Sports movies every girl athlete should watch
For a long time it seemed as if the only time you saw women in sports movies, if at all, was as long-suffering wives or girlfriends.
And although most sports movies still seem to focus on the male perspective, female athletes have more options to see themselves reflected on the screen than ever.
So if you have a young woman in the house who lives for the gym, court, ocean, rink or field, grab some Red Vines and pull up a couch.
These movies are for her.
“Whip It” (PG-13, 2009)
Bliss (Ellen Page) is on the pageant circuit — not because she loves it, but because her mom does. That changes when she discovers the adrenaline-soaked world of women’s roller derby.
“Stick It” (PG-13, 2006)
Juvenile delinquent Haley (Missy Peregrym of the severely underrated TV series “Reaper”) returns to the world of elite gymnastics after a brush with the law. There’s the usual learning and growing, but Haley’s teammates also pick up a bit of Haley’s rebel spirit, for the better. Starring Jeff Bridges as her coach.
“Blue Crush” (PG-13, 2002)
A surfer girl who lives in a shack on a Hawaiian beach prepares for the big competition and rocks the Roxy gear. Oh, and there’s a hot football player, too.
“Love & Basketball” (PG-13, 2000)
Sanaa Latham and Omar Epps play childhood sweethearts who both have big hoop dreams.
“A League of Their Own” (PG, 1992):
Two sisters join a fledgling women’s baseball league during their height of World War II, fighting sexism and sometimes each other. With Geena Davis and Tom Hanks.
“Bend It Like Beckham” (PG-13, 2002)
All Jess (Parminder Nagra) wants to do is play soccer (well, football because she’s in England, but you get it). Only her conservative immigrant family thinks she should focus on getting a man instead. With Keira Knightly.
“Million Dollar Baby” (PG-13, 2004)
Hilary Swank won an Oscar playing a working-class girl who wants to be a boxer. Clint Eastwood plays the curmudgeonly trainer who agrees to take her under his wing.
“Gracie” (PG-13, 2007)
Persistent soccer player Grace (Carly Schroeder) fights for women’s rights to play competitively.
“Battle of the Sexes” (PG-13, 2017)
Emma Stone and Steve Carell play Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in the true story of the 1973 tennis match that was one of the most-watched TV sports events of all time.
“The Mighty Macs” (G, 2009)
Carla Gugino plays the basketball coach at a tiny all-girls Catholic school in the 1970s. Despite the lack of a gym or even uniforms, she steers her team to the national championship.
“Soul Surfer” (PG, 2011)
AnnaSophia Robb stars as Bethany Hamilton, the real-life girl who lost her arm in a shark attack, but not her love of surfing.
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