The Jackie Robinson bio pic 42 already has plenty of buzz leading up to its theatrical release Friday. The story itself of Robinson becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball is compelling enough. This film adds a Hollywood icon with Harrison Ford playing Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, and an Oscar winner in writer-director Brian Helgeland, whose credits include L.A. Confidential, Mystic River and The Order.

Given Robinson's impact on society and the show-biz heavyweights involved in this production, it is intriguing to wonder how the late Roger Ebert might have analyzed the film. Ebert, who died last week, was a sports fan who got his start in journalism covering high school games in Illinois. In his movie reviews, Ebert offered context and perspective, which often prompted his readers to think harder about what they were watching, and 42 seems like it ought to provide fertile ground for additional reflection.

In the absence of a 42 review from Ebert, here are snippets of his columns on 12 notable sports movies, via

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