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June 20, 2024

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Sports Movies Every ‘Challengers’ Fan Should See

Beyond the confusing, raunchy and tense three-way dynamic between Art, Patrick and Tashi in the sensational ‘Challengers’, viewers tend to forget the thrill of the tennis itself. This film, though far more cerebral and crisp than most other sports films, has one thing in common with them: gripping scenes of the sport unfolding before us, drawing us into the competition. Whether these take place on a court, field, track or ring, sports films bring with them a kind of electrifying back and forth in the game unlike any other genre of film, including action and adventure.

For those who were captivated by the intense sports scenes and emotional drama in Challengers, here is a list of must-watch sports movies that deliver similar excitement and heart-pounding moments. These films showcase the most riveting competitions and matches, making them perfect picks for any ‘Challengers’ enthusiast. From iconic classics to modern hits, these movies will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Field of Dreams

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“Field of Dreams” is a heartwarming tale of second chances and the power of belief. When Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a mysterious voice urging him to build a baseball diamond in his cornfield, he embarks on a journey that defies logic and reason. As the field attracts the spirits of legendary baseball players, Ray finds himself confronted with his past regrets and the opportunity to heal old wounds. Through the magic of the game and the bonds of family, Ray discovers that some dreams are worth chasing, even if they seem impossible.

Million Dollar Baby

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In “Million Dollar Baby,” Maggie Fitzgerald, a determined young woman from a humble background, dreams of becoming a professional boxer. Despite facing skepticism and discrimination in the male-dominated sport, Maggie refuses to be deterred, enlisting the help of grizzled trainer Frankie Dunn to hone her skills and pursue her passion. As Maggie rises through the ranks and achieves success in the ring, she forms a deep bond with Frankie and his estranged daughter, forging an unconventional family that gives her the strength to face her greatest challenge yet.

Chariots of Fire

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“Chariots of Fire” is a stirring drama that tells the true story of two British athletes, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, as they compete in the 1924 Olympics. Liddell, a devout Christian and gifted runner, refuses to compete on the Sabbath, while Abrahams, a Jewish student at Cambridge, seeks to overcome prejudice and discrimination through his athletic prowess. Against the backdrop of class distinctions and cultural divides, both men strive for excellence, proving that determination, faith, and the pursuit of one’s dreams can transcend any obstacle.

Cinderella Man

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In “Cinderella Man,” James J. Braddock, a washed-up boxer struggling to provide for his family during the Great Depression, gets a second chance at glory when he’s given the opportunity to fight for the heavyweight title. With the support of his devoted wife, Mae, and the guidance of his loyal trainer, Joe Gould, Braddock defies the odds and embarks on an improbable journey to redemption. Through determination, courage, and sheer grit, Braddock becomes a symbol of hope and resilience during one of the darkest periods in American history.

I, Tonya

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“I, Tonya” offers a darkly comedic and unflinching look at the life and career of figure skater Tonya Harding, whose involvement in a notorious scandal rocked the world of sports. Through interviews, reenactments, and archival footage, the film explores Harding’s troubled upbringing, tumultuous relationships, and the events leading up to the attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan. Blurring the lines between truth and fiction, “I, Tonya” offers a provocative and complex portrait of a polarizing figure and the media circus that surrounded her.

Battle of the Sexes

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“Battle of the Sexes” recreates the legendary 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King, one of the greatest female players of all time, and Bobby Riggs, a brash and outspoken former champion. The match becomes a cultural phenomenon and a symbol of the gender equality movement as King fights to prove that women belong on the same stage as men and deserve

A League of Their Own

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During World War II, with most male baseball players serving overseas, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is formed to keep America’s favourite pastime alive. Sisters Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller join the Rockford Peaches, a struggling team managed by the gruff, alcoholic Jimmy Dugan played by Tom Hanks. Despite initial skepticism and internal conflicts, the Peaches band together, overcoming personal hurdles and societal stereotypes to prove that women can excel in sports. Through camaraderie, resilience, and love of the game, they forge an unforgettable legacy.

Remember the Titans

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In 1971, racial tensions run high in Alexandria, Virginia, as a newly integrated high school football team, the Titans, faces adversity on and off the field. Coach Herman Boone, a black man, clashes with players and community members alike as he strives to unite the team and inspire them to greatness. Through rigorous training, hard-fought victories, and heart-wrenching losses, the Titans learn invaluable lessons about teamwork, respect, and the power of diversity to triumph over prejudice.

Rocky

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In gritty 1970s Philadelphia, down-on-his-luck boxer Rocky Balboa is given the chance of a lifetime: a shot at the heavyweight title against reigning champion Apollo Creed. Despite his underdog status, Rocky seizes the opportunity to prove himself, training relentlessly under the guidance of his grizzled coach, Mickey Goldmill. Along the way, Rocky finds love with shy pet store clerk Adrian and discovers that the true measure of success lies not in victory but in the courage to step into the ring and give it his all.

The Blind Side

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“The Blind Side” tells the remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized teenager who finds refuge with the wealthy Tuohy family. With their love and support, Michael discovers his passion and talent for football, eventually earning a scholarship to play at the University of Mississippi. Along the way, he forms a deep bond with his adoptive mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy, whose unwavering belief in him transforms his life and inspires those around him.

Moneyball

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“Moneyball” chronicles the real-life story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, as he revolutionizes the game of baseball with his innovative approach to scouting and player recruitment. Facing budget constraints and the loss of star players, Beane enlists the help of Yale economics graduate Peter Brand to analyze data and identify undervalued players. Through shrewd decision-making and unorthodox strategies, Beane challenges the conventional wisdom of the sport and transforms his team into a competitive force.

Seabiscuit

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“Seabiscuit” is a captivating true story that chronicles the remarkable journey of an undersized and overlooked racehorse who becomes a symbol of hope and resilience during the Great Depression. Through the efforts of his dedicated owner, trainer, and jockey, Seabiscuit overcomes incredible odds to become a champion on the racetrack and a source of inspiration to millions of Americans. Against the backdrop of economic hardship and societal upheaval, Seabiscuit’s story demonstrates the power of perseverance, determination, and the indomitable human spirit.

Invictus

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Set in post-apartheid South Africa, “Invictus” explores the transformative power of sports in uniting a nation divided by racial tensions. Newly elected President Nelson Mandela sees an opportunity to heal wounds and foster reconciliation by rallying behind the country’s rugby team, the Springboks, as they prepare to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Despite skepticism and resistance, Mandela reaches out to team captain Francois Pienaar, urging him to inspire his teammates and the nation with their performance on the field. Through teamwork, determination, and the pursuit of a common goal, the Springboks unite South Africa and defy expectations, demonstrating the unifying force of sports in overcoming adversity.

Zara Flavia Dmello

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