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Top 10 Sports Movies

top 10 sports movies

Table of Contents


  1. Rocky
  2. Hoosiers
  3. Miracle
  4. Bull Durham
  5. Field of Dreams
  6. Raging Bull
  7. He Got Game
  8. Remember the Titans
  9. The Sandlot
  10. Moneyball

Honorable Mentions: Space Jam, The Karate Kid, The Bad News Bears, & Slap Shot


1. Rocky

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Rocky is one of the most iconic sports movies ever made. The movie stars Sylvester Stallone and was directed by John G. Avildsen. It follows the main character Rocky Balboa, a working class Italian-American that lives in Philadelphia. The story shows Rocky's journey from an ameature boxer to fighting in the world heavyweight championship against reigning champion Apollo Creed. Through an inspiring tale of events, the movie has you routing for Rocky all the way until the end. We won't include too many spoilers, but let's just say this is a must watch for any sports or boxing fans. The franchise made six Rocky movies between 1976 and 2006 (as well as inspiring Creed & Creed II movies in 2015 and 2018), showing the longevity of the Rocky series. To this day, the original Rocky remains a classic and proudly holds the number one spot on this list.


2. Hoosiers

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Hoosiers is perhaps the greatest basketball movie to this date, which is saying a lot considering its competition. The movie was released in 1986 from director David Anspaugh. Its' story was written by Angelo Pizzo and is loosely based on the Milan High School team that won the Indiana state championship in 1954. In Hoosiers, it tells the story of a small Indiana high school basketball team and its coach, who overcome seemingly impossible odds to win the state championship. Norman Dale, the team's head coach arrives at the school following the death of the team's previous coach. At first, he faces controversy with both his players and the townspeople over whether he is fit to coach. His unorthodox style of coaching leads many to doubt Dale, but when the team's star player, Jimmy, returns to the team in support of coach Dale, everything fits together. In the end, the Huskers defeat a much more talented opponent to take home the state championship and relieve the hardship they all overcame.

The movie earned actor Dennis Hopper an Oscar nomination and Jerry Goldsmith an Academy Award nomination. It was chosen to be preserved by the United States National Film Registry in 2001 because of its cultural significance.


3. Miracle

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Miracle depicts one of the most amazing sports moments in all of United State's history. The movie tells the real life story of the 1980 United States Olympic Men's Hockey Team that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Released in 2004, it was directed by Gavin O'Connor and written by Eric Guggenheim and Mike Rich.

In the movie, the United States Men's Hockey team faces a tough road filled with controversy, but are eventually able to unite in an inspirational manner to advance to the gold medal round after a tough win over the heavily favored Soviet Union team. Nobody expected the United State's team to make it that far, as they entered the tournament as heavy underdogs, let alone to stand a chance against the Soviets. However, the American team shocks the world by coming back from behind in the final period of the semi-final game, defeating the favorited Soviet Union in an exciting game. The team goes on to defeat Finland and win the gold medal, ending with a message of American pride and accomplishment.


4. Bull Durham

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Bull Durham adds something new to the typical sports movie by mixing in a romantic comedy twist. The film was written and directed by Ron Shelton and is based on experiences in minor league baseball. It depicts the fans, players, and coaches of the Durham Bulls, a minor league team based in Durham, North Carolina. Kevin Costner stars as "Crash" Davis, the team's veteran catcher and Tim Robbins plays "Nuke," the team's rookie pitcher. In the movie, Crash is sent down to the Durham Bulls, a Single A minor league team. His mission is to educate and train their new pitcher, Nuke, in order to groom him for the MLB. The two get off to a rocky start, but Crash successfully molds Nuke into a top-notch pitcher, which earns him the promotion of being called up to the big leagues. Along the way, Annie, played by Susan Sarandon, forms a romantic triangle with both of the players, adding some tension. The movie ends with a satisfying and romantic ending to the story. After Bull Durham's release, Sports Illustrated rated the movie as the greatest sports movie of all time.


5. Field of Dreams

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Field of Dreams is a classic sports fantasy movie that has received high praise over the years. It is directed and written by Phil Alden Robinson as an adaptation of W.P. Kinsella's novel, Shoeless Joe for the movie's release in 1989. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster. In the movie, main character Ray Kinsella has a vision that leads him to build a baseball diamond in his home corn field, which leads the baseball legend "Shoeless Joe Jackson" to appear at the field to play. Through some peculiar events, including Ray hearing voices that direct his actions, drama unfolds over the field that eventually leads to a joyful ending in which Ray is reunited with his father and his field becomes a success. Field of Dreams was nominated for an impressive 3 Academy Awards.


6. Raging Bull

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Raging Bull is an iconic American boxing film directed by Martin Scorsese. It stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, Italian-American boxer. In the movie, Jake LaMotta faces numerous problems due to the destructive nature of his actions which have negative effects on those around him, including his brother Joey and wife Vickie. The story follows Jake through ups and downs surrounding his impulsive and violent actions that eventually lead him to retirement, criminal charges, and significant family problems. Jake's troubled story is emotional and captivating to witness throughout the entire movie. Despite some criticism for the movie's intense violence, it was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and won 2 of those. De Niro's role in Raging Bull is highly acclaimed as one of his most infamous performances.


7. He Got Game

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

He Got Game is an absolutely legendary movie in the eye's of basketball lovers worldwide. The movie was produced by avid basketball fan Spike Lee and stars Ray Allen (former professional basketball player) as Jesus Shuttlesworth and Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth. The plot begins with Jake Shuttlesworth being imprisoned for the murder of his wife. He is granted temporary release in order to convince his son, Jesus Shuttlesworth (who is a top ranked high school basketball player in the country), to attend the governor's alma mater, "Big State" in return for a reduced sentence. Throughout the movie, Jake's attempts to persuade Jesus seem useless as Jesus' dislike for his father is evident. However, in the end Jesus and Jake agree to play a game of one on one to decide his fate. Jesus ends up winning the game, which grants him the right to make his own decision on where to play college basketball. However, Jesus eventually chooses to attend "Big State" afterall, ending the movie with a happy message of unification between father and son.

He Got Game portrays an immense passion for basketball and showcases a deep understanding for the sport, drawing fans to worship the movie as one of the greatest ever.


8. Remember the Titans

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Remember the Titans is an iconic Disney sports movie based on the true story of Herman Boone in his attempts to integrate a high school football team in 1971. Boone is played by Denzel Washington; the movie was directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It deals with issues of social justice, race, and inequality that plagued the U.S. in the 1970's. The story follows the coaches and team throughout the difficulties of integrating African Americans into an all-white football community, and the training they endure to achieve success. They go on to conquer games fixed against them due to racial prejudice, injuries, and much more, which leads them to the state championship game where they make an impressive comeback to take home the trophy. Remember the Titans is known without debate as one of the greatest football movies of all time.


9. The Sandlot

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

The Sandlot is considered to be one of the best sports comedies of all time, with memorable performances from the cast all around.It was directed, co-written, and narrated by David Mickey Evans. It tells the story of a close-knit group of middle school baseball players and their adventures in the summer of 1962. The movie stars Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Karen Allen, Denis Leary, and James Earl Jones, among others. In The Sandlot, the boys have numerous comical adventures and mishaps while playing baseball to bring the group closer together. Their creative thinking and teamwork allows them to overcome the obstacles they face and have a great time along the way. The movie finished with a happy ending for its main character Scott, and everyone goes their separate ways. With hilarious performances, excitement, classic jokes, and homage to the great Babe Ruth, The Sandlot is an excellent film all around.


10. Moneyball

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Moneyball is an impressive depiction of the Oakland Athletics baseball team's 2002 season based on Michael Lewis' novel Moneyball.It has gained immense praise in the years since its release. The film stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the team's general manager and Jonah Hill as assistant general manager Peter Brand. It highlights the Athletics' struggles of being a small market team including a limited budget, departing star players, and less appeal to draw new players than rivals. In the movie, Beane builds a talented and undervalued team using advanced statistical tools that many doubted, facing intense criticism along the way. Beane's strategy propels the team to a long 20 game winning streak and impressive season record. The Athletics go on to win the American League West Title but end up losing to the Minnesota Twins in the American League Divisional Series. The film ends with Beane's new sabermetrics strategy gaining the recognition it deserves and hints that statistical scouting will be the future of baseball.

As a compelling and interesting baseball movie, Moneyball deserves to close out this list of the top 10 sports movies of all time.



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