Director: David Anspaugh
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Lesson Learned: Not all white men can jump, but some can definitely shoot the lights out, Daisy Duke basketball shorts and all.

Coach Carter. Glory Road. Slam Dunk Ernest. In the pantheon of inspirational basketball movies, the majority of them either suck or are too generic to elicit any sort of detailed recollection. In essence, every post-1989 example is trying to be Hoosiers, the best of all play-hoop-and-become-better-men films.

Based on a true story, the Indiana-set Hoosiers follows a reluctant gent (the great Gene Hackman, especially great here) who leads an all-white team of high school basketball players to their league's championship. Conceptually, it's not much different from every other motivational sports picture, yet it's a testament to the crucial benefits of stellar acting (also to the credit of co-star Dennis Hopper) and crisp, hook-free storytelling.