Must-Stream Movies: 3 for the Coaches

Today is National Coaches Day, so we're recommending a few flicks where having a good coach (or sometimes a bad one) made all the difference.

By Jesse Conner

Will Ferrell in "Kicking & Screaming."

© Universal / courtesy Everett Collection

There are countless films where the odds are stacked against a team, the final minutes of a game are counting down, the last timeout is called...and the coach comes up with a Hail Mary type of a play because it's all or nothing, of course.

Without that special someone looking out from the sidelines, we would never have those iconic, cinematic moments.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, are some special films featuring some unforgettable movie coaches.

  • Miracle

    © Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection

    This hockey film is easily one of the best sports movies of all time... but why exactly? In our opinion, the best sports films are those based on true stories and this one is the classic tale of how the U.S. men's ice hockey team faced off with Russia's feared, top team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. How were they able to pull off their improbable success?

    They had a lot of help and guidance from legendary coach Herb Brooks (played with toughness and integrity by Kurt Russell), who prepared them for the biggest moment of their athletic lives. When we talk about coaches who make a true impact, Brooks is one of the most inspiring.


    Drama / 2004 / PG

    When college coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) is hired to helm the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, he brings a unique and brash style to the ice. After assembling a team of hot-headed college all-stars, who are humiliated in an early match, Brooks unites his squad against a common foe, the heavily-favored Soviet team. As the U.S. squad tries to overcome insurmountable odds and win the gold medal, the team becomes a microcosm for American patriotism during the Cold War.

  • Kicking & Screaming

    © Universal / courtesy Everett Collection

    Our second pick highlights one of the worst but seriously amusing examples of a coach. To be fair, he's really just a dad who steps in because he wants to make his son a better soccer player and beat the rival team (his own dad's team) in the process. But if it wasn't for Hall of Famer Mike Ditka stepping in as his assistant coach, then his old man would definitely take him out.

    This story isn't based on a true story, but it's a relatable tale for anyone who's had too much coffee and went ballistic. Will Ferrell is the head soccer coach, so it's the farthest thing from a serious sports film. But it's worth the watch.

    Kicking & Screaming

    Comedy / 2005 / PG

    As a child, Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) was never able to live up to the demands of his overbearing father, Buck (Robert Duvall), who wanted Phil to be an athlete. Now a parent himself, Phil has inherited his father's competitive nature, while his son, Sam (Dylan McLaughlin), has inherited Phil's lack of athletic talent. Serving as Sam's soccer coach, Phil hopes to turn his last-place team of losers into champions, so they can beat the rival team coached by Buck.

  • The Miracle Season

    © LD Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Our third and final pick is based on a tragic, but empowering true story about a high school girls volleyball team in Iowa City that experiences a devastating loss. With the help of their coach Kathy Bresnahan (played by former Oscar winner Helen Hunt), they begin to rebuild their once flourishing squad by assigning a new captain to help pick up the pieces. It's an incredible and underrated sports movie gem.

    The Miracle Season

    Drama / 2018 / PG

    Based on the inspiring true story of the West High School girl's volleyball team. After the tragic loss of star player Caroline "Line" Found in an accident, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach, Kathy Bresnahan, in hopes of winning the state championship.

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