While nostalgia may inform a certain amount of taste and affection we have for movies from our childhood, some really do stand the test of time. The Shawshank Redemption is perhaps the best example of a film that was shown over and over and over on TV in the 90s, resulting in a popularity that keeps it perennially at the top of the IMDb ratings list. Others, like Hook, show their age, and it’s more than just a few wrinkled spots (for the record, I’m still a fan, though I begrudgingly admit I am in the minority). I find it hard to go back and try to objectively evaluate something I loved as a kid. It can be tinged by nostalgia, but also by disappointment in the loss of magic or innocence, or by a cynicism that dictates if you liked something as a kid, liking it as an adult shows a lack of maturity.
After much time and consideration, I realize that a lot of movies we watched as kids were effing awesome. And first on this list, at least for movies I watched and re-watched dozens of times on the Disney channel or whatever the hell, is Cool Runnings. This movie deserves a critical re-appreciation. It’s one of those movies where the story itself—the improbable yet true story of Jamaica’s first Olympic bobsled team—is so compelling that it seems like it would be a slam dunk on film. But the finished product directed by Jon Turtletaub (of National Treasure fame) is so much more.
Here are 10 things about Cool Runnings that prove it’s a true classic.
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