Honorable Mention: Draft Day
Sport: American Football
Starring: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Chadwick Boseman,
Director: Ivan Reitman
When the trailer for Draft Day was released, there was an inevitably intriguing buzz surrounding it. Not only was it bringing Kevin Costner back into the sports world, but it was a rare film illustrating the inner workings of an NFL front office.
Chances are, casual sports fans consider this to be an average film; diehard sports fans, however, had every reason to love it.
Costner’s stars as Sonny Weaver Jr., who’s the embattled general manager of the lowly Cleveland Browns and son of legendary head coach Sonny Weaver Sr. He’s tasked with saving the distraught franchise, and the NFL Draft is the way he’s expected to do so.
Weaver is presented with an uncompromising proposition: give up a lion’s share to trade up to the No. 1 spot in the NFL Draft and select prized prospect Bo Callahan—a player whom Weaver is not sold on, but the rest of the organization is.
Costner is brilliant, as always, and Draft Day firmly delivers on its potential to be a realistic and entertaining sports film.
The film covers everything from Weaver’s battles with a distraught and legendary head coach, researching off-the-field history, speaking with a potential prospects’ parents, and attempting to salvage a relationship with the current quarterback—one who’s battling injuries. In other words, this was an incredibly realistic story.
Not only is this story something that fans of the NFL can relate to from an outside-looking-in perspective, but it’s one that feels as real as any film on this list.
Next: 50. Southpaw