/Answers: Our Favorite Movie Teams

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. With Justice League about to hit theaters, this week's edition asks "What is your favorite movie team?" 

Hoai-Tran Bui: The Trio in Harry Potter

There's a reason that Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Harry Potter movies were nicknamed "The Golden Trio." They were the gold standard for kid heroes forced to grow up too soon, facing down evil wizards, killer snakes, and convicted murderers at the end of every school year until the dangers actually became deadly. But through all that, they never lost the bond that made their unit so special.  And why would they? Each person played a pivotal part to the team, and whenever one member was missing, it always left a gaping hole. Harry the leader, Ron the heart, Hermione the brain. It feels destined, which it probably was: there's a reason the three Deathly Hallows seem to correspond perfectly to the personalities that each of the teens.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson are perfectly suited to their characters — I can't write about the trio without bringing up the well-known behind-the-scenes story in which Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron assigned the three young stars with an essay describing their characters. Radcliffe turned in one page, Watson wrote a 16-page treatise, and Grint forgot to do his.

And even as their team expanded or shrunk each year, adding honorary members like Neville, Ginny, and Luna, the trio remained a solid unit for much of the movies. The major conflicts throughout the films were when the three of them split up, either through arguments or by unavoidable circumstances, and these always became pivotal turning points in each of the films. When Hermione distances herself from the two boys in The Goblet of Fire, Harry becomes too dependant on the treacherous Mad Eye Moody. When Ron leaves the camp in Deathly Hallows, it leads Harry to one of the Horcruxes. And so on.

As much as they bicker, separate, and reunite, the three of them complement each other perfectly. One of the prime elements of Harry Potter is the concept of friends as found family, which Hermione and Ron provide Harry — especially when Harry ends up marrying Ron's sister. The common saying is "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home" but it's Harry, Ron, and Hermione who will be the first at the door.

Ethan Anderton: Team USA in D2: The Mighty Ducks

Even though I may not be a loyal sports fan, there are plenty of sports movies that I love. No amount of growing up will make me abandon my nostalgic love for Disney's The Mighty Ducks series. Furthermore, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more eclectic and fun team than Team USA from D2: The Mighty Ducks.

Take the stand-out parts of the roster from The Mighty Ducks and mix them up with a new batch of players from around the United States and you get old Ducks and new Ducks flying together under the banner of the USA. What more could you ask for? This is just a fantastic assembly of kids, and it's a shame we don't see sports movies like this coming from Disney anymore. The Mighty Ducks series is undeniably silly, but it also has the inspirational elements of some of the greatest sports movies ever made. A lot of that comes from the camaraderie between the Ducks.

Whether it's Charlie Conway learning that he's a much better coach than a player, Adam Banks coming to terms with the fact that he might not be a career hockey player, Greg Goldberg discovering that there are better goalies out there (because duh), or Fulton Reed having his stature challenged among the group by a new teammate, there's such great (albeit simple) character development for nearly every character on the team. And you've gotta give it up for Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay (Minneapolis, Minnesota).

Plus, at the end of the day, this is America's team. Quack, quack, quack, quack...

Jacob Hall: Danny Ocean's Crew in Ocean's Eleven

Throughout his career, director Steven Soderbergh has shown a frequent interest in people who are really good at their jobs. From the troubled surgeons of The Knick to the drug smugglers and law enforcement of Traffic to the strippers of Magic Mike, his obsession is professionalism. So leave it to him to create one of the coolest teams ever, because Ocean's Eleven is a movie that's all about an ensemble whose whole deal is pulling off awesome heists and looking awesome while they do it.

It helps that this crew features movie stars who radiate charisma like cartoon stink lines, but even the less famous names hold their own alongside George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt. Everyone has a part to play. Everyone has a single skill set that makes them invaluable to the team. Individually, they have niche abilities that work in specific situations. But together, they are unstoppable, a team of suave crooks who balance each other out in every possible way. This is an airtight crew, prepared for everything that can go wrong because they have a team member ready to tackle that wrong head-on.

Ben Pearson: The Channel 4 News Team in Anchorman

"News team, assemble!"

I didn't care much for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy when I first saw it. At the time, I was much more interested in 2004's other big summer comedy, Dodgeball. But after a second viewing, I was totally hooked and it became one of my favorite comedies of all time. The premise is just about perfect, and the film takes some delightfully weird turns (remember how this movie ends with a scene in a bear pit?), but the heart and soul of the film is found in the Channel 4 News Team: anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), reporter in the field Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).

I won't try to make the case that these guys are anything more than just a collection of gimmicks ("Whammy!") and schtick (whatever the heck Brick is doing at any given moment), but there's something undeniable about their chemistry that just makes me want to spend time with these would-be Lothario morons. We get precious few scenes of the team actually doing their jobs well, so most of their teamwork occurs outside the newsroom, and it just so happens that their team-building exercises include things like spontaneously breaking into song, getting hammered at pool parties, and getting into a massive brawl with every other news team in town. And even when it seems that they've split apart forever, all it takes is a quick blow on a conch shell to bring them back together again.

Vanessa Bogart: The Kids in The Sandlot

Aa lost treasure, a vicious beast, a group of unlikely heroes, and baseball. If "You're killing me, Smalls!" isn't part of your regular vernacular, we are probably not friends. I only say this because I have literally never met anyone who hasn't seen The Sandlot. The boys of the Sandlot made up the greatest baseball line-up that ever lived...on screen, at lest. Their leader, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez (Mike Vitar), is probably the coolest, sweetest, most wonderfully perfect boy that ever lived. However, I will always have a special place in my heart for Squints and his over the top annunciations. Every boy was different, but none of that mattered on the Sandlot.

When newcomer Smalls, still trying to prove himself with the other boys, steals his stepdad's Babe Ruth autographed baseball in a desperate attempt to save the summer day from boredom and keep their never-ending baseball game going, he inadvertently sets in motion the largest crisis situation anyone on the team has ever faced. After hitting a homer over the fence into the very off-limits, very scary junkyard property of the mysterious old man and his evil beast (his large doggo), Smalls has to come clean about the origin of the baseball. Once the team learns that the ball was signed by none other than their idol the Great Bambino, they stop at nothing to get it back, understanding that the loss of this ball means certain death for their new friend.

It may seem like a silly task, getting a baseball from a yard with a dog, but these boys truly believe that the dog and his owner mean to kill them if they set foot on the property. So through team work, innovation, a lot of determination, and a very clever vacuum contraption, the misfit boys of the Sandlot risk life and limb to get the ball back from the clutches of the beast. It is the kind of "follow you into the pits of hell" loyalty that people search their whole lives for.

Chris Evangelista: The Seven Samurai from Seven Samurai

Anytime a film fails to successfully tell a tale about a team being assembled (I'm looking your way, Justice League), I can't help but wonder why the filmmaker didn't simply study Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and take notes. Everything you need to know about movie team-building is on display in Kurosawa's 1954 epic, which takes its time to establish every single member of the team, bring them together, and send them on their mission.

A village of poor peasants who find themselves in danger of bandits hire a group of of samurai for protection. The seven men recruited are not exactly jumping at the chance to take on the mission, yet over time they grow into their roles as protectors, and they learn to work together as a team. Kurosawa uses the film's lengthy running time to allow audiences to become comfortable with both the samurai and the villagers. It helps that each of the actors brings something unique to their parts, particularly Takashi Shimura as the weary, noble leader of the group, Seiji Miyaguchi as a mostly-quiet badass who gets one of the film's most show-stopping moments, and frequent Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune as the hothead of the group; the one everyone thinks is out of his mind but who might prove to be the most valuable member of the team.

I not saying that Justice League would've been better if it had just ripped-off Seven Samurai. But I'm not not saying that, either...

Matt Donato: The Washington Sentinels in The Replacements

If you're on my favorite movie team, you're required to show one thing – heart. Miles and miles of heart. With today's heightened era of money-hungry sports organizations and gun-for-hire contracts, this can sometimes be forgotten. Players lean heavily into celebrity culture and ignore the greatest aspect of team sports – an ACTUAL TEAM. Enter The Replacements, a film about just-good-enough scrubs meant to ride out a based-on-real-life NFL lockout. Heroes whose names will never be remembered...like that matters to them.

Led by (choke-happy college) Quarterback Shane Falco – played by fluffy-haired Keanu Reeves – these "new-and-improved" Washington Sentinels put their playoff dreams in the hands of fill-ins. A militant linebacker with anger issues (Danny Bateman, played by Jon Favreau), a deaf tight end (Brian Murphy, played by David Denman), a Welsh hooligan kicker with a gambling problem (Nigel Gruff, played by Rhys Ifans). These misfits and more comprise a team of stereotypical underdogs, but what they're playing for is so much bigger sports infamy. Something greedy pros will never taste.

You see, this is a team with nothing to lose. No motivation to play spectacularly. With four games left in the season and three wins away from the playoffs, they could easily break under the tremendous pressure of bigtime lights (like some once did) and no one would flinch – but this is their second chance. Something athletes rarely get. Stockboys, convicts and sumos alike come together in slapstick fashion for one last hurrah, all behind Shane "Footsteps" Falco. From an "I Will Survive" dance number in prison to barroom brawls with protesting rivals, these Sentinels score their way into the playoffs and our hearts by giving 110% to prove something for themselves. No trophy, no bonus, no extension. Crazy to win just for pride, right?

Howard Deutch's now-cult comedy features too many lines to quote and too much to love, but my biggest takeaway came during a one-on-one interview I conducted with Keanu Reeves during an Austin-based John Wick junket. I asked which of his lines people quote the most to him, and he replied something about "red pill/blue pill" – but then he circled back by asking which I'd say. "Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever," I shot without hesitation. Reeves' eyes lit up and a smile beamed, bringing him back to that Baltimore Ravens home field (where production filmed). After 10 more minutes passed and I went to leave, he started shufflin' and steppin' to himself after jumping out of his seat. After all these years, The Replacements spirit still lived within Keanu Reeves – like I needed another reason to love that Sentinel's team any more.

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