Movies are a broad medium allowing for a myriad of stories to be told through its lens. This includes the rise and fall stories of our favorite athletes as well as those of fictional ones, showcasing the more idealized version of the sports industry. There’s no lack of sports movies as each year a couple of new ones come out to entertain us with stories of practice, struggle, competition, and eventually victory. We’ve picked through some of these to bring you a list of the best sports movies of 2021.
To start off let’s look at a documentary on one of soccer’s greatest stars. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known by his nickname Pelé, has long since established himself as a legend. Achieving great performance in FIFA and being named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee guarantees you’ll get a few movies about yourself as well. Pelé has been showcased on the silver screen multiple times with movies such as Pelé Forever and Pelé: Birth of a Legend. The newest entry on this list is simply titled Pelé. The documentary is directed by David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas, whose past credits gave them a lot of experience to work on a project such as this. Although the movie takes a decent amount of time to elaborate on the tumultuous politics of Brazil during Pelé’s rise it still manages to cover the legend’s achievements. The political situation it covers also gives a new angle to the star’s rise, giving some new life to the threaded grounds of Pelé’s history.
The recent pandemic has heavily hobbled our ability to travel. Although the world is slowly going back to normal the lasting effects on both our daily life and budget made any relaxing trips we might’ve planned a lot more difficult. However, the new documentary short, Accomplice, allows us to vicariously experience some much-needed globetrotting. In this 52 minutes long movie directed by Jeremy Gantz, we get to traverse the globe with the world’s top mountain bikers. The sense of adventure this movie brings is unrivaled in the documentary sphere, making you feel the thrill of the ride through your screens. The impressive jumps and tricks are sure to send chills down your whole body while the terrifying possibility of injury keeps the tensions high.
3. Born a Champion
Let’s dip into the world of fighting sports for a second with Born a Champion. This movie may be entirely fictional but its raw emotion and highly intense choreography keep it feeling very real and visceral. The movie is directed by Alex Ranarivelo who already proved his mettle in the genre of sports movies with American Wrestler: The Wizard while the writer of Born a Champion is Sean Patrick Flanery of The Boondocks Saints fame. These two men manage to bring over a very impactful story with obviously experienced directing while managing to recreate the thrill of fighting sports perfectly. Born a Champion is also a very enjoyably paced movie with 112 minutes of runtime from which every minute feels meaningful. The movie may be a bit predictable to those who are well-versed in the genre but it provides an enjoyable watch nonetheless.
4. Baggio: The Divine Ponytail
Going back to soccer, we have Baggio: The Divine Ponytail. A story about an Italian soccer player, Robert Baggio. Rising into the rank of big names throughout his long career, Baggio has inspired many to follow in his footsteps. This biographical movie isn’t a complete summarization of Baggio’s influence and achievements but provides a very decent introduction into the man’s legend. Both fans and non-fans alike can indulge in some good, old-fashioned tale of struggle and success with Baggio: The Divine Ponytail.
5. Skater Girl
Now for a sport that we don’t see as often since Tony Hawk’s golden years, skateboarding. Skater Girl merges a coming-of-age story with a skating movie guaranteed to inspire younger generations or reignite older ones’ passion for sports. The movie is set in rural India, giving it a different perspective and a fresh take on skateboarding movies. The incredible nature of failing and learning that skateboarding entails is captured in this movie while showcasing the struggles of growing up in a place that doesn’t acknowledge your passion. The movie’s director, Manjari Makijany, is working on a documentary with a skateboarding theme as well so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, you can check out more new movies about sports and skateboarding on www.thevore.com.
6. Tony Parker: The Final Shot
Yet another documentary, this time revolving around a basketball star Tony Parker. The movie aims to examine the background and career of this famous basketball player. He has been on the basketball floor since 1999 and has entered the NBA draft in 2001. Since then, Tony Parker has achieved some formidable accolades in both NBA and EuroBasket. The movie itself encompasses his career, giving a more in-depth look at Parker’s achievements. One thing to keep in mind is that the movie is switching back and forth between English and French so make sure to keep subtitles on to avoid missing some dialogue that may occur during the switch.
On The Upcoming Movies
This year has brought us a lot of new sports flicks to watch regardless of their accompanying genre. We’ve had documentaries, dramas, coming-of-age stories, and the remaining releases of the year guarantee we’ll get a lot more than we bargained for in just a few months. For those who enjoy comedy and want to watch something sports-related with their kids, there’s Space Jam: A New Legacy coming in less than a month. On the other hand, if you enjoy documentaries then Magic Johnson’s new documentary will keep you sated. Few other sports movies have been announced such as Jersey, a movie about a retired cricket player wanting to get back into the game, and American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story, a movie about Kurt Warner’s journey from a supermarket worker to a two-time NFL MVP quarterback. No matter the sport you fancy this year will provide you with something to look forward to but we hope our suggestions will keep you entertained and engaged until those releases.