Bowling has been deeply woven into the Western cultural fabric for decades. Perhaps there’s something about the combination of skill and chance that makes success in the lanes connect with how we see our own potential as people. Either way, the effect has been well-portrayed on the big screen, and here are some of the best bowling movies of all time.
The Big Lebowski
Obviously, a movie is going to have more to it than games of bowling, but when actual bowling and the plot are intertwined, the product is especially sweet. The Big Lebowski incorporates the thrill of a crime drama, kidnapping, mistaken identity, some great laughs, and, of course, bowling, to draw viewers in and leave them with some powerful cinematic memories. It has Jeff Bridges, Julian Moore, Steve Buscemi and more, all of whom deliver performances right down the middle.
Kingpin uses bowling as its focal point as viewers are brought along the journey of a great bowler trying to make a comeback after a traumatic injury. In between the moments of gut-gripping comedy, the emotional pull of a well-meaning yet disadvantaged hero tugs viewers along. Among others, Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray, Randy Quaid, and Vanessa Angel roll out well-aimed, and memorable, performances.
A League of Ordinary Gentlemen
A list of the top bowling movies wouldn’t be complete without a real-life bowling documentary. The setting is the popular ten pin form of bowling. It features real PBA Tour players, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Wayne Webb, Chris Barnes, and Pete Weber. It follows Wayne Webb and the others through a season of ups and downs, disappointments and enthralling victories. The drama unfolds naturally as only real-life can.
Whether you’re a bowler, a fan or just like good movies, these are solid picks. And if you’re not into bowling, yet, watch out! These flicks might just get you hooked.