If you have to watch one Tubi movie this April, stream this one

A man leans over to talk to three guys in Hoosiers.

If you’re looking for the streaming service with the best lineup of movies, Tubi would probably not be at the top of your list. Compared to Netflix or Max, Tubi’s library isn’t quite as impressive. But Tubi does have one big advantage over the larger streamers: It’s free. There are ads, of course, but Tubi is also easier to navigate than similar FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming Television) channels , plus it has some really good films.

This month, Tubi still has a selection of Warner Bros.’ DC films, including The Batman, but the real attraction of this streaming service are the movies from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s that don’t get a lot of attention in the streaming era. Without FAST Channels, it would be a lot harder to find our pick for the one Tubi movie that you should watch this April: Hoosiers.

Director David Anspaugh and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo loosely adapted the real-life story of the 1954 Milan (Indiana) High School team and turned it into one of the all-time great sports movies. But considering that Hoosiers came out in 1986, the vast majority of modern movie fans have likely never seen it. That’s why we’re sharing three reasons why you should watch Hoosiers on Tubi this month.

It features one of Gene Hackman’s most iconic roles

The cast of Hoosiers.
Orion Pictures

Gene Hackman has been retired from films for two decades, but he remains a national treasure for movie lovers. In this film, Hackman plays Norman Dale, a former college basketball coach who is called upon to coach the basketball team at a rural high school in Hickory, Indiana, in 1951.

Dale is the archetype for the no-nonsense coach we’ve seen many times in film. Hackman even played a similar role in The Replacements in 2000. The reason why Dale stands out is that he gets to be more of an imperfect human being. Dale loses his temper, he alienates the local basketball boosters, and he even risks driving off his own players when he implements a strict physical regimen to strengthen their basketball fundamentals. More importantly, Dale is trying to overcome his own demons and to prove something to himself.

It’s a tale of redemption

Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers.
Orion Pictures

In the second half of the film, one of the teachers, Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey), discovers why Dale has fallen so far in his coaching career, and why he’s so driven to turn the team around. Coaching this team is his redemption, and he’s not the only one who needs a second chance.

Dale invites Shooter Flatch (Dennis Hopper), the father of one of his players, to become an assistant coach on the team despite his reputation around town as an alcoholic. Even Shooter’s son, Everett Flatch (David Neidorf), thinks that’s a bad idea. However, Dale is so committed to the idea of giving Shooter this opportunity that he takes extreme measures to let him prove himself. It’s a small victory in the overall story, but these personal moments are one of the reasons why Hoosiers is so beloved.

It’s a great underdog story

The cast of Hoosiers.
Orion Pictures

Let’s not pretend that everyone doesn’t know how this movie ends. You don’t have to have seen Hoosiers to guess that Dale’s teaching and coaching techniques help the team succeed far beyond their wildest expectations. That’s the whole point of the underdog story. We watch these kids grow into good players who are also good people that deserve their moment of triumph.

After all, it would have been a real downer if this team went through all of their trials just to get eliminated from the playoffs. Everyone loves a winner, especially if the winner has overcome adversity. This story has been repeated over and over in sports movies, but few films have ever pulled off the underdog story as well as Hoosiers does.

Watch Hoosiers on Tubi.