We’re gonna have a little fun with a new series I am going to do. I am doing a Top Ten for each different Sport’s movies. We’re gonna start with the sport that has the most history in the cinema, and that is Baseball. There have been so many good Baseball movies, old and new so here are my Top Ten Movies about America’s Pastime.
10. Trouble with the Curve – 2012
Directed by Robert Lorenz and Starring Clint Eastwood, this is a great look at a part of the sport that is not talked about enough, and that is the art of scouting. Scouting is such a grueling and thankless job and I think Eastwood and Justin Timberlake show that with great chemistry. Amy Adams is also fantastic in this.
Juice Rating: 81/100
9. Bad News Bears – 1976
The original trash talking team of little leaguer’s, that all happens to be one of the funniest sports movies ever made. This basically is like a predecessor to something like South Park. Walter Matthau is so good in this Michael Ritchie movie, he plays drunk Morris Buttermaker who takes over the team and teaches the rag tag group how to play. This is just a fun movie from start to finish.
Juice Rating: 82/100
8. The Rookie – 2002
Growing up this movie, Directed by John Lee Hancock, was one of my favorite movies to watch with my dad. It is one of the best father son reuiniting movies in any genre and it just so happens to revolve around baseball. Dennis Quaid is great in this and there are multiple moments in this when you cannot help but get choked up (“you tell my right now Jimmy Morris”).
Juice Rating: 82/100
7. Bull Durham – 1988
This is an all time classic that has some of the best and funniest lines in any movie. There is so many greats scenes showing the locker room camaraderie, the pitcher catcher dynamic, and just the overall zaniness of the minor leagues that you just cannot stop smiling for this movie. The only problems I have is there is a little too much of the rom com stuff and Tim Robbin’s throwing motion is just nonsense.
This kicked off Kevin Costner’s great sports movie career and showed that he has the charisma to really steal a movie from anyone around him.
Juice Rating: 85/100
6. Moneyball – 2011
Moneyball is based on the book by Michael Lewis that not only changed baseball but it really changed all of sports. Since the book came out all sports have been angling toward analytics and judging players based on numbers and not names (I know what a shocking concept). This is directed by Bennett Miller and written by Aaron Sorkin, but this is really a tour de force for Brad Pitt. He takes Sorkin’s dialogue and creates an unforgettable character with side kick Jonah Hill.
Throw in some heater performances from Robin Wright, Chris Pratt and the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman and an all time score by Mychal Danna and you have a great sports movie.
Juice Rating: 86/100
5. Field of Dreams – 1989
“If you build it, he will come” is one of the most famous movie lines of all time. It starts the fantasy that is Field of Dreams directed by Phil Alden Robinson. There are just so many moments and quotes in this movie that give you the chills just thinking about them. “Hey Ray, is this heaven?” “No, its Iowa” is a line Kevin Costner says and it represents a sort of nostalgiac attitude about the sport of baseball. That people come from anywhere to watch and play the national pastime (“People Will Come Ray”). James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster are all fantastic in this and the ending just turns me into a mess every time.
Juice Rating: 87/100
4. The Natural
The Natural is such a great movie about old time Baseball and why this sport is America’s past time. This is Barry Levinson’s love letter to the game and enlists one of the greatest actors of all time in Robert Redford. There is some weird love stories in the middle but all of the baseball stuff is phenomenal and gives you the chills every time you watch. “Welcome to the Majors.”
Juice Rating: 89/100
3. A League of Their Own
The only movie on this list about Women’s baseball but it is historical fiction as it gives a comedic tale on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. You really get a solid sense of why the league was around and the impact it had, while also getting Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna in their primes. There are so many great moments in this all leading to the ICONIC “There’s no crying in baseball” line. The baseball scenes are also well filmed by director Penny Marshall and it just makes for an all time classic.
Juice Rating: 90/100
2. Major League
I covered a lot of the greatness of this movie in my retrospective review but this is still one of the greatest movies of all time. It probably captures what a locker room is actually like more than any other sports movie and also gives us great baseball sprinkled at perfect times throughout. Throw in Charlie Sheen throwing heaters, President David Palmer hitting dingers, and the iconic Bob Uecker and you have a sports movie for the ages.
Juice Rating: 91/100
1. The Sandlot
The Sandlot stands alone at the top here because it reminds anyone who watches it why we love the game. Growing up Baseball was everything and all you wanted to do was get a bat and a ball and play with your friends. I know my friends and I would try and imitate batting stances like Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Craig Counsell, and of course Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball is such a simple game and that is what makes the Sandlot great. It is just about a bunch of kids who collect bottles just to buy a baseball so they can scrimmage each other. There are incredible moments, and unforgettable characters and you just want to live in that world as long as you can. The life as a kid was just so simple and fun and this movie just captures it to perfection.
Juice Rating: 92/100
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.