Jay Baruchel's Top 10* Sports Movies

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 9 months ago

'Goon: Last of the Enforcers' director Jay Baruchel's reveals his Top 10* Sports Movies to IMDb.

*Actually, it's 11 movies.

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Jay Baruchel in Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

Jay Baruchel, director of Goon: Last of the Enforcers, reveals, in no particular order, his top 10 sports movies. (Actually, it's 11 movies.)

Goon: Last of the Enforcers is on VOD now

Ben Cross and Nigel Havers in Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire

Probably the single best sports movie that I have ever seen. It inspires and makes you swell with all the best emotions and everything important in sports. All the best things in athleticism. You feel in not just in that movie but you feel it in the first 5 minutes and you feel it throughout the entire thing. Very few times has the sheer beauty of cinema dovetailed with the sheer beauty of athleticism like it does in Chariots of Fire. There is nothing like that movie.



The next movie ... it has to be ... it’s a cliche, but it's Rudy. There’s a reason Rudy is a cliche. It is one of the first movies that I remembered crying during when I was a kid. Yelling at the TV screen saying, "Just let him play. Why can’t you guys let him play." They got something right. It is shot beautifully. Acted wonderfully. Some of the most iconic film music in the generation that gets used to campaigns in movies all the time. That’s a special one. As someone that doesn’t always buy into American exceptionalism in sports stuff in movies, this one I hold my hands up and can’t help it. I just love it. It gets me.

Junior (2008)


The next movie is a documentary called Junior. It may have been a national symbol of Canada. It is a documentary that follows one hockey team, a junior hockey team in Quebec, for the length of its season. You never see any on ice stuff whatsoever. You see no sports. No hockey whatsoever. You see everything but. You are in a dressing room with them. You are hearing the advice that they are getting from coaches,agents, parents. More often or not, all bits of advice are completely contradictory. You see kids at 16-17 have to decide if they are going to give their lives to a profession at 16-17. There is no guarantee that it is going to yield any results. It's very fly-on-the-wall, a serious and real sense of what it is to be young and really gifted at a certain sport. Gifted enough that you might go pro. It is what it looks like before you do.

Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Machado in Redbelt (2008)


This David Mamet film with Chiwetel Ejiofor is all about Jujitsu and it’s such a beautiful film. It has a lovely and important message in its theme. But I think a lot of people's lives would be better if they could just watch this movie. I know that it inspired and lifted me up. The mantra of this film has become one of mine. I take philosophy from that movie and apply it to my life all the time. It is a very entertaining martial arts film which has some really great fights as well. If you want, there is some pretty important substance in there too.

Jonny Lee Miller in The Flying Scotsman (2006)

The Flying Scotsman

It is a true story about Scottish Indoor Bicycling Champion played by Jonny Lee Miller. It is just a really strong flick. Relatively simple story. Told and acted and performed without any fuss. It’s just as beautiful and compelling and super truthful. And funny and heartwarming and heartbreaking. The score is wonderful and it’s a strong flick that I really enjoyed.

Jeff Carlson, Steve Carlson, and David Hanson in Slap Shot (1977)

Slap Shot

If you are a hockey fan and then you grew up with a dad of a certain age, Slap Shot is clearly a huge [influence]. Slap Shot is, depending who you talk to, still or was the goal-standard in hockey cinema. I tend to lean towards the “was” because, I mean the Goon films have taken its place. But I’ll take myself in Goon til the better of it. But there is nothing like Slap Shot. No other movie sounds mixed feelings like that. It is harsh and very heartfelt and very very funny. It is just authentic and does not have a bullsh*t bone in its body. Great bit of 70s cinema. Great bit of sports cinema. And just as funny of an afternoon as you can spend. it’s just lovely kind of melancholy that all of it lives on. There is a reason that it is still referenced the way it is.

Robert De Niro in Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull

Can’t talk sports without talking Raging Bull. I almost don’t want to describe why I like it. Because it is *beep* Raging Bull. It’s Scorsese and De Niro. What more can I say. It is already has its well earned place on the greatest films of all time list. I was one years old I think when it came out so I can’t say that I remember what a phenomenon it was. I know that I found out that when I was growing up knowing about it. I found it finally watched it myself in high school. Watched it a bunch of times ever since. It is a serious movie, an art film that people don’t like art film can watch. It is a super compelling story and that it was real.

Not only that it is some of the best fight photography ever. It is some of the best photography period. No list is complete without Raging Bull.

Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen in Major League (1989)

Major League

In that same thinking of Raging Bull you can’t kinda try as I might to avoid it.I try to keep it soft. I *beep* can’t. I watched it all the time when I was a kid. It is a great movie.

It is one of the only baseball movies that I like. It was something that I tape off of tv when I was 10. I wore that VHS out. The first movie that I taped off of tv that I watched it off on repeat. So it was the movie that was in my soul.

It was funny. Real.It was dramatic when it needs to be. It’s just a great entertaining crowd pleasing movie about a lovable gang of underdogs. It is another spiritual ancestor to Goon. Major League means a lot to me.

The Chiefs (2004)

Les Chiefs

It’s a documentary follows one season in a very rough semi-pro league in Quebec. It follows a team, the Laval Chiefs. Again, another fly in the wall perspective of what it is to chase the pro sports dream and to live it out. Very very, How do I put this, blue-collar circumstances. You got players living in... first year rookies, the players where they live... the apartment they gave them is literally in a stadium. It is in what it’s called a “Fight League.” The league is pretty much where it is all just fighters. You get to see firsthand some pretty crazy sh*t and you also get to live with these guys. Feel how it is to live paycheck to paycheck. And be chasing something that you have been loving since you were a kid in possible in the expense of your wife and your parents and the people who care about you. It is just, A lot of of that is in Goon’s DNA, only that this is real. Les Chiefs is a pretty special film.

The Last Gladiators (2011)

The Last Gladiators

One of two documentaries about hockey fighters. The Last Gladiators centers on Chris Nilan who is someone that is just a bit of a hero of mine. One of my dad’s favorite players and somebody who that I have been lucky enough to get to know in my adult life.

Brett Gallant in Ice Guardians (2016)

Ice Guardians

Ice Guardians (compared to The Last Gladiators) is a movie that is a bit more broad in scope. It just doesn’t cover of just one man. Less biopic of one man than it is..an exploration of different types of experiences that men do the same job. Very specific job. I happen to be interviewed in Ice Guardians. Super lanky that I am putting on a little play.

Ice Guardians and The Last Gladiators - I think they take smart, respectful, sober look at what I think is a very confusing, misunderstood role in professional sports. The people that hate hockey fighting will still watch these movies and find them interesting. I don’t know that their opinions change by the end of it but they have much more to think about.