These 6 Olympics Movies Are the Only Good Ones
Gold x six.
U! S! A! U! S! A! OK, fine, all these movies are not even about American athletes, but they are about good old-fashioned country-on-country, good guys v. bad guys, medals-at-stake competition. Why not enjoy some fully baked narrative action between the Beijing dramatics?
Cool Runnings (1993; Disney+): Jamaica’s bobsled team is back at the Olympics this year for the first time since 1998! Which means now’s the perfect time to watch or rewatch this near-perfect, all-ages movie about how a team of aspiring sledders who’ve never actually touched cold weather sweated their way to representing their country at the Games. Just typing it gives me chills!
Miracle (2004; Disney+): Though TBP does not care for hockey, or even ice in our water glass, this based-on-true-events movie melts our heart every time. At the height of the Cold War, Kurt Russell’s Herb Brooks coaches an underdog US team to the 1980 Olympics where they overcome self-doubt and villainous Soviets by discovering the power of the human spirit. It sounds hokey—and it is!—but it’s also an excellent family sports film.
Munich (2005; Starz): Spielberg directs! Kushner scripts! Bana stars! Based on the Israeli government’s operation against the Palestine Liberation Organization after the massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich—you got all that?—this historical thriller doesn’t actually feature sporting events, but it’s an underappreciated masterpiece. It’s violent (do I need to go over the setup again?) and Bana smolders, so save it for older kids who can handle both.
The Cutting Edge (1992; Showtime, The Roku Channel): The best Olympics-centric love story ever told. Read all about it in TBP’s figure-skating extravaganza.
Without Limits (1998; HBOMax): This is the Prefontaine movie starring Billy Crudup, which is superior to Prefontaine starring Jared Leto. It’s a solid biopic, though not without a little sex, a little bad language, and a lot of tragedy. High school viewers—especially track stars—will particularly appreciate this one.
Chariots of Fire (1981, HBOMax): More running! Sure, sure this movie Green-Booked Raiders of the Lost Ark and On Golden Pond out of Best Picture. But the story of two British runners’ quest for the gold at the 1924 games is a classic for a reason—if the finale doesn’t make your heart beat fast, maybe sports and/or movies just aren’t your thing.