Sports movies are truly special. There is something timeless about watching a great film about the world’s greatest game. Whether you are an old man (like me) reminiscing about the good old days or a young kid learning about the joys of baseball, Hollywood magic can really bring those feelings to life.
Robert Redford was at the height of his powers in 1984 when The Natural was released. This movie tells the story of Roy Hobbs and his God-given baseball talent. Along the way, tragedy strikes, cutting short his promising baseball career. After a long recovery process, Hobbs makes his way back to the game’s highest level and oh boy does he deliver.
The final scene of this film is not to be missed. It may be Hollywood melodrama, but it sure does pull at the heartstrings.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Bring your dad, bring your kids, and bring some tissues. This emotional film starring Kevin Costner is a deep dive into the importance of baseball in American culture and as part of our personal lives. Many people remember Field of Dreams for quippable moments such as “if you build it, they will come.” This film is so much more than that. Field of Dreams is an absolute must-watch for any baseball fan.
42 -The Jackie Robinson Story (2013)
Jackie Robinson is the only player to have his number retired across the entire major leagues. Since 1997, no player has been able to claim this iconic number. Robinson is truly one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball. A historical drama, 42 explores the racism Robinson endured on and off the field, telling his story of triumph along the way.
The Best Baseball Movies for Adult Audiences
Bull Durham (1988)
Perhaps the greatest baseball movie ever committed to film, Bull Durham has it all. Realistic baseball talk, romance, laugh out loud moments, and a father-son bond which develops over the course of the film. This one may not be suited for the kids, but it holds up to this day as a classic of American cinema.
Major League (1989)
The 80’s were drowning in classic baseball films. Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Natural, and finally - Major League. Some critics will say that Major League is basically Bull Durham lite. My response is that I’ll take more of these kinds of movies however I can get them. A star-studded cast helmed by Wesley Snipes, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Bob Uecker is hilarious, emotional, and everything else you’d want from a great film.
Also, if you watch both Bull Durham and Major League with your friends and loved ones, you can spend the next 50 years arguing over which is better - a definite plus.
The Bad News Bears (1976)
A movie about a little league team is sure to be a good watch for the whole family, right? In the case of The Bad News Bears, you would be wrong to make that assumption. An alcoholic coach played by Walter Matthau takes a ragtag team of misfits to the championship game against the hated Yankees. This film mixes comedy with tragic drama to great effect.
Classic Kids’ Baseball Movies
“You’re killin’ me Smalls!” This classic kids film is full of quotable one-liners. The joy of summer baseball played without rules or restrictions comes to the forefront here. A group of young boys spend their summers playing hardball and getting into some harmless trouble. This film is likely to be a family favorite for...ev….errrrr.
Rookie of the Year
Henry Rowengartner, or is Rosenbagger? has a freak injury to his throwing arm, resulting in the ability to throw a hundred mile fastball. Much like The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year will be having your entire family quoting the film for a long time. This is a feel-good story about growing up too fast, and realizing what really matters in life. Along the way we get a close look at major league baseball and some legitimate baseball action as well.
Angels in the Outfield
Yes, that is a very small, very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Before Danny Glover was too old for this s***, he was managing the Anaheim Angels. This film explores faith, family, loss, and healing through community. While Angels in the Outfield is certainly a baseball movie, it is more a fantasy film than anything else. A great watch for you and the kids.
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