Rudy may be the last Hollywood offering that mustered even three stars on my four-star critique-o-meter. And that one dates back to 1993.
Before that, we have to go back to 1989 with Field of Dreams and then to 1984 with The Natural. (Can it be possible that it's a quarter century old?).
Unlike most snooty movie critics, I didn't care for either The Hustler (1961) or Raging Bull (1980), both of which said critics drooled over and I nearly committed suicide over.
But Paula and I sat down to watch a movie (via DVD) last night that may be the best "sports movie" I've ever seen. A very pleasant surprise it was:
We Are Marshall. (2006)
A short IMBD synopsis:
In November, 1970, virtually the entire football team and coaches of Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) die in a plane crash [a true story]. That spring, led by Nate Ruffin, a player who was ill and missed the fatal flight, students rally to convince the board of governors to play the 1971 season. The college president, Don Dedman, must find a coach, who then must find players. They petition the NCAA to allow freshmen to play, and coach Jack Lengyel motivates and leads young players at the same time that he reexamines the Lombardi creed that winning is the only thing. The father and the fiancée of a player who died find strength to move on. Can Marshall win even one game in 1971?* A warning: It'll tug at your heartstrings. It's that kind of movie.
And a good one it is. Well worth renting.