend attracted only three people. The R-rated pic was released by Full Circle.

Disney enjoyed a terrific hold for its animated film The Princess & the Frog which remained in only two theaters for a second weekend. With its higher-than-normal ticket prices, the G-rated film grossed an estimated $744,000 for a stunning $372,000 average, off a tiny 5% from the previous frame which was a holiday. This bodes well for the national expansion this Friday when Frog leaps into 3,300 sites.

[rtimage]MapID=1196003&MapTypeID=2&photo=49&legacy=1[/rtimage]

The top ten films grossed an estimated $86.8M which was up 18% from last year when Four Christmases remained in the top spot with $16.8M; and up 28% from 2007 when Enchanted stayed at number one with $16.4M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru

Audiences feasted on leftovers and drove the North American box office to a new record for the busy Thanksgiving holiday frame. Moviegoers were almost evenly split been vampire love and football heroics as The Twilight Saga: New Moon remained at number one while Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side held steady in second place with just $2.4M separating the two. That was a far cry from the $108.7M gap between the pair last weekend when they both opened as Twilight tumbled and Blind Side rose this weekend. The disaster film 2012 placed third as no new release managed to make it into the top three. The Top 20 over Thanksgiving weekend has consistently delivered $150-160M over the last six years but this time it soared to $181M, a new industry high.

Just as with its predecessor one year ago, The Twilight Saga: New Moon suffered a massive sophomore fall dropping 70% to an estimated $42.5M which was still good enough to rule the holiday frame. Summit’s teen soap opera averaged $10,515 from 4,042 theaters and boosted its ten-day total to an amazing $230.7M making it the sixth largest blockbuster of 2009. Over the five-day Wednesday-to-Sunday period, New Moon took in $66M.
[rtimage]MapID=1206167&MapTypeID=2&photo=59&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Last year’s Twilight also suffered a steep second weekend decline falling 62% before settling in during the month of December with drops of 51%, 39%, 35%, and 9%. New Moon certainly took advantage of intense upfront demand with its record opening weekend, and will now see if it can still sustain much business with the debut and the holiday frames both over. A domestic tally north of $300M is likely depending on how it fares around Christmastime.

Overseas, the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle was still the top draw pulling in an estimated $85.1M from 56 territories. The international cume leaped to $243M pushing the global gross in less than two weeks to a sensational $473.7M. Produced for $50M, the female-skewing pic will easily gross more than $600M worldwide with the highly-anticipated third installment releasing in June.
[rtimage]MapID=1212694&MapTypeID=2&photo=22&legacy=1[/rtimage]
As the vampire saga tumbled from last weekend’s gross, the football hit The Blind Side enjoyed a strong spike in ticket sales rising 18% to an estimated $40.1M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Still in second place, the Sandra Bullock raked in an amazing $57.5M over five days to propel its cume into nine-digit territory. Warner Bros. has banked an impressive $100.3M in ten days and still has much more ahead of it. The feel-good story plus the football theme made it a popular choice with moviegoers over the holiday session. Bullock has now delivered two $100M hits this year as June’s The Proposal, another film with solid legs, took in $164M. This has truly been a comeback year for the Speed star as she’s been without a film reaching the century mark since 2000.

Audiences that like to see monuments crumble spent an estimated $18M on the disaster pic 2012 in its third frame dropping a reasonable 32% from last weekend. After 17 days, the Sony title has banked $138.8M domestically ranking number 17 for the year among blockbusters. Overseas, 2012 hauled in another $61.6M raising the international total to a stellar $455.8M and the global tally to a sensational $594.5M. Roland Emmerich’s $200M-budgeted destruction flick now ranks fifth for the year worldwide.
[rtimage]MapID=1207970&MapTypeID=2&photo=22&legacy=1[/rtimage]
John Travolta and Robin Williams joined forces for the Disney comedy Old Dogs and finished in fourth place with a decent but not strong $16.8M over three days. The PG-rated family entry faced stronger-than-expected competition from the star-driven Blind Side which has been playing broadly. Slammed by critics, Dogs averaged $4,919 from 3,425 theaters and made $24.1M over its five-day debut period. The five-day holiday bow was much lower than the $39.7M three-day non-holiday opening of Wild Hogs, Disney’s previous Travolta vehicle from director Walt Becker. The studio can at least enjoy the fact that it had the top-grossing new release over the long Thanksgiving frame.

With moviegoers in a holiday mood, Disney’s A Christmas Carol rose 30% to an estimated $16M in its fourth weekend to boost its cume to $105.4M. The five-day take was a solid $22.5M.
[rtimage]MapID=1198524&MapTypeID=2&photo=26&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Opening in sixth place was the ultraviolent actioner Ninja Assassin which bowed to an estimated $13.1M over three days and $21M since its Wednesday debut. The Warner Bros. release averaged $5,248 from 2,503 sites over three days and offered young men some R-rated mayhem to counter the kidpic and female-skewing options out there. Assassin’s performance was almost identical to the $13.2M opening and $21.1M five-day of 2007’s Hitman, another stylish action pic aimed at guys over the turkey frame.

Sony’s animated release Planet 51 dipped 17% to an estimated $10.2M raising the total to only $28.5M. The Lionsgate awards bait Precious declined by 35% to an estimated $7.1M for a $32.4M sum. Five-day grosses were $13.9M and $9.4M, respectively. Fox expanded Fantastic Mr. Fox nationwide after two weeks of platform play and wound up in ninth with an estimated $7M. The PG-rated toon averaged a weak $3,453 and will try to capture more business in the weeks ahead as word-of-mouth spreads for the high-brow family film. Competition for families was intense. Total is $10.1M to date.

Tenth place was too close to call with Overture’s The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Weinstein Company’s The Road both collecting an estimated $1.5M. Goats fell 46% in its fourth round of wide play and boosted its cume to $30.6M. Road opened in only 111 theaters and averaged a strong $13,721 over three days. Its five-day bow was $2M. Reviews were generally upbeat.
[rtimage]MapID=1196003&MapTypeID=2&photo=49&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Disney platformed its animated offering The Princess & the Frog in solo houses in New York and Los Angeles with jacked up special event ticket prices leading to an eye-popping average. The G-rated toon grossed an estimated $712,000 from two locations over three days and $1.1M over the long five-day period. That translated to stunning averages of $355,794 and $571,179. The Mouse House takes Princess wide on December 11.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $172.5M over the Friday-to-Sunday span which was up 13% from last year when Four Christmases opened in the top spot with $31.1M; and up 23% from 2007’s holiday when Enchanted debuted at number one with $34.4M.

This week at the movies, we’ve got hot teen vampires (The Twilight Saga: New Moon, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson); a football family (The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron); and some interplanetary mishaps (Planet 51, with voice work by Dwayne Johnson and Jessica Biel). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1206167[/tomatometer]

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Ok, Twihards, we all know you’ve already bought your tickets to New Moon, so you don’t care about what the critics have to say. However, for the uninitiated, the scribes offer few saving graces to this second installment of the teenage vampire chronicle. Kristen Stewart is back as Bella Swan, but this time she’s on the outs with blood-sucking Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). She falls into the arms of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who, needless to say, has some secrets of his own. The pundits say that diehards will swoon, but everyone else will be mystified, since New Moon is turgidly paced, unevenly acted, often unintentionally hilarious. (Check out all our New Moon-related features at RT’sTwilight Corner.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1212694[/tomatometer]

The Blind Side

Just when you think every last inspirational based-on-true-events sports story has been adapted for the screen, along comes The Blind Side. And though critics say it has plenty of problems, they also say it’s well-crafted and sharply acted. Quinton Aaron stars as a troubled high school football star who’s taken in by an affluent suburban family; naturally, lessons are learned on and off the field. Some pundits say Sandra Bullock is excellent as the family matriarch, and Aaron shines as well – both infuse a formulaic plot with plenty of humanity. However, others feel the film is overly schmaltzy and doesn’t fully address the tricky racial issues at the heart of the story.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1200415[/tomatometer]

Planet 51

It seems obvious, but we’ll say it again: animated features need more than great visuals to work – they also need strong stories. Unfortunately, critics say Planet 51 is mighty short on plot, along with a whole lot of other virtues. Dwayne Johnson stars as an astronaut who lands on a faraway planet and soon discovers he’s not alone: this strange world looks like 1950s America, only with little green men. The pundits say Planet 51 apes classic sci-fi flicks without adding much in the way of wit or satire; in addition, it’s flatly-paced and has a strange, off-putting preoccupation with bodily functions.


Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

AMC X-Men Hallmark science fiction TNT Alien rotten movies we love classics dc cops Sundance Acorn TV screenings Hulu Shudder popular best Sci-Fi rt labs critics edition jamie lee curtis Disney streaming service VH1 Disney+ Disney Plus nbcuniversal teaser movie Winter TV stoner psycho Brie Larson dark 24 frames ABC Signature politics japanese a nightmare on elm street nature dexter Amazon Prime CNN Peacock reviews laika strong female leads rt archives australia doctor who Tubi richard e. Grant hollywood Masterpiece MCU Rock sopranos Binge Guide Creative Arts Emmys 2019 DC Comics Disney Channel Television Academy discovery Infographic Film Festival FXX lord of the rings TCA Disney Plus marvel comics spanish language 21st Century Fox Superheroes green book Animation historical drama canceled superman Mystery Sundance TV Lifetime Interview 72 Emmy Awards Television Critics Association festivals Wes Anderson BBC America cars First Reviews anthology IFC Films leaderboard disaster Comic-Con@Home 2021 elevated horror joker Cannes TCA 2017 mutant Black History Month Marvel Television RT21 parents comedies versus live action Teen aliens VICE Nickelodeon tv talk suspense olympics Pixar 007 japan Reality Competition TV movies finale Hallmark Christmas movies Podcast aapi worst movies romance period drama trailers canceled TV shows RT History SDCC Toys action-comedy feel good Mary Poppins Returns History TruTV scorecard dceu E3 Musical Dark Horse Comics TV psychological thriller Horror social media Polls and Games slashers vampires 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Anna Paquin OWN 2016 Kids & Family Shondaland book DirecTV HBO Go adaptation rom-coms concert children's TV Election 2018 Winners GLAAD TV One Amazon Studios serial killer latino rt labs Disney Tarantino Fox Searchlight renewed TV shows spanish NYCC YA Oscars Tags: Comedy LGBT Ovation Certified Fresh video crime Syfy stand-up comedy james bond posters Comedy Central adventure deadpool know your critic Fargo Pop TV Sony Pictures quibi ViacomCBS PlayStation independent Song of Ice and Fire razzies toronto award winner revenge Paramount Network harry potter TV Land crossover movies 2015 legend Super Bowl Epix Lifetime Christmas movies christmas movies scary TV renewals comic Red Carpet south america The Walt Disney Company transformers cancelled TV series casting zombies El Rey The Walking Dead Star Wars Countdown Captain marvel YouTube Prime Video italian theme song Awards Spectrum Originals new star wars movies Action Warner Bros. Emmys comic book movies scary movies superhero asian-american biopic international blaxploitation zero dark thirty Spring TV halloween Trailer natural history Heroines romantic comedy debate WGN Watching Series blockbusters Marvel prank batman mockumentary hispanic venice Stephen King BAFTA VOD First Look dreamworks Britbox composers Western kaiju critic resources adenture sports Extras cooking cats American Society of Cinematographers TCM foreign PBS HBO Max mcc live event franchise 71st Emmy Awards name the review robots MTV facebook crime thriller IMDb TV Mudbound Adult Swim Rocky 2020 news thriller women child's play The Witch unscripted Netflix Classic Film 90s spy thriller Elton John comic books Travel Channel cancelled blockbuster BET documentary telelvision television Calendar SundanceTV OneApp Musicals zombie Nominations Bravo archives NBC sequel ABC Family criterion BBC Character Guide Broadway Martial Arts E! DC Universe Family Video Games Cartoon Network Drama Opinion Mindy Kaling Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Apple TV+ king arthur GIFs miniseries breaking bad indiana jones CBS satire indie Biopics Tumblr game show boxing universal monsters Superheroe Writers Guild of America cancelled TV shows BBC One war Quiz Paramount Plus GoT ratings art house 93rd Oscars dragons based on movie Universal Pictures Fox News die hard binge dogs Amazon Prime Video stop motion TCA Winter 2020 all-time travel directors Trophy Talk Lionsgate Ellie Kemper Academy Awards dramedy Pet Sematary Turner cancelled television cults YouTube Premium emmy awards black Thanksgiving Tokyo Olympics 45 spider-man critics festival DC streaming service Grammys Pacific Islander sag awards scene in color docuseries USA fast and furious Nat Geo Funimation National Geographic Baby Yoda A&E Freeform CW Seed medical drama french Christmas Photos halloween tv WarnerMedia remakes Columbia Pictures 73rd Emmy Awards Country crime drama Exclusive Video TBS Pride Month Paramount MSNBC films game of thrones rotten Crunchyroll gangster Schedule book adaptation series The Academy See It Skip It TCA Awards new york comic book movie Fantasy twilight Starz Emmy Nominations The CW Comics on TV pirates of the caribbean IFC ID AMC Plus king kong heist movie fresh Women's History Month diversity Pop FX Mary poppins Pirates CBS All Access Apple TV Plus video on demand ghosts Best and Worst streaming movies ITV A24 YouTube Red Chernobyl political drama Awards Tour cinemax hispanic heritage month basketball 99% Holiday Chilling Adventures of Sabrina FOX comiccon 1990s 2017 Sundance Now spider-verse sequels talk show 79th Golden Globes Awards Comic Book Holidays San Diego Comic-Con Netflix Christmas movies hist godzilla Premiere Dates Showtime New York Comic Con werewolf Vudu young adult spinoff Hear Us Out technology documentaries genre true crime 2021 supernatural Neflix free movies singing competition Apple SXSW Comedy Rocketman FX on Hulu USA Network Hollywood Foreign Press Association Reality NBA football streaming Marathons biography marvel cinematic universe space chucky Ghostbusters Box Office The Purge Esquire witnail HFPA Film ESPN Sneak Peek The Arrangement Mary Tyler Moore Turner Classic Movies kong cartoon comics worst Legendary Spike Rom-Com Music Valentine's Day ABC Walt Disney Pictures LGBTQ President golden globes Trivia TLC obituary Lucasfilm Black Mirror screen actors guild TIFF trophy Instagram Live saw 4/20 CMT vs. Crackle justice league what to watch docudrama Avengers Image Comics Star Trek 20th Century Fox Universal kids Cosplay PaleyFest Food Network jurassic park Arrowverse Logo monster movies slasher high school animated BET Awards hidden camera sitcom toy story mob Marvel Studios mission: impossible Tomatazos Year in Review spain new zealand reboot nfl boxoffice DGA Endgame target HBO golden globe awards Amazon royal family Fall TV APB black comedy police drama Discovery Channel anime wonder woman Set visit Summer