The release of Blue Miracle in 2021 and Finestkind in 2023 have raised our hopes of seeing more new fishing movies that show this pastime in different ways. While there’s no sign yet that those recent movies have started a new fishing trend in the film industry, this is a good moment to consider which movies make the best attempts to transmit the pleasure of fishing.
Finestkind – 2003
The title of this movie is the name of a fishing boat owned by Ray Elrdige, who is played by Tommy Lee Jones. Yet, there’s not enough fishing action in the movie to make it one of the definitive films in this genre. Instead, it’s a crime thriller where the fishing is a small part of the overall plot. Ben Foster and Jenna Ortega are among the stars but even they couldn’t save it from mediocre reviews. Finestkind was first shown at the Toronto International Film Festival before moving onto the Paramount+ streaming service.
While this movie didn’t live up to expectations, fishing has become an important theme in popular culture, as we can see by looking at the number of online slots based on the hobby like Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways by Blueprint. This slot has symbols including fishing equipment and a boat, while a friendly fisherman scoops up fish in a bonus round to earn extra prizes. It’s been so well-received that several spin-offs with additional features have been created.
A River Runs Through It – 1992
This movie directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt in one of his best roles takes a far gentler approach to the world of fishing. Set in rural Montana, two brothers with very different attitudes and personalities share a love of fishing for trout in the Blackfoot River.
It delivers a masterful mixture of action and quiet reflection, letting us see how the pleasure of fly fishing can bring people together and provide an oasis of calm. A River Runs Through It won an Oscar for Best Cinematography and is now widely regarded as a classic movie.
The Perfect Storm – 2000
In this case, a fishing trip out to sea is used as the backdrop to a disaster movie. George Clooney, Diana Lane, and Mark Wahlberg are among the stars in this story that’s based on real events. The Andrea Gail was a fishing boat that went missing in 1991 after sailing from Gloucester, Massachusetts and getting caught up in a terrible storm.
Reviews for The Perfect Storm were mixed but that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year. It shows the commercial fishing industry and the dangers that workers face up to every time they set sail, rather than the pleasant and relaxed fishing trips that we tend to associate with fishing as a hobby.
The question of which is the definitive fishing movie remains open to debate despite the recent releases in this genre. The examples we’ve looked at all show varied aspects of the pastime and are likely to appeal to different viewers but arguably none gives us everything we look for in a fishing movie.