Best Sports Movies: Finding the Perfect Sports Movies for You

Who doesn’t love a good sports movie? Regardless of the sport, a good sports movie is able to inspire the audience and show that in sports and in life, there is no obstacle too big to overcome. These sports movies show that with enough effort and a relentless pursuit, anything is possible.

This list of the best sports movies will highlight 25 of the top sports movies of all time. Whether you are looking for a movie based on a specific sport, a true story, or whatever, you can find the perfect sports movie on this list for you. 

The other great thing about the majority of these sports movies is that they are based on a true story. You will be able to get an in-depth look at some of the most amazing sports stories in history, from being able to follow Jackie Robinson as he broke down barrier after barrier to Ford vs. Ferrari to Surfing, this list of the best sports movies is going to cover it all. So whether you are a baseball fan, basketball fan, or anything in between, you will have all of the sports you can handle.

Not only are these movies entertaining, but they are inspirational sports movies as well. It wouldn’t be surprising if you were ready to go out and conquer your own dreams after watching a couple of these sports movies!

When you finish this list of the top sports movies, make sure you visit our list of the best sports books for even more sports-related content.


List of the Top 25 Sports Movies:



1. Rocky

Released In: 1976

Main Actors: Sylvester Stallone, James AndelinKevin Fennessy

IMDb Rating: 8.1

About Sports Movie: Not only one of the best sports movies of all time but also arguably one of the best sports movie series as well. Rocky starts as a humble boxer in the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia). He must overcome seemingly insurmountable odds as he faces the heavyweight champion of the world in Appolo Creed.

What makes Rocky’s journey so meaningful is the battles that he must fight both inside and outside of the ring. So if you are someone that always seems to be rooting for the underdog, make sure you give the Rocky Series a watch. When you are finished with that, the Creed series also is excellent and continues the story.



2. Ford Vs. Ferrari

Released In: 2019

Main Actors: Matt DamonChristian BaleJon Bernthal

IMDb Rating: 8.1

About Sports Movie: High-speed racing has never been so exciting! When American car designer Carroll Shelby (who you might recognize from also designing the Shelby Mustang) and British race car driver Ken Miles are hired by Ford to take on Ferrari in 1966, the task almost seems laughable.

With only 90 days, they must build a supercar to not only compete but beat Ferrari in the 24 hour Le Mans race. What makes this sports movie so great is that it is based on a real story, and it shows what they were able to accomplish on the track, but also overcome in real life.



3. Hoosiers

Released In: 1986

Main Actors: Barbara HersheyWill DewittTim Fogarty

IMDb Rating: 7.5

About Sports Movie: Whether you are a basketball fan or not, you are going to love Hoosiers! The movie is based on the true story of a small-town basketball team from Indiana. Their journey consists of having to overcome many “Goliaths” during their season, as well as personal issues off of the court.

As you watch the movie, you will better understand how vital small-town sports are to its residents, and then also how much it matters to the players competing. It is easy to see how Hoosiers made our list of the top sports movies.



4. Moneyball

Released In: 2011

Main Actors: Brad PittGreg PapaBob Costas

IMDb Rating: 7.6

About Sports Movie: Moneyball is not your traditional underdog sports story. Instead of focusing on a single-player or small group of players, it is going to be about the entire organization. Each year, the Oakland A’s are forced to compete with a much smaller budget than most of the other teams in Major League Baseball.

So how do they get the players and team that they need to win games? This is where the story picks up with general manager Billy Beane and his new computer-generated player analysis. You will be able to see how he uses unbiased numbers to put together the best possible team with the resources that they have.



5. McFarland, USA

Released In: 2014

Main Actors: Maria BelloKevin CostnerMariann Gavelo

IMDb Rating: 7.4

About Sports Movie: Jim White (Kevin Costner) has just been fired as a high school football coach and must move his family to McFarland for a new job. This time, though, he is going to be the cross country coach for a school that has never won anything.

Dealing with more than just sports and school, Coach White must help his players navigate life and learn how to be winners. As with most Disney sports movies, this movie is heartfelt and filled with excellent actors throughout.



6. Race

Released In: 2016

Main Actors: Stephan JamesJason SudeikisJeremy Irons

IMDb Rating: 7.1

About Sports Movie: One of the best things about sports is that they can be about more than just a single game, race, or event. This sports movie follows one of the greatest track and field athletes in history, Jesse Owens, as he competes in the 1936 Olympics.

These Olympic games happen to take place in Berlin, Germany, in front of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Jesse Owens overcomes on the field and off the field obstacles as he shows how great of an athlete and human being he is.



7. Rush

Released In: 2013

Main Actors: Chris HemsworthDaniel BruhlOlivia Wilde

IMDb Rating: 8.1

About Sports Movie: When it comes to sports rivalries, it doesn’t get more intense than this. Formula One race car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda become obsessed with beating each other and being the best in the sport.

The peak of their rivalry comes in an unforgettable 1975 season that shows just how much each of these drivers wants it. Whether you are a racing fan or not, Rush is one of the top sports movies and is sure to leave you thrilled, inspired, and ready to pursue your own passions.


8. Unbroken

Released In: 2014

Main Actors: Jack O’Connell, Domnhall GleesonMiyavi

IMDb Rating: 7.2

About Sports Movie: Maybe not your typical sports movie, Unbroken is still one of the most inspirational movies you will ever watch. It follows the story of American hero Louie Zamperini and his unbreakable spirit that allows him to continue to fight no matter what is thrown at him.

Louie, an Olympic runner, survives a plane crash in WWII and then spends 47 days in a floating raft in the Pacific. As he thinks help is coming, he realizes that it is the Japanese navy and gets sent to a prisoner-of-war camp where his greatest challenges and struggles still await him. No matter what, though, he continues to stay strong and persevere.



9. 42 The Jackie Robinson Story

Released In: 2013

Main Actors: Chadwick BosemanHarrison FordNicole Beharie

IMDb Rating: 7.5

About Sports Movie: Sports can be more than just a game at times. They are a way to break down barriers and unite people, but this is not always easy to do. No one knows this better than Jackie Robinson. As one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, Jackie was in the spotlight, but not only because of his skills.

He was also the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. The movie 42 shows Jackie Robinson’s true courage and how he used his gifts to overcome racism and fight for a better world.



10. The Blind Side

Released In: 2009

Main Actors: Sandra BullockTim McGrawQuinton Aaron

IMDb Rating: 7.6

About Sports Movie: This sports movie shows what can be accomplished when someone takes the time to care and invest in another person. The Blind Side is about the story of Michael Oher and how he went from not even being interested in football to playing in the NFL and being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.

It all started with the Touhy’s showing interest in helping young Michael out and then introducing him to the game of football that he fell in love with. Along with this being an excellent sports movie, it is also a superb football gift for anyone in your life that enjoys football and would love a good football movie.



11. Queen of Katwe

Released In: 2016

Main Actors: David OyelowoLupita Nyong’ oMadina Nalwanga

IMDb Rating: 7.4

About Sports Movie: If you are looking for inspirational sports movies, look no further than the Queen of Katwe. From a small African town and not even knowing the rules of chess, Phiona Mutesi goes on to win the World Chess Olympiads.

Her courage shines throughout the movie as she must overcome so many different obstacles to achieve her dreams. And, with Disney capturing this story perfectly, it is not only one of the best sports movies but also an excellent feel-good movie regardless of whether you like sports or not.



12. Chasing Mavericks

Released In: 2012

Main Actors: Gerard ButlerJonny WestonElisabeth Shue

IMDb Rating: 7

About Sports Movie: You may not quite understand wanting to surf gigantic waves, but Jay Moriarity dreams of being able to do it one day. In order to get ready to surf a “Maverick,” thought, Jay needs the correct training. That is where Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) comes into play.

However, Frosty is not your typical coach and only agrees reluctantly to help Jay train to become a big wave surfer. Throughout the movie, though, it is clear that they are both there for each other in more ways than surfing, and it shows how meaningful real relationships are in life.



13. Secretariat

Released In: 2010

Main Actors: Diane LaneJohn MalkovichDylan Walsh

IMDb Rating: 7.2

About Sports Movie: There is just something about horse racing that continues to capture people’s attention even to this day. The power and speed that accompanies a race like the Kentucky Derby are genuinely amazing to witness. Secretariat is a horse that took this power and speed t a whole new level as it won the Triple Crown in 1973 and won the Belmont Stakes by a record 31 lengths.

As much as this movie is about a horse, though, it is also about Penny Chenery, who takes over her father’s stables and believes in Secretariat. The film shows her journey and perseverance as she must navigate through the male-dominated sport of horse racing.



14. Coach Carter

Main Actors: Samuel L. JacksonAshantiRobert Ri’chard

IMDb Rating: 7.3

About Sports Movie: When it comes to learning discipline, there is no one better to learn from than Coach Carter. This sports movie is going to center around the sport of basketball and the relationships that a tough-nosed coach is able to build with his team of young, undisciplined athletes. Coach Carter shows that it is more than just what happens between the lines, and that to truly coach young athletes, you need to be invested in them on a personal level as well.



15. Rudy

Released In: 1993

Main Actors: Sean AstinJon FavreauNed Beatty

IMDb Rating: 7.5

About Sports Movie: Possibly the most well-known sports movie of all time, Rudy shows that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. The story of Rudy starts when he was a young boy and shows his love for all things Notre Dame football and his desire to play there one day.

As he got older, he quickly realized that he wasn’t as naturally gifted as other athletes. That never stopped him from giving maximum effort in everything that he did, though. And, even when everyone said that he would never be able to play for Notre Dame, and even after so many doors closed, he continued to pursue his dream of playing for the Fighting Irish.



16. Bend it Like Beckham

Released In: 2003

Main Actors: Parminder NagraKeira KnightleyJonathan Rhys-Meyers

IMDb Rating: 6.6

About Sports Movie: Whether you call it football or soccer, this is an excellent sports movie that will provide plenty of laughs and thoughtful moments. The story takes place in London, where an 18-year-old British Indian girl loves soccer but is forbidden to play by her parents.

As she joins a local women’s team, she begins to develop relationships and enjoys playing the game that she loves. Off of the field, though, she must navigate her parents and the rules that they have placed on her. For a fun and inspiring soccer movie, Bend it Like Beckham is an excellent choice.



17. The Karate Kid

Released In: 1984

Main Actors: Ralph MacchioNoriyuki “Pat” MoritaElisabeth Shue

IMDb Rating: 7.2

About Sports Movie: After moving from New Jersey to California, Daniel LaRusso finds himself being bullied by a group of karate students from his new school. With a little help from Mr. Miyagi, Daniel learns some karate, but ultimately what karate is really about. Everything culminates with Daniel having to take on his bullies at the All-Valley Karate Tournament as he must face his fears.



18. The Fighter

Released In: 2010

Main Actors: Mark WahlbergChristian BaleAmy Adams

IMDb Rating: 7.8

About Sports Movie: Anytime Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale share a screen, you can pretty much bet it is going to be a great movie, and The Fighter is no exception. This sports movie focuses on the story of two brothers and the sometimes detrimental roles family can play in someone’s life.

Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is a professional boxer, and his half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) is an ex-boxer who finds himself addicted to drugs. Throughout the movie, Micky must figure out the right path for his career, how to handle family, and how to be successful in life.



19. Hardball

Released In: 2001

Main Actors: Keanu ReevesDiane LaneJohn Hawkes

IMDb Rating: 6.4

About Sports Movie: This inspirational sports movie is full of ups and downs and is a fun watch for baseball fans and non-baseball fans. It shows the importance of investing in others but also the hard realities of life. The film starts with Connor O’Neill (Keanu Reeves) owing money on a gambling bet with no way to pay it back.

Only thinking about the money, he agrees to coach an inner-city youth baseball team to pay off the debt. Before he knows it, though, he finds that he cares about the kids and is not only there for them on the field but off of it as well. Hardball is a story of redemption and hope for a better world.



20. Love and Basketball

Released In: 2000

Main Actors: Omar EppsSanaa LathanAlfre Woodard

IMDb Rating: 7.2

About Sports Movie: Arguably, the best basketball sports movie of all time, Love and Basketball, is a much watch. The movie follows the story of two young basketball players as they grow up and pursue their basketball dreams.

As one of these basketball players is a young man and the other a girl, they must also navigate their feelings for each other as well. With an up and down relationship and plenty of mistakes on both sides, it is unsure whether they will end up together in the end or not.



21. Miracle

Released In: 2004

Main Actors: Kurt RussellPatricia Clarkson, Noah EmmerichGavin O’Conner

IMDb Rating: 7.5

About Sports Movie: When it comes to sports miracles, this movie is aptly named. Miracle features the story of the 1980 winter Olympics men’s hockey team and what they overcame to achieve Gold. At the time, only amateur athletes were allowed to participate in the Olympics, so the US team was full of young college-age players.

On the flip side, the USSR was full of grown men who were hardened hockey players and had been playing together for years. The young US team was never given a chance until they were able to pull off one of the most significant underdog victories in the history of sports. If you know a hockey fan, try giving them this movie as a hockey gift or maybe as a gift to yourself.



22. A League of Their Own

Released In: 1992

Main Actors: Tom HanksGeena DavisMadonna

IMDb Rating: 7.3

About Sports Movie: This fictional sports movie represents how the women of America stepped up during WWII in so many different ways. With many of the able-bodied men going overseas to war, women were needed to step up and fill a variety of different jobs, and in this movie, one of those jobs was playing baseball.

A League of Their Own is about a group of women that came together to play in a women-only baseball league to help provide entertainment for Americans all across the country. The movie is filled with fun and excitement, but it also addresses some of the different challenges that women have faced over the years in sports.



23. Bull Durham

Released In: 1988

Main Actors: Kevin CostnerSusan SarandonTim Robbins

IMDb Rating: 7.1

About Sports Movie: The setting for the movie Bull Durham takes place in the Minor Leagues and is full of witty humor and exciting action. “Crash” Davis (Kevin Costner) is a 12-year veteran catcher that has been brought in to help the new star pitcher prepare for the Big Leagues.

With a rocky start, both players begin to dislike each other, and it is only made worse when a woman is thrown into the mix, and they both begin to compete for her affection. With excellent back and forth and a number of great actors, Bull Durham is easily one of the top sports movies out there.



24. Million Dollar Baby

Released In: 2004

Main Actors: Clint EastwoodHilary SwankMorgan Freeman

IMDb Rating: 8.1

About Sports Movie: The movie Million Dollar Baby shows that it is never too late to follow your dreams. After moving from Missouri to LA, Maggie (Hillary Swank) asks boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to train her, but he refuses. He says that she is too old and wasting her time.

After showing up to the gym every day, though, and continuing to work on her own, Frankie eventually gives her a shot. And while this story starts out with plenty of promise and hope, it quickly turns dark, and some tough choices must be made. When it comes to viewer ratings, this is one of the top sports movies of all time.



25. Field of Dreams

Released In: 1989

Main Actors: James AndelinKevin FennessyJoe Glasberg, Kevin Costner

IMDb Rating: 7.5

About Sports Movie: Typically, when dealing with ghosts, movies can get scary pretty quickly, but not in this case. Field of Dreams is about an Iowa corn farmer that hears the call to build a baseball diamond in one of his fields.

And despite the financial loss and doubts from those around him, he continues to build his field of dreams that is eventually filled with some of the best baseball players ever to play the game. This is a fun sports movie that will provide humor and fun, as well as an entertaining storyline.


Best Sports Movies Conclusion

When you are living life the right way, it is full of passion and the pursuit of your dreams. Unfortunately, it can be easy to fall away from what really matters at times. This list of sports movies is an excellent reminder of people who stuck with their dreams and passions even when others thought it might not happen, even when they sometimes thought it wouldn’t happen.

This is an excellent reminder to everyone and a challenge to continue to pursue your goals. Whether it is fitness, work, a hobby, or whatever, these sports movies and sports will remind you and inspire you to continue on.

So start with the sports movie that most appeals to you, or begin at the top and work your way down; either way, make sure to take advantage of this list of the top sports movies and start challenging yourself to live your best life. Also, a lot of these movies are available to stream online as well, so you could be watching one of them within a matter of minutes.

Have you seen one of these sports movies already? If so, we would love to hear your feedback in the comments below, just no spoilers, please. Also, if you think we accidentally left off a movie that should’ve made the list, please feel free to let us know that as well in the comments.