5 Unique Sports Movies to Watch With your Family

Rachel Fleagle, Staff Writer

Are you looking for sports movies to watch with your family? Consider the list of movies below based on unique, powerful true stories.  

Chasing Mavericks 

Jay (Jonny Weston) is a 15-year-old California surfer with one goal: to surf Mavericks, the 25-foot waves he caught hardened neighbor Frosty surfing. When Frosty (Gerard Butler) reluctantly agrees to help him train, Jay’s life suddenly becomes more than working at a pizza shop and helping his mom keep a job. He and Frosty both fight their inner battles along with the Mavericks, as they realize that even a successful run cannot define them. 


Mark Wahlberg stars as lead character Vince Papale, an Eagles fan, substitute teacher, and bartender. New Eagles coach Dick Vermeil offers a shocking challenge: anyone can try out for the team. Spurred on by his friends, 30-year-old Papale enters the competitive world of professional football, fighting to prove his worth to the team and himself. The film powerfully displays one outcast’s triumph over feelings of worthlessness, set against the backdrop of Pennsylvania’s own Philadelphia Eagles.


This high-school football movie begins in 1973, in Birmingham, Alabama. George Wallace is governor and racial tensions are high as desegregation begins in Woodlawn High School. Sports chaplain Hank Erwin (Sean Astin) approaches football coach Tandy Geralds, who skeptically allows him to speak. to the team. Geralds never expected the change that would happen to his players, or himself. The movie centers on football player Tony Nathan, who overcomes incredible racial opposition on and off the field. A story of faith and radical love that turns a high school football team into a powerful force against racism in Birmingham, Woodlawn cast also stars C. Thomas Howell, John Voight, and Caleb Castille.  


Spare Parts

Imagine competing against esteemed colleges like MIT as a high school student. Four Latino teenagers and their substitute teacher Fredi Cameron (George Lopez) struggle to compete in the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition. They face illegal immigration obstacles, turn to junkyards for materials, and protect one another from abusive classmates and parents. Also starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Marissa Tomei, the film brings a Real Steel-style sport to life. Think a movie about a robot competition won’t make you cry?  You may be surprised.

McFarland, USA

Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a high school football coach with a terrible temper, costing him his job and forcing him and his family to relocate to McFarland, California. While he and his family struggle to adapt to the new Mexican culture, White convinces the principal that he can lead a track team, something the McFarland students always felt was for the ‘rich kids’. But White sees something in them that they can’t. And although he says he wants to leave McFarland as soon as possible, something begins to change as he sees his students’ incredible sacrifices, love, and pain.