Watching movies in the darkness of a movie theater is a singular experience. Streaming options have changed our experience to make it a shared activity to enjoy with friends and teammates. Teamwork is defined by Psychology Today as working with other people to achieve a shared goal.
We think about teamwork being limited to the role of athletes on a sports field. Sports movies occupy a position in a genre created from underdog stories. Looking outside the traditional sports movie cliches to the teamwork required to overcome real-life crises expands our view of the definition of teamwork. Fantasy movies are often seen as summer blockbusters. Ignoring the inspirational teamwork of “The Avengers” or the characters in “The Lord of The Rings” would be a mistake.
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Movies Promoting Teamwork
Apollo 13 – 1995
“Apollo 13” is an inspirational story based on true events at NASA. The docudrama is respected for its accurate portrayal of the crisis of the mission to the moon. The crew of the NASA mission to the moon is a late replacement after members of the original crew fall ill. The crew battle small problems during the launch of the Saturn V rocket. A loss of oxygen requires the combined leadership of mission commander Jim Lovell and the experts at NASA. The quiet confidence of the Houston Mission Control leader Gene Kranz provides an example of impressive leadership to the astronauts facing the challenges of a crisis in space.
Duration: 2hr 20mins
Invictus – 2009
The true story of the South African Rugby Union team’s run to victory in the World Cup. The country had recently ended the ap[artheid regime and elected Nelson Mandela as its first black President. The teamwork and leadership skills on show are described across several areas of the movie. Mandela’s ability to forgive and inspire a nation that sent him to jail for 27 years for his political beliefs is inspiring. The performance of Matt Damon as Springbok’s captain, Francois Pienaar, shows his journey to a believer in Mandela’s beliefs. The security team around Mandela changes its attitude toward the newly-appointed black members parallels the journey of the sports team.
Duration: 2hr 14mins
Coach Carter – 2005
Coach Ken Carter is the central figure in the inspirational story of overcoming poverty and a lack of motivation. Carter’s journey from a top basketball player to coaching his local high school team in the inner-city offers plenty of leadership inspiration. Arriving at the Richmond High School in California, Carter finds talented individuals failing to work together as a team. By setting the boundaries for the players and making them believe they can achieve more than a life on the streets, Carter begins to turn around the team. The real-life nature of the story adds to its power.
Duration: 2hr 16mins
The Great Escape – 1963
The ability to fail and keep picking yourself up to try again is a key part of teamwork. “The Great Escape” tells a fictionalized version of the true story of the Allied Prisoners of War attempting to escape the camp at Stalag Luft III. The success of the soldiers’ plans is not the most important aspect of the movie. Instead, the persistence to take on a force better equipped than themselves drives the POWs to greatness.
Duration: 2hr 52mins
Remember The Titans – 2000
The story of the T.C. Williams High School in Virginia is an inspiring exploration of the reasons why we work together. Teamwork takes many forms, including the need for coaches to come together for the good of their players. Herman Boone is appointed head coach of the only team containing African-American players in Virginia. Boone is given the role above the respected white head coach, Bill Yoast, who has a long history of success in Virginia. The two coaches cross the cultural and economic divides of the early-1980s to guide the team to success.
Duration: 2 hours
Glory – 1989
This Academy Award-winning movie is based on the true story of the first African_American regimen in the Union Army. The movie focuses on the journey of Colonel Robert Shaw, who is injured and removed from the Union Army during the Civil War. After feeling unhappy at his appointment to the regiment, Shaw eventually comes to respect the soldiers’ abilities under his command. Shaw backs his soldiers as he comes to understand the problems they face in their everyday lives.
Duration: 2hrs 2 mins
The Avengers – 2012
The comic book studios from Marvel have become the top-grossing movies of all time in Hollywood. 2012s “The Avengers” is a story about putting aside ego for the greater good and achieving your aims. The world is placed under the threat of enslavement by Loki and an extraterrestrial race, the Chirauri. The team of superheroes assembled by Nick Fury must learn to work together to achieve their goals.
Duration: 2hrs 23mins
Take The Lead – 2006
“Take the Lead” shows the importance of every member of a team. The true story behind the movie is of a dance teacher taking a group of kids with problems on a journey towards overcoming their problems. Gang violence and social issues are among the problems facing the students Pierre Dulaine addresses as he teaches a group of high schoolers to ballroom dance. The students overcome the rivalries of gangs to join together and continue their journey towards success.
Duration: 1hr 58 mins
The Mighty Ducks – 1992
Attorney Gordon Bombay is the stereotypical arrogant attorney. Bombay is a failed hockey player whose dreams of a professional contract ended with a penalty miss for the district 5 team, the Hawks. Following his arrest for drunk driving, Bombay is given community service coaching the peewee team, the Ducks. Bombay must learn to overcome the problems of his past and embrace the quirks of a team of perennial losers to guide them to success. Identifying a shared goal helps the coach and players come together.
Duration: 1hr 43mins
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 2001
Frodo Baggins is entrusted with the mission of destroying the powerful ring stolen by his uncle Bilbo. Frodo and his friend Sam set out on a journey into the unknown to destroy the ring. The hobbits need to trust a group of other beings to help them take the ring across the country to the fires of Mordor. Without the trust of the Fellowship, Frodo’s quest has little chance of success.
Duration: 2hrs 58mins