If you’re a sports fan or just love a good underdog story, check out this list of some of the best sports movies ever made.

Sports films have been made since the era of silent films, such as the 1915 film The Champion starring Charlie Chaplin.

Film critics Robert Ebert and Richard Roeper named Hoosiers (1986) the best sports movie ever made. Rotten Tomatoes has ranked it as the second-best sports movie of all time.

The difference between a good sports movie and a bad one is that we can watch a good sports movie about any sport.

There are plenty of great movies about baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. (Baseball has so many good ones!)

But there are great sports movies about bowling, surfing, auto racing, and more.
 

Best Sports Movies

What Are Sports movies?

As sports fans, we love to watch our favorite teams compete. However, we also enjoy watching sports movies. Sports movies have a way of capturing all the drama, emotion, and adrenaline that we love about sports.

There have been thousands of sports movies made over the years in all different genres — drama, comedy, romance, and action.

While many of them were forgettable movies with just a sports theme, there are some that stand out as the best sports movies of all time.

So, what makes a sports movie? The answer is quite subjective. It can be a movie about an athlete, a team or even a fan.

It can be any sport, from football to baseball to golf to sports from around the world. It can be live-action or animated.

The best sports movies are the ones that excite us and teach us something about ourselves. They capture our imagination and make us believe in the unbelievable.

They make us feel like we are part of the team, that we are experiencing the joys and heartbreaks of the athletes on screen right along with them.

 

 

   

Best Sports Movies

Here’s our pick of the best sports movies ever made.

Let’s crack it out of the park!

Field Of Dreams (1989)

Field of Dreams is a timeless classic that captures the essence of baseball and the power of dreams. Kevin Costner delivers a standout performance as Ray Kinsella, a farmer who hears a mysterious voice that tells him to build a baseball field in his cornfield.

The film explores themes of family, redemption, and the pursuit of happiness with a touch of magical realism.

Director Phil Alden Robinson masterfully weaves together the past and present, as Ray embarks on a journey to find the reclusive author J.D. Salinger, and reconnects with his estranged father through baseball.

The cinematography is breathtaking, capturing the rolling hills of Iowa and the beauty of America’s favorite pastime.

The supporting cast, including James Earl Jones and Ray Liotta, add depth and heart to the story, making it a true ensemble piece.

The iconic line, “If you build it, they will come,” has become a cultural touchstone and embodies the film’s message of following your dreams no matter how impossible they may seem.

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Rocky (1976)

Rocky is a true underdog story that packs a punch.

This classic sports drama follows the journey of a down-on-his-luck boxer named Rocky Balboa, played brilliantly by Sylvester Stallone, as he gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot at the heavyweight championship title.

The film’s gritty, realistic portrayal of Philadelphia’s working-class neighborhoods adds an extra layer of authenticity to the story, making it all the more compelling.

The training montages set to Bill Conti’s iconic score are nothing short of inspiring and will have you ready to run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art yourself.

But what really sets Rocky apart is its heart.

The emotional connection between Rocky and his love interest Adrian, played by Talia Shire, adds a touching and human element to the film, making it more than just a sports movie.

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Rocky: Heavyweight Collection (Rocky / Rocky II / Rocky III / Rocky IV / Rocky V / Rocky Balboa) [Blu-ray]
  • Brand Name: FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT Mfg#: 883904301769
  • Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs
  • Manufacturer: MGM ENTERTAINMENT
  • Genre: Drama
  • All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.

Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull is a cinematic masterpiece that captures the raw emotion and brutality of boxing in a way that few films have.

Martin Scorsese’s direction is masterful, and Robert De Niro delivers one of the greatest performances in film history as the troubled boxer Jake LaMotta.

The film is a character study that explores the complexities of LaMotta’s personality, from his obsessive nature to his violent outbursts.

The black and white cinematography adds to the gritty realism of the film, and the use of slow-motion during the fight scenes is both breathtaking and haunting.

While the film is primarily a boxing movie, it is also a poignant examination of the destructive power of jealousy and the toll it takes on relationships.

The scenes between LaMotta and his wife, played by Cathy Moriarty, are some of the most powerful in the film.

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Raging Bull (BD) [Blu-ray]
  • Various (Actor)
  • Various (Director)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby is a heart-wrenching masterpiece that will leave you feeling emotionally drained yet fulfilled.

   

Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this film that explores the world of boxing and the human spirit.

Hilary Swank gives an Oscar-winning performance as Maggie Fitzgerald, a determined young woman who dreams of becoming a professional boxer despite all odds.

Her relationship with Eastwood’s character, a grizzled boxing trainer named Frankie Dunn, is the heart of the film.

The chemistry between the two actors is palpable and their scenes together are some of the most moving in cinema history.

The film tackles themes of perseverance, friendship, and the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

It is a masterclass in storytelling, with each plot point and character arc seamlessly woven together to create a cinematic experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

The supporting cast, including Morgan Freeman as Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris, adds depth and nuance to the story.

The film’s cinematography and score are also noteworthy, adding to the overall emotional impact of the film.

Million Dollar Baby is not just a boxing movie, it is a tale of human resilience and the bonds that can be formed between unlikely individuals.

Million Dollar Baby [Blu-ray]
  • Million Dollar Baby [Blu-ray]

The Fighter (2010)

“The Fighter” is a gripping and emotional sports drama that packs a powerful punch.

Mark Wahlberg delivers a standout performance as boxer Micky Ward, who struggles to escape the shadow of his older brother and former champion, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale).

Bale’s portrayal of the troubled and drug-addicted Dicky is nothing short of incredible, earning him a well-deserved Academy Award.

The film’s intensity is matched by its authenticity, with director David O. Russell capturing the grit and determination of the boxing world in a way that feels both raw and real.

The family dynamics at play add another layer of complexity, with Micky torn between his loyalty to his brother and his own dreams of success.

The Fighter (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) [Blu-ray] (2011) Mark Wahlberg; Christian Bale
  • Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams (Actors)
  • David O. Russell (Director)
  • English, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Cinderella Man (2005)

Cinderella Man is a true masterpiece of film-making that expertly blends heart-wrenching drama with thrilling sports action.

Starring the ever-talented Russell Crowe, the movie tells the story of James J. Braddock, an underdog boxer who rose to fame during the Great Depression.

Director Ron Howard does an excellent job of capturing the desperation and hardship of the era, while also showcasing Braddock’s incredible determination and fighting spirit.

The boxing scenes are intense and well-choreographed, and the film’s emotional moments are genuinely moving.

Crowe’s performance is simply outstanding, as he brings both physicality and vulnerability to the role of Braddock.

He is supported by a strong cast that includes Renee Zellweger as his wife Mae and Paul Giamatti as his trainer Joe Gould.

Cinderella Man | Russell Crowe | Region Free
  • Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger (Actor)
  • Ron Howard (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Bull Durham (1988)

Bull Durham is a love letter to the game of baseball and the people who play it.

Directed by Ron Shelton, the film follows the lives of three characters: Annie (Susan Sarandon), a seasoned baseball groupie; Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), a veteran catcher brought in to mentor a talented but undisciplined pitcher; and Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), the aforementioned pitcher with a wild arm and even wilder personality.

The chemistry between the three leads is electric, and their dialogue crackles with wit and charm.

Sarandon is a standout as the sultry and confident Annie, who knows more about baseball than most of the players on the field.

Costner’s Davis exudes a quiet strength and wisdom, while Robbins portrays Nuke with a perfect mix of naive enthusiasm and brash arrogance.

The film’s depiction of minor league baseball is both romantic and realistic, capturing the grit and grind of life on the road, the camaraderie of the players, and the dreams and disappointments that come with the pursuit of a major league career.

Shelton’s direction is confident and assured, and his love for the game shines through in every frame.

Bull Durham is a classic sports movie that transcends the genre.

It’s a film about love, life, and the pursuit of excellence.

If you’re a fan of baseball, or just great storytelling, this one is a must-see.

The Blind Side (2009)

“The Blind Side” is a heartwarming and inspiring film that tells the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized teenager who finds a new family and a new future through the love and support of a wealthy Memphis family.

Sandra Bullock delivers an outstanding performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy, a strong-willed and compassionate woman who takes Michael under her wing and helps him overcome his past and achieve his dreams.

The film is a perfect blend of drama, comedy, and sports, with some truly touching moments that will leave you teary-eyed.

The chemistry between the cast is impeccable, with Bullock and Quinton Aaron (who plays Michael) sharing some truly heartwarming moments.

What makes “The Blind Side” stand out is its message of compassion and kindness, which is especially important in today’s world.

The film reminds us that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Blind Side [Blu-ray]
  • The disk has English audio and subtitles.
  • Sandra Bullock (Actor)
  • John Lee Hancock (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)

Seabiscuit (2003)

“Seabiscuit” is a cinematic masterpiece that captures the heart of horse racing and the human spirit.

The film follows the true story of Seabiscuit, a small and underestimated racehorse, and the unlikely team of jockey Red Pollard, owner Charles Howard, and trainer Tom Smith who believed in him.

The performances by Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Chris Cooper are simply outstanding, bringing depth and emotion to their respective characters.

The cinematography and sound design transport the audience to the dusty tracks of the Great Depression era, where the tension and excitement of the races are palpable.

Director Gary Ross expertly weaves together historical footage and fictionalized drama to create a captivating story that celebrates perseverance, determination, and the power of unlikely partnerships.

The film’s themes of overcoming adversity and finding hope in the midst of hardship are timeless and resonate with audiences of all ages.

“Seabiscuit” is a must-watch for anyone who loves sports, history, or simply a good underdog story.

It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of belief.

This film is a true gem and a must-add to any movie lover’s list.

   
Seabiscuit (Blu-ray + DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper (Actors)
  • Gary Ross (Director)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

The Natural (1984)

The Natural is a classic sports drama film that is sure to leave a lasting impression on any viewer.

Directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford as the lead protagonist, the film tells the story of Roy Hobbs, a former baseball player who returns to the game after a long hiatus to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a professional player.

From the very beginning, the film captures the audience’s attention with its stunning cinematography and beautiful score.

The baseball scenes are expertly shot, and the attention to detail in capturing the atmosphere of the sport is truly remarkable.

The performances of the entire cast are also top-notch, with Redford delivering a powerful and nuanced performance as the flawed yet determined protagonist.

The film’s themes of redemption, perseverance, and love for the game are conveyed with a sense of sincerity that is often missing in contemporary sports films.

The Natural is a true gem of its genre, and its impact on sports cinema is undeniable.

The Natural [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close (Actors)
  • Barry Levinson (Director)
  • English, Portuguese, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

The Way Back (2020)

“The Way Back” is a powerful and emotionally charged film that will leave you feeling both heartbroken and inspired.

Ben Affleck delivers a stunning performance as a former high school basketball star turned alcoholic construction worker who is given a second chance at life when he is asked to coach his alma mater’s struggling basketball team.

The film explores themes of redemption, addiction, and the power of forgiveness with honesty and sensitivity.

It doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of addiction, but also shows the hope and beauty that can come from recovery and rebuilding relationships.

Director Gavin O’Connor’s direction is top-notch, with beautifully shot basketball scenes that are both intense and visually stunning.

The supporting cast, including Al Madrigal and Janina Gavankar, deliver powerful performances, adding depth and nuance to the film.

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The Way Back (Blu-ray)
  • Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal, Janina Gavankar (Actors)
  • Gavin O'Connor (Director) - Brad Ingelsby (Writer) - Robert J. Dohrmann (Producer)
  • Portuguese, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Without Limits (1998)

Without Limits is a captivating and powerful biographical drama that tells the story of legendary American long-distance runner, Steve Prefontaine.

Directed by Robert Towne, the film features an outstanding performance by Billy Crudup, who brings Prefontaine’s personality and passion to life on screen.

The film takes us on a journey through Prefontaine’s rise to fame, from his early days as a college athlete to his record-breaking performances and eventual tragic death.

Along the way, we see the struggles and sacrifices he made in pursuit of his dreams, as well as the impact he had on the running community and the sport as a whole.

The cinematography in Without Limits is stunning, capturing the beauty and intensity of Prefontaine’s races with breathtaking precision.

The film’s score is also exceptional, adding to the emotional depth of the story and heightening the tension of the race scenes.

Without Limits (1998)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter (Actors)
  • Robert Towne (Director) - Robert Towne (Writer) - Tom Cruise (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Personal Best (1982)

Personal Best is a groundbreaking and powerful film that explores the complex and often challenging world of female athletes in the competitive world of track and field.

Directed by Robert Towne and featuring an outstanding lead performance by Mariel Hemingway, the film is a nuanced and honest portrayal of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs that come with pursuing excellence in a male-dominated sport.

The film follows Chris Cahill (Hemingway), an up-and-coming track and field athlete who dreams of making it to the Olympics.

She trains under the guidance of coach Terry Tingloff (Scott Glenn), who pushes her to her limits both physically and emotionally.

Along the way, Chris forms a close bond with fellow athlete Tory Skinner (Patrice Donnelly), a relationship that becomes increasingly complicated as the two women struggle to balance their personal and professional lives.

What sets Personal Best apart is its unflinching honesty and authenticity. The film takes a frank and unapologetic look at the realities of training and competition, including the harsh physical demands placed on athletes and the complex interpersonal dynamics that can arise in such a high-pressure environment.

But at its heart, the film is a celebration of the power of female athleticism and the resilience of the human spirit.

Hemingway delivers a stunning performance as Chris, capturing both the physical and emotional intensity of her journey with grace and nuance.

The film’s final race sequence is a tour-de-force of filmmaking, a thrilling and emotional climax that resonates long after the credits have rolled.

Personal Best
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn, Patrice Donnelly (Actors)
  • Robert Towne (Director) - Robert Towne (Writer) - Robert Towne (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Bang The Drum Slowly (1973)

Bang the Drum Slowly is a touching and poignant sports drama that explores the friendship between two baseball players.

Adapted from a novel of the same name, the film follows the story of Bruce Pearson (Robert De Niro), a catcher for the New York Mammoths who is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

His teammate, pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty), stands by him and becomes his closest friend as they navigate the challenges of life and baseball together.

The performances in this film are simply outstanding.

De Niro delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Pearson, imbuing the character with a quiet strength and vulnerability that is truly captivating.

Moriarty is equally impressive as Wiggen, bringing a level of complexity to his character that is both subtle and moving.

What sets Bang the Drum Slowly apart from other sports films is its focus on the human element of the game.

Rather than relying on cliches and formulaic plot points, the film explores the emotional connections that can be forged between teammates and the impact that a terminal illness can have on those around us.

Bang The Drum Slowly
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Robert De Niro, Michael Moriarty, Vincent Gardenia (Actors)
  • John Hancock (Director) - Mark Harris (Writer) - Willian Badalato (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Goon (2012)

Goon is a hilarious and heartwarming sports comedy that punches above its weight class.

Starring Seann William Scott as Doug Glatt, a lovable bouncer turned hockey enforcer, the film follows his journey as he becomes a vital member of the Halifax Highlanders, a struggling minor league team.

What sets Goon apart from other sports comedies is its balance of raunchy humor and genuine heart. Doug’s journey is a classic underdog story, but his struggles with his own identity and sense of purpose add depth to the character.

The chemistry between Scott and his co-stars, including Jay Baruchel and Alison Pill, is also a highlight, with each actor bringing their own quirks and comedic timing to the table.

Of course, the film wouldn’t be complete without some intense hockey action, and Goon delivers in spades.

The fight scenes are brutal and visceral, but never feel gratuitous or exploitative.

Director Michael Dowse captures the energy and excitement of the game in a way that will have even non-hockey fans cheering along.

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Goon [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber (Actors)
  • Michael Dowse (Director)
  • Spanish (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

Senna (2011)

Senna is a thrilling and emotional documentary that tells the story of the late Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna.

Directed by Asif Kapadia, the film is a fascinating exploration into the life, career, and tragic death of one of the greatest drivers in the history of motor racing.

The film is expertly crafted, using a mixture of archive footage, interviews, and voiceovers to create a compelling narrative that draws the audience in from the very beginning.

The footage of Senna’s races is exhilarating, and the film does an excellent job of capturing the intensity and danger of Formula One racing.

But what really sets Senna apart is its focus on the man behind the driver.

The film delves into Senna’s personal life, his motivations, and his spirituality, painting a picture of a complex and deeply passionate individual who was as driven by his desire to win as he was by his love for his country and his people.

The film is not without its flaws. At times, the narrative can feel a little disjointed, and some of the supporting characters are not as well-developed as they could be.

However, these minor quibbles are more than outweighed by the film’s many strengths.

I, Tonya (2017)

I, Tonya is a riveting and darkly comedic biopic that tells the story of infamous figure skater Tonya Harding. Margot Robbie delivers a standout performance as Harding, capturing both her fiery determination and vulnerability.

The film is a masterclass in editing, seamlessly blending interviews with the characters and breaking the fourth wall to provide insight into their perspectives.

Director Craig Gillespie perfectly balances the film’s tone, juxtaposing the brutal abuse Harding endured at the hands of her ex-husband with moments of absurd humor.

The soundtrack, featuring ’80s hits, adds to the film’s nostalgic vibe.

The supporting cast shines as well, particularly Allison Janney as Harding’s abusive mother and Sebastian Stan as her volatile ex-husband.

The film doesn’t shy away from the controversy surrounding Harding’s involvement in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan, but also humanizes her by exploring the societal factors and classism that contributed to her downfall.

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I, Tonya (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital)
  • Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson (Actors)
  • Craig Gillespie (Director) - Steven Rogers (Writer) - Bryan Unkeless (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

The Boxer (1997)

The Boxer is a gritty and emotional film that tells the story of Danny Flynn, played masterfully by Daniel Day-Lewis.

Flynn is an ex-IRA member who has just been released from prison after serving a 14-year sentence.

He returns to his old neighborhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he finds himself drawn back into the world of boxing.

Director Jim Sheridan does an excellent job of capturing the complexity of the political and social issues that plagued Northern Ireland during the late 1990s.

The film provides a compelling look at the impact of the Troubles on the lives of ordinary people, and the emotional toll it took on them.

Day-Lewis delivers a powerful performance as Flynn, expertly portraying the character’s inner turmoil as he tries to navigate his way through a world that has changed so much since he was last free.

His chemistry with co-star Emily Watson, who plays Maggie, is also a highlight of the film.

Der Boxer [Blu-ray] [1997]
  • German, English (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

White Men Can’t Jump is a classic sports comedy that is both hilarious and heartwarming.

The film follows the story of two basketball hustlers, Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) and Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes), as they try to make a living by hustling unsuspecting players on the streets of Los Angeles.

The chemistry between Harrelson and Snipes is electric, and their banter is sharp and witty.

The film’s humor is smart and quick, with plenty of one-liners and jokes that will have you laughing out loud.

But it’s not just a comedy – the film also explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the struggles of trying to make it in a world that doesn’t always value your skills.

The basketball scenes are well choreographed and exciting, and the film’s soundtrack perfectly captures the energy and vibe of 90s basketball culture.

The supporting cast, including Rosie Perez and Tyra Ferrell, also delivers strong performances.

White Men Can't Jump [Blu-ray]
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)

Hoosiers (1986)

Hoosiers is a classic sports film that beautifully captures the essence of small-town basketball in Indiana.

The film is an underdog story that follows a struggling high school basketball team, led by coach Norman Dale (played by Gene Hackman), as they attempt to make it to the state championship.

The film is a masterclass in sports storytelling, with great attention paid to the team’s dynamics, the struggles they face, and the relationships that develop along the way.

The basketball scenes are expertly shot, with a great sense of tension and excitement, and the film’s pacing is impeccable.

What really sets Hoosiers apart, however, is its heart.

The film is a tribute to the power of community, to the importance of supporting one another, and to the value of hard work and determination.

The characters are all wonderfully portrayed, with special mention to Dennis Hopper’s performance as the team’s troubled assistant coach.

Hoosiers [Blu-ray]
  • Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper (Actors)
  • David Anspaugh (Director)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)