Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #50 The Sandlot

Box Office: $33 Million Dollars

Oscar Nominations: None

Oscar Wins: None

MovieRankings.Net: 78/100

Available To Stream: Starz

Nostalgia is powerful drug. Is The Sandlot as well-crafted as Magnolia or The Green Mile? Of course not. But I do enjoy it more. If you are lucky, then you had a childhood similar to this. It was great having those days in the summer where bikes are your mode of transportation and there weren't adults around. You didn't have responsibilities other than having fun with your friends. This movie captures all of that perfectly.

The strength of this movie is the casting. They didn't cast the greatest actors of all-time. This isn't a Freaks & Geeks situation where it's just future star after future star. They did cast the best kids for each role. You believe these kids. Patrick Renna is the best Ham Porter. Chauncey Leopardi is the best Squints. Mike Vitar is the best Benny. Even the adults are perfect. Denis Leary may have stolen Bill Hicks' material but he is really good as the stern but caring stepfather.

That character is a great example of how this movie has different gears than a traditional kids movie. That stepdad is not a bad guy at all. As you watch this as an adult, you realize that he's just uncomfortable having a kid live with him. It can't be easy becoming a Dad overnight to a 12 year old. Everyone in this movie is doing the very best they can.

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That lack of "bad guy" makes the whole experience feel so much realistic. There is no big game to win. They do play those kids who play organized baseball but that game is never really close and comes at the end of the movie. The point of the movie isn't baseball. It's the friendships between these kids.

I do think the stuff at the end with The Beast lasts too long. I'd like 10-15 minutes less of that and more of the kids hanging out. I get that the script needs a conflict but the characters are great enough that it's not needed. This was written and directed by David Mickey Evans who was only 31 years old when The Sandlot came out. This would be the only good movie he would ever direct. He went on to do First Kid with Sinbad and then write one of the worst movies ever made Ed with Matt LeBlanc. That effectively killed his career.

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The Sandlot is another movie that is beloved now but never finished number one in the box office. It opened at a distant number two behind Indecent Proposal with Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore. It had a modest yet profitable box office run but would later become one of the most quoted movies of the 90's. 


I do wonder if The Sandlot will still be a movie people talk about 20 years from now. It seems that kids have less and less independence as time goes on. The days of kids being off on their own appear all but gone. I don't know if this movie will remain as relatable as the years pass. Then again, topics like camaraderie and moving to a new town and trying to make friends will always ring true with kids. Movies like The Green Mile may get remembered but it appears The Sandlot may never die.

50. The Sandlot

51. Happy Gilmore

52. Contact

53. The Green Mile

54. Man On The Moon

55. Boyz N The Hood

56. Grosse Pointe Blank

57. Independence Day

58. The Rainmaker

59. Go

60. The Firm

61. Magnolia

62. The Talented Mr. Ripley

63. Tommy Boy

64. The Usual Suspects

65. In The Line Of Fire

66. My Cousin Vinny

67. Awakenings

68. JFK

69. Toy Story

70. Home Alone

71. Jerry Maguire

72. Titanic

73. Billy Madison

74. Apollo 13

75. Braveheart

76. Edward Scissorhands

77. Cape Fear

78. The River Wild

79. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

80. 12 Monkeys

81. Stir Of Echoes

82. Mission: Impossible

83. Total Recall

84. Quiz Show

85. For Love Of The Game

86. Being John Malkovich

87. Men In Black

88. Scream

89. Alive

90. Three Kings

91. Glengarry Glen Ross

92. Die Hard With A Vengeance

93. The Blair Witch Project

94. Twister

95. Dirty Work

96. Election

97. Tremors

98. Any Given Sunday

99. The Wedding Singer

100. Clerks