Rejoice! The end of lockdown is nearly in sight. Sadly, there’s still plenty of time until things really get back to normal but fear not, for there are still plenty of top quality sporting documentaries to gorge on in the meantime. Below we’ve broken down five must-see sports documentaries that have already dropped in 2021...
Last Chance U: Basketball
Netflix’s hit series returned to the silver screen this year, but unlike the previous five seasons, which took place on the gridiron, the latest instalment hits the court with an honest and gritty look at East LA, a community college basketball team on the verge of history.
Packed with raw emotion, you could argue the sport of basketball lends itself much better to a documentary series than American football ever did. Like the earlier series, it’s jam-packed with loveable characters - none more so than John Mosely, the super intense coach who has dedicated his life to ensuring the young men he looks after fulfill their potential. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to a spiritual successor to Hoop Dreams.
Bruno vs Tyson
Directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald and Benjamin Hirsch, Bruno vs Tyson chronicles the highs and lows of one of the heavyweight division’s most fondly remembered rivalries in recent memory.
The battle between The Baddest Man on the Planet and Britain’s gentle giant made for a stark contrast when Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno fought two heavyweight classics in 1989 and 1996, respectively, but in many ways, as shown in this documentary, they were very much two sides of the same coin. The documentary is capped off with a brilliant reunion between the two, and the respect on show between the two former prizefighters is a sight to behold.
Drive To Survive - Season 3
The Formula One season returns this weekend with the Bahrain GP and what better way to whet your appetite ahead of a potentially record-breaking campaign than the latest series of Netflix’s Drive To Survive, which dropped on the streaming service last week.
Drive To Survive once again shows the drivers, managers and team owners as they navigate life in the fast lane but what makes this third series so fascinating is the unique backdrop of the 2020 season - one we’re unlikely to see again - with Coronavirus causing havoc as Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and the other top drivers on the grid pursue glory.
This two-part documentary which landed on Sky in January gives unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the life and times of one of sport’s greatest modern day icons, Tiger Woods.
Chronicling the 15-time Major winner’s transformation from prodigy into bona fide superstar, his fall from grace and subsequent return to the top at the 2019 Masters tournament, the documentary brings in a number of figures who have spent time with the legend, including former caddy and friend Steve Williams, Sir Nick Faldo and, for the first time, Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the centre of the scandal that nearly ended Tiger’s career.
As the first Asian footballer to score 50 Premier League goals and a Ballon d’Or nominee, there’s no denying that Son Hueng-Min is one of the Premier League’s most popular imports right now. Sonsational, a South Korean documentary that was repackaged for Amazon Prime in January, shows us Son’s incredible journey from childhood to his first contract in Germany and then his subsequent move to Spurs.
It’s filled with highs and lows, but one of the most interesting takeaways from the entire thing is the brutal training regimes his father set out for him every day as a youngster, regardless of weather, ensuring his son developed into the world-class player he is today. You’ll have a new respect for the South Korean superstar once you’ve finished this.