The holiday season is officially upon us. The time where many of us will take refuge with out friends and/or families, and try to enjoy the time together. During or after presents are being given, it’s never to late to gather everyone together over some great movies. For those who want to bring a little rugby into their holiday seasons, here are some great movies that will bring the spirit of the sport to the peace of the holidays.
8. Handsome Devil (Netflix)
Handsome Devil may be one of the more controversial rugby movies that are available right now. This movie takes the audience to a rugby centered all-boys boarding school in Ireland. We follow Ned, an ostracized student who seems to be the only student who’s not obsessed with rugby, as he befriends his new roommate who happens to be one of the star rugby players for the school.
The theme of this movie is based on ones acceptance of themselves and how they deal with it around the people they are with. The self-discovery that the characters find for themselves will offer a different look into the struggles of inclusion and perception in sport. An interesting watch for those who enjoy great character development stories.
7. Sye Telegu (Youtube)
Sye Telugu is one of the craziest rugby movies to watch. This movie is about two rival groups that work their conflicts out by playing rugby against each other. The two will have to work together when an outside opponent comes into take ownership of the school and the town.
This may be one of the most random displays of rugby, music, and over the top acting, that you would expect from a Bollywood style movie. Definitely one to watch with the family for laughter and pure entertainment.
Check it out here
6. 100 Streets (Netflix)
This movie isn’t purely a rugby movie, but it does base around a struggling rugby player. 100 Streets follows the lives of three different people, a former captain for the England rugby team (played by Idris Elba), a small time drug dealer, and an taxi driver. This movie guides the audience through the individual struggles that these characters face, and how they have to overcome these very nuanced issues. While it does seem like a familiar plot, the way this movie presents them is incredibly engaging and dynamic. Well written, and well shot, this is one movie that will play into you and your families emotions.
5. Forever Strong (Amazon Prime)
Until the movie, “Invictus”, came out, Forever Strong may have been the one rugby movie that everyone in the rugby community. While many people may have grown tired of seeing it, it hasn’t changed from being one of the most consistent, and pure rugby movies released. Based around the stories of the famously known Highland Rugby team of Salt Lake City, Utah, the movie follows a troubled rugby star who plays high school rugby for his father. Coming off a loss in the national championship games to the rival team, Highland rugby, he finds himself in trouble after a night of drinking and drugs. The movie takes us on a journey of self-discovery for the rugby player, as he has to learn what it means to be a good teammate, a good leader, and most importantly, a good human being.
This movie has an amazing cast of actors, and a very positive message that will make anyone smile. When you talk about a movie that looks to place a spotlight on what rugby culture is truly supposed to be based on, this is one movie that is a must watch.
4. Pacific Warriors (Netflix)
Pacific Warriors is a documentary that talks about the impact of rugby on the people of the pacific islands, Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga. This movie goes into the deep dive on how much rugby impacts these islands, yet how the people don’t allow themselves to be pulled too far away from their own traditional cultures. This is a great eye opener into the struggles that the pacific islands rugby teams face when competing at the world stage, and the humility and perseverance of the people who play. A great relaxing watch for the family.
3. Alive (available for rent on Amazon and other streaming services)
Alive was made back in 1993, and it featured a slew of actors that were just starting their careers, including Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton, and Illeana Douglas. Alive follows the true story of the 1972 Uruguayan Rugby team, after their plane crashes into the Andes mountains and are forced to survive until they are rescued.
When you talk about movies that are based in the harshest forms of survival, you think of movies like Castaway, and Alive. Alive will have you sitting back and questioning how much will power would you have if you were in their same position. This an intense movie that will definitely have the family huddled close together on the couch, and fully locked in.
2. Mercenary (Netflix)
Mercenary is one of those movies that will leave you asking yourself, “Why?”. This French movie guides the audience, through the eyes of a rising rugby talent from the Pacific Islands, on the darker habits of being a “work for hire” player in the sport of rugby. Where not everything is socials, play, and friends. That sometimes what should be the best opportunity in life aren’t always what they seem.
This movie is definitely a different perspective of rugby, but one that people would not be too unfamiliar with. Despite it being dubbed only in French, the movies plot is too engaging to be bothered about reading English subtitles. Definitely one of the most intense dramatic rugby movies available.
1. Invictus (HBO/HBO GO/HBO Now)
Invictus is probably the best known rugby movie. It follows the amazing story of the 1995 South Africa Springboks and newly elected South African president, Nelson Mandela. The movie takes the audience on a journey of redemption, not just with the players, but with the entire country of South Africa where the hopes of unity are held on the strings of this struggling Springboks team winning the Rugby World Cup.
If you want to talk about a movie that balances, humor, drama, message, and sports action in an amazing fluid way, this is that movie. Invictus still holds up after all these years, and still feels natural to the true story. It doesn’t feel like it’s diminishing any parts of the struggles that apartheid had on the country, but it doesn’t put too much weight on it either. Just enough for the audience to understand why. This is definitely a fun, and entertaining movie for everyone to watch together.
I hope you have an amazing Christmas and Happy New Years. Enjoy the time with the family and friends.
This article was sponsored by our friends at Blerdish.com where you can find great comics, books, and other material that speaks to the inner adventure reader inside you. Go find them on Facebook and Instagram at Blerdish.