Hoosiers (1986) — PICK

Secretariat (2010) — PICK

A couple of beloved sports films are among recent arrivals on streaming video: a family-friendly movie about horses and perhaps the greatest basketball movie ever made.

Secretariat, from Christian director Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers) and Christian screenwriter Mike Rich (The Rookie), is among new family-friendly offerings on Netflix.

Diane Lane stars as Penny Chenery Tweedy, a housewife and sportswoman who bred and raced the greatest thoroughbred of the 20th century.

The film serves big emotions and sincere sentiment with a generous dollop of Golden-Age piety, from an epigram from Job to the strains of O Happy Day playing over Secretariat’s final triumph.

Hoosiers, new on Hulu, is from the same writer-director team as Rudy — but this is the better film.

Gene Hackman stars as Norman Dale, the overqualified coach for a small-town Indiana high-school basketball team.

Dennis Hopper has a rare touching role as a former player and the alcohol-addled father of one of the current players.

The story of second chances, tough choices and overcoming adversity is a familiar one, but Hoosiers has that trait sports films so often celebrate in their athletes but don’t always possess: heart.


Caveat Spectator:  Hoosiers: Mild crude language; depiction of alcoholism; brief sports roughness. Older kids and up. Secretariat: Some rude language. Kids and up.