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)

If you build it, he will come.

It is a mantra for the ages and one that has become ingrained in our society. 

If you build something, even if it’s a monumental task like building a baseball field out of nowhere, people will come from miles around to experience it.

And that is exactly what happens in Field Of Dreams, a film that is not only an engaging drama but also a delightful fantasy.

The film begins with a voiceover by Kevin Costner as farmer Ray Kinsella. He speaks about his Iowa farm and how things have been going well for him. He looks forward to a promising future, but the narration points out that he has not been happy since the death of his father some time ago.

This prompts Ray to think back on his childhood, specifically when his dad was alive and he was playing catch with him one day. At that moment, Ray hears a voice tell him to “build it,” referring to the old adage mentioned above.

And so Ray does exactly that; he builds a baseball field on his land, despite constant warnings from everyone in town that it’s an idiotic idea since no one will come see it. 

Field Of Dreams (4K UHD + Blu-Ray) (Hong Kong Version / Chinese subtitled) 30th Anniversary Edition 夢幻成真
  • Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta (Actors)
  • Phil Alden Robinson (Director)
  • English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Rocky (1976)

Rocky is a 1976 American sports film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. 

It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rocky runs the night shift at the local pet store and works for a loan shark named Tony Gazzo (Burt Young). Rocky gets noticed by the boxing world when he fights a street thug who was harassing a customer outside the pet store where he works.

Sale
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 biographical sports drama directed by Martin Scorsese. It chronicles the life of boxing champion Jake LaMotta, portrayed by Robert De Niro, and his brother Joey LaMotta, portrayed by Joe Pesci.

A former boxer himself, De Niro was very fit and did much of his own fight scenes. Filming took place in New York City and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.

The film is considered by many to be one of Scorsese’s greatest works, as well as one of the greatest American films ever made. 

It was nominated for eight Academy Awards,winning one for Robert De Niro in the category of Best Actor.

The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.

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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 fine film on every level. It is beautifully directed by Clint Eastwood. 

Eastwood also stars as the grizzled boxing trainer Frankie Dunn, who takes Maggie Fitzgerald (played by Hilary Swank) under his wing.

She was once a promising boxer, but a near-fatal accident put an end to her career.

The best scene occurs late in the film when Maggie comes back to fight again and we see her in the ring with her opponent. This one is played out in almost complete silence as it was shot using only sounds from the surrounding crowd and no music score.

In this brilliant scene we watch Maggie go through torrent of emotions during the fight. Will she win? Will she lose? How will Frankie react if she wins or loses? 

Million Dollar Baby [Blu-ray]
  • Million Dollar Baby [Blu-ray]
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter is the story of Micky Ward, a boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts. Itfollows a fighter’s life over several years as he rises to prominence in the boxing world, then as he struggles to keep himself afloat after an unexpected defeat.

The film is based on the true story of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, who was born in Lowell and grew up idolizing Rocky Marciano.

His older half-brother Dicky Eklund also boxed, but his career came to an end when he developed a crack cocaine addiction. The two brothers became estranged for many years but eventually reconciled and Dicky began training Micky for his professional debut in 1988.

The movie opens with a montage of Micky’s fights, depicting his rise to the top of the junior welterweight ranks and alluding to a possible showdown with pound-for-pound kingpin Oscar De La Hoya.

   

When he loses a controversial decision to Arturo Gatti, his career starts to slide downhill. He goes through several more ups and downs before finally getting another bout with Gatti on HBO’s Boxing After Dark series.

Cinderella Man (2005)

Cinderella Man is a 2005 sports drama filmed by Ron Howard about the life of James J. Braddock. 

Braddock was a boxer from New Jersey who rose to fame in the 1930s, only to decline and fall into despair in the 1940s.

Russell Crowe portrayed Braddock,with Renée Zellweger playing his wife, Mae.

The film also stars Paul Giamatti as Braddock’s manager Joe Gould and Craig Bierko as Max Baer. 

Cinderella Man is a redemption story about a poor Irish immigrant in New Jersey who worked hard for everything he had. When he had it all, tragedy struck and he lost it all — including his family home.

This movie shows how Braddock’s life spiraled out of control after his boxing career and how he struggled to pick himself back up again to become a champion once more.

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 1988 sports comedy written and directed by Ron Shelton, and starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Trey Wilson.

The film grossed $40.9 million at the U.S. box office and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

This film is about Crash Davis, a veteran minor-league catcher brought in to teach rookie pitcher Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh the finer points of playing professional baseball.

Davis has been called up to the majors many times but he always refuses to sign with the team that calls him up. As a result, hespent his entire career in the minor leagues playing for different teams over a period of 20 years.

He is sent down one more time to play with LaLoosh and the Durham Bulls, but this time with a new twist: he must report directly to the team owner’s daughter (Susan Sarandon), who has taken over as General Manager after her father suffered a heart attack during a game.

The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side is a 2009 film based on the story of Michael Oher, a homeless African American youngster from Memphis, Tennessee

He was taken in by the Tuohy family, who helped him to fulfill his potential as an American football player. Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, alongside Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher.

The film was directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Hancock, Michael Lewis and Leslie Dixon, with Aaron Eckhart and Tim McGraw also starring.

The movie tells the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home in Memphis who is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family.

Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy are moved to take him in after an incident at their son’s football game. Michael’s size and skill impress Sean, who recruits him to play for the school team. The rest of the movie chronicles Michael’s struggles as he deals with his disability, as well as his relationship with his adopted family.

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Blind Side [Blu-ray]
  • Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio and subtitles.
  • Sandra Bullock (Actor)
  • John Lee Hancock (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

Seabiscuit (2003)

Seabiscuit was a horse. A great one. He was a thoroughbred, which means that he didn’t run fast early on in his life, but then he got better and better while the other horses started to slow down.

Truly great stories have the same arc. They start out with humble beginnings, before building to something truly inspiring.

 

No matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. While Seabiscuit was winning dozens of races and becoming a sensation, America was coming out of the Great Depression—the worst economic collapse in history.

The country had just elected its first president under the age of 40; many people were still out of work, and  everyone was scared for the future. 

Seabiscuit captured everyone’s attention during those dark times because he was able to achieve something that seemed impossible at that time: beating “the best.”

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 (1984) is a film that I know is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. It’s one of the most well-made, honest sports films of all time.

The film is directed by Barry Levinson and stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs. Roy Hobbs is a young baseball player who has a special talent for the game, he can throw a baseball at tremendous speeds.

The only problem is his life isn’t that great, he grew up in an orphanage and doesn’t have any friends or family. Things start looking up for him when he meets the love of his life Annie, played by Glenn Close.

But things soon turn sour when Roy stumbles upon a trunk full of money on the side of the road. He runs home to tell Annie about it but she can’t take her eyes off their wedding gifts and Roy leaves upset.

When he gets back to his room he finds it ransacked with his uniform missing. This leads him to team up with Gus, a man who used to work at the orphanage, and find out why someone would want to steal his uniform.

This film will lead you on an emotional roller coaster and will have you asking yourself what your really willing to do to achieve success.

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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 2010 science fiction film directed by Peter Weir and starring Ed Harris, Colin Farrell and Jim Sturgess. It is based on the book of the same name by Svetlana Aleksievich.

The story begins in 1940 with Jim (Jim Sturgess) and his mother Rachel (Virginia McKenna) being captured by Soviet soldiers after the Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II. The pair are transported in cattle-cars to Siberia, where they are interned in a gulag.

There they meet other prisoners including Mr. Smith (Ed Harris), who is building a tunnel under the camp’s fence to allow prisoners to escape. The trio manage to escape the camp, but are pursued by Soviet troops.

After fleeing across the Gobi Desert they arrive in Xinjiang province, China. They join up with more fellow escapees and try to find their way back home via a convoluted route through India and Tibet.

The film’s title refers to the majority of the journey which involves following “the way back” towards Europe via a lengthy trek around Lake Baikal, through Siberia, Mongolia and China.

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The Way Back (Blu-ray + Digital)
  • 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 1998 American biographical sports film directed by Robert Towne and starring Billy Crudup as Steve Prefontaine and Donald Sutherland as his coach Bill Bowerman.

The script was written by Steve James, Laura Ziskin and Jerry Stahl. It was released in the United States on January 29, 1998.

The film chronicles the life of Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) from his early days at Marshfield High School in Oregon to his career at the University of Oregon and his death in a car crash while running a marathon in 1975.

His love of running was born out of the need to run away from his alcoholic father (David Morse), who had killed himself while Prefontaine was still a boy.

He later meets Bill Bowerman (Donald Sutherland), the University of Oregon track coach who recognizes Pre’s talent and encourages him to develop it further under Bowerman’s guidance.

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 1982 documentary film starring several top American female athletes in the then-new sport of women’s triathlon.

It was directed by Bud Greenspan, who also directed the film The Olympiad, documenting the 1976 Summer Olympics.

It was made to commemorate the first triathlon played by women at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, which was held on July 21.

In order to participate, they had to get approval from both the International Olympic Committee and the Amateur Athletic Union.

The film focuses on two athletes: Chris Kulwicki, who would go on to win the silver medal at the Moscow Games; and Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who would win gold in 1984 at Los Angeles, but take silver in 1980 due to her flat tire during the cycling portion of the event. 

The movie also follows Robin Lee Graham as he prepares for his Ironman triathlon attempt; he completed his goal in November 1978 at Kona, Hawaii. The documentary was filmed between 1979 and 1980.

Personal Best contains footage from various races. The triathlon shows scenes from World Championship events, showing athletes from other countries such as Australia’s Denise Smith and Great Britain’s Ann Smith-Ryan (sister of Chris).

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)

It’s the summer of 1953, and the great fear is that the Korean War will escalate into World War III.

That’s what Phil Paine (Paul Newman) fears most, as he returns to his hometown in Connecticut to fulfil his promise to his best friend, dying of tuberculosis (John Heard).

Paine has found work as a pitching instructor at a boys’ camp and is desperate to find ways to fill the long hours until he can return to his real job – selling insurance.

Thanks to a local priest (Richard Dysart), Paine finds himself involved with the local Little League team.

The team is a ragtag bunch of misfits and losers, but Paine gradually becomes their coach. It doesn’t take him long to realize that teaching these kids about baseball is simply an excuse for getting them off the street and out of trouble.

The kids don’t care much about baseball, but they do love Paine’s stories about his experiences in Korea.

Paine was a bombardier who flew several combat missions over North Korea against anti-aircraft guns threatening supply lines.

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)

A movie starring Sean William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Jay Baruchel doesn’t sound like the most promising thing in the world. But this movie is a whole lot of fun.

Troy Duffy’s The Boondock Saints was one of my favorite movies when I was in high school. He made a sequel to that called Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day and then he disappeared…until now!

I don’t want to say too much about the plot because the surprises will be worth seeing without any spoilers. That being said, here’s the gist: It’s an epic tale of love, loss, hockey, violence, and one man’s quest for a hot dog bun.

I liked this movie because it reminded me of Guy Ritchie films. It’s fast paced with lots of confusion and talking over each other. It’s filmed like a comedy but it has some pretty dark moments as well.

The characters are all very likable which is always important to me in a movie; you have to care about them or else there’s no point in watiching it. 

This movie made me laugh out loud several times and I would gladly watch it again.

Sale
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 documentary about the life and death of the legendary Brazilian motor-racing champion Ayrton Senna, who died in a crash during a Grand Prix race at Imola in 1994.

Passionate, honest and powerful, this is a tribute to one of the greatest drivers in Formula One history.

It’s an unflinching, no-holds-barred account of the man, his life, career and his untimely death. Senna was more than just a racer; he was a hero.

Ayrton Senna da Silva was born into poverty in 1960. He quickly developed an innate talent for racing karts. When his father bought him a second-hand go-kart he started winning races and became determined to make it into Formula 1.

With determination and hard work he made it onto the F1 circuit, becoming world champion three times before his untimely death in 1994 at Imola.

This film is an absorbing documentary that provides insight into the man as well as his formidable driving skills on the racetrack. It’s a riveting account of one man’s journey from poverty to stardom through sheer force of will, but also captures his charisma and humanity.

.It was directed by Asif Kapadia, produced by Manish Pandey and written by Manish Pandey and Anna Thomson.

I, Tonya (2017)

I, Tonya is the amazing true story of one of the most talented figure skaters in the world and her complicated relationship with her mother.

Tonya Harding (played by Margot Robbie) was a once-in-a-generation figure skater, more famous for her life off the ice than on. At age 9, Tonya’s mother instilled in her the drive and discipline to succeed. 

At 14, she became the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition. Before she ever landed it in competition, Tonya had already become infamous for a sudden violent attack on her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. 

I, Tonya is a darkly comedic tale of unbridled ambition, where truth is blurred with rumor and myth.

The film is told primarily through Tonya’s eyes, but also explores the relationships that shaped her – with her family, her first coaches and competitors (including Kerrigan), and Jeff Gillooly – who was eventually convicted of clubbing Kerrigan ahead of 1994 Olympic competitions in an attempt to get his wife a gold medal.

Sale
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 1997 drama film written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, and John Lynch.

It tells the story of a young Irish boxer, Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis), who is caught between the love of his present wife, Maggie (Emily Watson) and his former lover Rose (Cherie Lunghi).

In Northern Ireland in 1964, Danny Flynn is a promising young amateur boxer who has a chance for a Dublin title. However, he falls in love with Rose (Cherie Lunghi), who becomes pregnant.

She convinces him to abandon his boxing career and get a job as an apprentice electrician so they can start a family together. They marry but soon find themselves at loggerheads with her father’s angry demands for grandchildren

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

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

It’s possible to learn a lot about the state of comedy in the early ‘90s by watching White Men Can’t Jump. Not only is the movie funny,it’s very existence tells us so much about what Hollywood was willing to spend money on at the time.

The film was a surprise hit, raking in $36 million on a budget of $9 million and established Wesley Snipes as a bankable star.

Most people who saw White Men Can’t Jump thought it was pretty good, but almost nobody expected it to be an important film in any way. It was just good, dumb fun — like most of the movies we enjoyed back then — and that’s how we remembered it.

It had some great performances from Snipes and Woody Harrelson, who were both making their first big impressions on Hollywood audiences.

White Men Can't Jump [Blu-ray]
  • Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez (Actors)
  • Ron Shelton (Director)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)

Hoosiers (1986)

It’s so good that it even has a non-Indiana lover of basketball saying something like, “If you’re not from Indiana and you don’t like this movie, you’re lying.” 

A lot of scenes were filmed in Bloomington at Indiana’s Assembly Hall, which really helps to capture the film’s home-state feel.

Troy (Gene Hackman) is the coach of the Hickory Huskers, a small-town team that beats teams with half their talent.

He quits because he can’t stand the politics, but when his replacement (Lance Hendrikson) gets killed in a car accident while taking a drunk player home, Troy has no choice but to come back.

The community rallies around him and he takes them all the way to the state championship game.

In addition to Gene Hackman’s excellent performance, I was also impressed by Brad Seymour as Bobby Plump, who didn’t make a single basket during one game only to come back and make an unbelievable shot at an even more crucial time later on.

Jack Warden also plays a big role as one of Troy’s assistants. His performance is just as good as Hackman’s.

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