Many successful sports movies have been made in Canada or by Canadians over the years, more than you may first think. The movie business in this country has a long-running and interesting relationship with both professional and amateur sports and they are much deeper than you probably realized. The Canadian film industry has produced some memorable, hard-hitting sports-themed pictures and the latest rumours suggest we could be treated to a few more in the not too distant future. Movie-making in this part of the world is thriving, gaining recognition from some successful past releases but always pushing the boundaries.
Professional sports is a huge part of the culture in Canada and it has always been that way. As any Canadian national – or even anyone who has ever visited Canada in the past – will confirm, ice hockey is the most popular sport here and by some distance too. Followers love to attend matches, watch games on TV, keep up with the scores on their smartphone apps or a live stream and gamble on the outcome of fixtures at one of the popular, legal and secure Canada online betting apps.
Plenty more enjoy getting involved in the national game, playing with friends or jumping into the minor leagues. The pathway from school age hockey to professional hockey is a clear one in Canada which allows any young ice hockey fan an opportunity to go all the way, if they are good enough, talented enough and dedicated enough. Only the best of the best go on to make it in the pro leagues or appear at the Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t stop millions more from dreaming.
There’s something for everyone
With the long winters, easy access to rinks and the popularity of hockey, it’s obvious why Canadians love ice hockey so much but it’s not the only sport popular in the country and it’s not the only sport that has been covered by filmmakers. Other popular sports catapulted onto the big screen include skiing, rowing, wrestling and lacrosse and they have been every bit as popular as ice hockey-themed movies.
Looking for something to watch this winter when not following your favourite sports? We have a list designed to keep you entertained until the first shoots of spring. There is no getting away from Canada’s love for ice hockey and we wouldn’t want to overlook that either, it just wouldn’t be an accurate representation of the culture, the people or the movie business.
Ice hockey is represented on our list of three Canadian sports-themed movies but we have made the effort to cover as many sports as possible. That means, even if you go against the grain and aren’t into ice hockey as much as some others, there will be at least one movie for you to enjoy. Let’s get started.
The Boy in Blue
Top actor Nicolas Cage plays the lead role in this movie which portrays the life, career and struggles of former rowing ace Ned Hanlan. Released in 1986, it is full of the kind of cliches you’d expect from movie making at the time but it is an interesting and educational watch. If you are unfamiliar with the career of Hanlan and how he was treated outside of the sport that dominated his life, this is the best way to bring yourself up to speed.
Released in 2018, this is one of the newer Canadian sports-themed movies. Grizzlies takes the viewer through the story of a youth Lacrosse team that was set up by the Inuit community. It’s a passionate yet exciting movie, one that will grip your attention from the opening scene. Good enough to give any ice hockey movie a run for its money.
It could be argued that Goon is the most famous movie ever to come out of Canada, certainly for lovers of sports films. It is billed as a comedy and Goon will have you in fits of laughter but there are some intense, even dark moments and it doesn’t lack in mindless violence either. If you haven’t already seen Goon it’s time to find out what all the fuss is about. A spectacular example of Canadian movie-making, humour and culture.