27 Films That Definitively Prove the '90s Was the Best Era for Sports Movies

Space Jam, The Mighty Ducks, Cutting Edge and more amazing flicks that are timeless

By Jenna Mullins Mar 17, 2015 4:01 PMTags
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What's your favorite sports movie? Chances are it's from the '90s. And that's because from 1990 to 1999, Hollywood produced the best sports films in the history of cinema. If Hoosiers had been made in the '90s, it would have been a perfect decade and not an almost perfect decade.

Do you want proof? Or do you just want to get all nostalgic about Space Jam, The Sandlot, The Big Green and more of your favorite childhood films? Check out these 27 sports movies that the '90s so graciously gave us, and then join us in mourning the fact that we'll never get a more glorious film era ever again.

1. Space Jam (1996). 

Bill Murray and Bugs Bunny together at last! Oh, and Michael Jordan was there, too.

2. Sandlot (1993)

Does this movie still hold up? Please. People still dress up as Wendy Peppercorn and Squints for Halloween, and if you go a week without hearing "You're killing me, Smalls!" then you need to move. And who else had a sexual awakening from watching Benny "The Jet" in this movie? What a fox!

3. A League of Their Own (1992)

This movie taught us that there is no crying in baseball and that Marla Hooch is quite literally the best movie character of all time. What a hitter! 

4. Jerry Maguire (1996)

"You had me at 'show me the money!'" Or something like that.

5. The Mighty Ducks trilogy (1992–1996)

Without a doubt the best and most accurate movie about the world of hockey. Sorry, Miracle. The Ducks were the real miracle. 

6. Rudy (1993)

Before he was Samwise Gamgee, he was Rudy. And that's probably why people were chanting "Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!" in the theater when Sam carried Frodo in Return of the King.

7. The Waterboy (1998)

Kathy Bates is the true star of this film, and the only reason to dislike Waterboy is because annoying dudes still yell out "You can do it!" Damn you, Rob Schneider.

8. A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995)

Starring Thomas Ian Nicholas, who also starred in all our dreams growing up.

9. Varsity Blues (1999)

Dawson doesn't want your life, dad! 

10. Air Bud (1997)

A dog that plays sports?! Hollywood, you're crazy. 

11. Point Break (1991)

Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves are the only surfing dream team for us, and we refuse to accept this remake that's coming out soon.

12. Cool Runnings (1993)

"Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time!"

13. Any Given Sunday (1999)

Also known as: the movie that had the speech that almost all high school football teams heard at least once during their season.

14. White Men Can't Jump (1992)

Spoiler alert: they can. 

15. Ladybugs (1992)

Penny Pester = flawless queen. And Jonathan Brandis?! A '90s dreamboat.

16. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

Starring an angsty, baby Leo!

17. Rookie Of The Year (1993)

Before Gary Busey became, well, Gary Busey

18. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Jeff Bridges may win Oscars and make strange music to help people sleep, but he'll always be The Dude to us.

19. Tin Cup (1996)

The best golf movie starring Kevin Costner ever made! 

20. The Cutting Edge (1992)

"Toe piiiiiiick."

21. Happy Gilmore (1996)

During a time when Adam Sandler made movies for laughs, not just so he could go on a vacation to Africa.

22. The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Yeah, the original is great and it spawned a million beer pong teams named Cobra Kai, but Hilary Swank as Mr. Miyagi's new pupil is what great '90s movies are all about, right?

23. The Big Green (1995)

Steve Guttenberg coaching soccer to a bunch of misfits? Disney knows what it's doing.

24. Hoop Dreams (1994)

This award-winning film was impossible to stop watching once you started; it was that gripping. And the best part about the incredible story about two African American teenagers being recruited by a predominantly white school is that it was all true.

25. Iron Will (1994)

Adorable sled dogs, Kevin Spacey and an ending that will make you feel warm things in your cold, dead heart. That's basically all we're looking for in a sports movie.

26. Angels in the Outfield (1994)

This movie has lil' Joseph Gordon-Levitt stealing our hearts, and just try and tell us that you don't get goose bumps when everyone in the stadium starts flapping their wings.

27. Heavyweights (1995)

Such an incredible, quotable, underrated and overlooked movie that really needs to be put into a category with The Sandlot and Space Jam. Most people would pick Bridesmaids or Knocked Up as their favorite Judd Apatow movie. We pick Heavyweights, if only for Ben Stiller telling campers that lunch has been canceled due to lack of hustle. DEAL WITH IT.

Sorry, every other decade, both past and future. The '90s will forever be the ultimate era of sports movies. Forrrr-evvvvv-errrrrr....