The 30 Best '30 for 30' Films

As ESPN's groundbreaking series celebrates its fifth anniversary, we pick our favorite films: tales of triumph, tragedy and (of course) 'The U'

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1. 'June 17th, 1994' (Dir. Brett Morgen)

When the 30 for 30 series was first announced, ESPN and producer Bill Simmons touted the combination of big-name directors and unusual subjects, promising something more like actual cinema than the typical sports documentary. But for the most part, even at their best, the 30 for 30 films have been fairly straightforward as pieces of filmmaking. One major exception is June 17th, 1994, which looks at everything that was happening in the world of sports on the same day O.J. Simpson led the LAPD on a chase in his infamous white Bronco. Jumping from event to event like a channel-surfer – flipping back and forth between the NBA Finals, a Stanley Cup parade, a historic home run, the end of Arnold Palmer's U.S. Open career and more – director Brett Morgen captures how viewers process television, and how the media struggles to make sense of events that have no clear outcome.

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