In the world of sports, the stories that are usually the hardest to believe are the ones that actually happened. These true stories, like the one ‘McFarland, USA’ is based on, end up inspiring athletes for generations. Here a few more worth checking out.
Based on the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, ‘Rudy’ is the heartwarming tale of a college student determined to turn his lifelong dream of playing football for Notre Dame into a reality. Starring Sean Astin as Rudy, the must-see film also features Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn.
We Are Marshall (2006)
After a plane crash wipes out the university’s football team, students convince the school’s administration to let them play football again. Led by a new coach (Matthew McConaughey), the school sets out to triumph over adversity by rebuilding their team. Based on the true story of the Marshall University football team.
The Blind Side (2009)
Based on the life of NFL player Michael Oher, ‘The Blind Side’ tracks the story of a homeless teenager taken in by a persistent, no-nonsense woman named Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), Bullock took home the Best Actress Oscar for her outstanding performance.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Denzel Washington headlines this hit Disney film about how two schools, one white and one African-American, are forced to become one. Integration is not an easy task in 1971 Virginia, but Coach Boone (Washington) rises to the challenge in this crowd-pleaser.
Do you believe in miracles? If not, you will after watching the inspirational true story of the US Olympic hockey team. The Disney film follows the lives of this mismatched squad under the guidance of coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) as they struggle to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Russian hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.
The Rookie (2002)
Setting out to inspire his players, a high school baseball coach promises that if they win the championship, he will try out for a major league baseball team. ‘The Rookie’ stars Dennis Quaid as the chemistry teacher who at the age of 39 finds himself pursuing his lifelong dream – one he thought was shattered years before due to an injury.
The Fighter (2010)
This Oscar-winning film chronicles the rough road to the World Light Welterweight Championship taken by boxer ‘Irish’ Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg). Costarring Christian Bale as his troubled brother and trainer, the former Batman won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work -- opposite Melissa Leo, who also won Best Supporting Actress for playing the Wards' mother.
In Indiana, basketball isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life. ‘Hoosiers’ follows the lives of a small-town high school basketball team that make it all the way to the state finals, thanks to the aid of a coach with a questionable reputation (Gene Hackman) and the town’s drunk (Dennis Hopper).
Writer-director Gary Ross ('The Hunger Games') turned a movie about horse racing into a mainstream hit. Set during the Great Depression, the film centers on the titular horse's ability to raise the nation's morale. Tobey Maguire stars as the underdog jockey riding this underdog horse, while Jeff Bridges shines as the likable-but-flawed businessman bankrolling their efforts.
Mark Wahlberg makes his second appearance on the list, this time playing a 30-year-old bartender chasing an impossible dream to one day play in the NFL. Based on the life of Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale, who, upon hearing the Philadelphia Eagles were going to hold tryouts, threw caution to the wind and set out to make the team.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Directed by Penny Marshall, and starring Tom Hanks and Geena Davis, the comedy hit about the first all-girls Baseball league earned critical praise and a spot in the National Film Registry for its historical significance.