150 Best Sports Movies of All Time

#100

Rocky Balboa (2006)
77%

#100
Adjusted Score: 83.086%
Critics Consensus: Implausible but entertaining and poignant, Rocky Balboa finds the champ in fighting form for the first time in years.
Synopsis: The greatest underdog story of our time is back for one final round of the Academy Award-winning Rocky franchise. Former... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#99

Invictus (2009)
77%

#99
Adjusted Score: 84.815%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#98

Seabiscuit (2003)
78%

#98
Adjusted Score: 83.874%
Critics Consensus: A life-affirming, if saccharine, epic treatment of a spirit-lifting figure in sports history.
Synopsis: For his sophomore effort, director Gary Ross re-teams with Tobey Maguire and William H. Macy, stars of his directorial debut... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#97
#97
Adjusted Score: 84.486%
Critics Consensus: Muddled overall, but perceptive and brutally realistic, North Dallas Forty also benefits from strong performances by Nick Nolte and Charles Durning. Football fans will likely find it fascinating.
Synopsis: Onetime Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent's tell-all novel about the big business of football is the source for Ted Kotcheff's film,... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#96

He Got Game (1998)
81%

#96
Adjusted Score: 84.061%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee near the top of his game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.
Synopsis: Denzel Washington does some of his best work as a prison inmate trying to earn himself an early release by... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#95

The Boxer (1997)
80%

#95
Adjusted Score: 84.026%
Critics Consensus: The Boxer is a standard drama that packs a true emotional wallop thanks to the highly tuned central performances.
Synopsis: Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) co-scripted (with Terry George) and directed this drama about an Irish professional... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan

#94

Goon (2012)
81%

#94
Adjusted Score: 84.338%
Critics Consensus: Goon is a crude slapstick comedy with well-formed characters and a surprising amount of heart.
Synopsis: Not content with his job as a bouncer at a local Beantown bar and a bit of an embarrassment to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#93

Beyond the Mat (1999)
82%

#93
Adjusted Score: 84.445%
Critics Consensus: Even if you aren't a fan, Beyond the Mat provides a riveting, perceptive look into the world of professional wrestling by taking a closer look at the people beneath the personas.
Synopsis: The carnival world of wrestling is explored through the portraits of three men who are at the end points of... [More]
Directed By: Barry W. Blaustein

#92

The Natural (1984)
81%

#92
Adjusted Score: 84.026%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: Nothing was going to stop Roy Hobbs from fulfilling his boyhood dream of baseball superstardom. 14-year-old Hobbs fashions a powerful... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#91
#91
Adjusted Score: 85.892%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: A young African-American couple navigates the tricky paths of romance and athletics in this drama. Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood

#90

Miracle (2004)
81%

#90
Adjusted Score: 85.417%
Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.
Synopsis: The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope.... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#89

McFarland USA (2015)
81%

#89
Adjusted Score: 85.494%
Critics Consensus: Disney's inspirational sports drama formula might be old hat, but McFarland, USA proves it still works -- especially with a talented director and eminently likable star in the mix.
Synopsis: From Disney comes MCFARLAND, the true against-all-odds story of the 1987 McFarland high school cross country team in an economically... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 86.679%
Critics Consensus: An acute survey of the football-obsessed heartland that succeeds as both a stirring drama and a rousing sports movie.
Synopsis: A drama that chronicles the entire 1988 season of the Permian High Panthers of Odessa, Texas, with football players, coaches,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#87

Major League (1989)
83%

#87
Adjusted Score: 85.629%
Critics Consensus: Major League may be predictable and formulaic, but buoyed by the script's light, silly humor -- not to mention the well-built sports action sequences and funny performances.
Synopsis: Sample three beers before selecting your favorite for a pint to enjoy during the movie! Also includes snacks. The new... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 86.113%
Critics Consensus: Smartly constructed and scathingly sharp, The Armstrong Lie presents an effective indictment of its unscrupulous subject -- as well as the sports culture that spawned him.
Synopsis: In 2009 Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong's comeback to cycling. The project was shelved... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

#85
#85
Adjusted Score: 86.146%
Critics Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.
Synopsis: This compelling documentary, narrated by John Leguizamo and executive produced by Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, is a gritty... [More]

#84
Adjusted Score: 86.452%
Critics Consensus: Overcomes its formulaic storyline thanks to Anthony Hopkins' warm and endearing portrayal of an age-defying thrill seeker.
Synopsis: The true story of a man who never gave up on his dreams of doing something big -- and doing... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#83

Downhill Racer (1969)
85%

#83
Adjusted Score: 87.765%
Critics Consensus: Downhill Racer plunges the viewer thrillingly into the action of the sport -- and continues to hold the attention as a thoughtful drama.
Synopsis: An ambitious young skier, determined to break all existing records, is contemptuous of the teamwork advocated by the US coach... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#82

42 (2013)
80%

#82
Adjusted Score: 87.139%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#81

Cinderella Man (2005)
80%

#81
Adjusted Score: 87.178%
Critics Consensus: With grittiness and an evocative sense of time and place, Cinderella Man is a powerful underdog story. And Ron Howard and Russell Crowe prove to be a solid combination.
Synopsis: The true story of an athlete who achieved his greatest success against the most daunting odds of his life is... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 87.269%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Led by the unique skills of Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis, the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team helped their country... [More]
Directed By: Marius A. Markevicius

#79

Looking for Eric (2010)
85%

#79
Adjusted Score: 87.36%
Critics Consensus: Ken Loach's latest is an uplifting, entertaining and amusing socio-drama featuring a match-winning performance from Eric Cantona.
Synopsis: A man trying to put his life back on track gets some advice from an unexpected benefactor in this comedy... [More]
Directed By: Ken Loach

#78

Jerry Maguire (1996)
83%

#78
Adjusted Score: 87.618%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: Jerry Maguire is a man who knows the score. As a top agent at Sports Management International, Jerry is unquestionably... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#77

Slap Shot (1977)
85%

#77
Adjusted Score: 87.7%
Critics Consensus: Raunchy, violent, and very funny, Slap Shot is ultimately set apart by a wonderful comic performance by Paul Newman.
Synopsis: Paul Newman plays Reggie Dunlop, the coach of a pathetic minor-league American hockey team. His career at a standstill and... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#76

The Hurricane (1999)
83%

#76
Adjusted Score: 87.811%
Critics Consensus: Thanks in large part to one of Denzel Washington's most powerful on-screen performances, The Hurricane is a moving, inspirational sports drama, even if it takes few risks in telling its story.
Synopsis: In 1966, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was a top-ranked middleweight boxer whom many fight fans expected to become world champion. When... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#75

Racing Dreams (2010)
100%

#75
Adjusted Score: 88.23%
Critics Consensus: Racing Dreams offers an absorbing peek at the lives of young NASCAR hopefuls that should resonate with racing enthusiasts as well as viewers with no connection to the sport.
Synopsis: Racing Dreams follows three kids during a pivotal, career-making or breaking year, who dream of one day racing in NASCAR.Academy... [More]
Directed By: Marshall Curry

#74

Early Man (2018)
81%

#74
Adjusted Score: 88.01%
Critics Consensus: Early Man isn't quite as evolved as Aardman's best work, but still retains the unique visuals and sweet humor that have made the studio a favorite among animation enthusiasts.
Synopsis: In this stop-motion animated comedy set in prehistoric times, a tribe of primitive hunters are displaced from their homes by... [More]
Directed By:

#73

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#73
Adjusted Score: 88.118%
Critics Consensus: A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.
Synopsis: Jim Morris never made it out of the minor leagues before a shoulder injury ended his pitching career twelve years... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#72

Big Fan (2009)
86%

#72
Adjusted Score: 88.192%
Critics Consensus: Featuring Patton Oswalt's sympathetic portrayal, Big Fan humorously and effectively captures the dark and lonely world of a sports fanatic.
Synopsis: Paul Aufiero, a 35-year-old parking garage attendant from Staten Island, is the self-described "world's biggest New York Giants fan." He... [More]
Directed By: Robert D. Siegel

#71

Warrior (2011)
83%

#71
Adjusted Score: 88.693%
Critics Consensus: Warrior relies on many of the clichés that critics of the genre love to mock -- and it transcends them with gripping action, powerful acting, and heart.
Synopsis: Haunted by a tragic past, ex-Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 89.197%
Critics Consensus: Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.
Synopsis: An Indian family in London tries to raise their soccer-playing daughter in a traditional way. Unlike her traditional older sister,... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#69

Tyson (2009)
85%

#69
Adjusted Score: 89.296%
Critics Consensus: A fascinating, emotional, and frank confessional from Iron Mike that sheds a sympathetic light on one of boxing's most controversial icons.
Synopsis: "Tyson" is acclaimed indie director James Toback's stylistically inventive portrait of a mesmerizing Mike Tyson. Toback allows Tyson to reveal... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#68

Eddie The Eagle (2016)
82%

#68
Adjusted Score: 89.436%
Critics Consensus: Eddie the Eagle's amiable sweetness can't disguise its story's many inspirational clichés -- but for many viewers, it will be more than enough to make up for them.
Synopsis: Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but... [More]
Directed By: Dexter Fletcher

#67

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#67
Adjusted Score: 89.511%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.
Synopsis: Writer/director John Sayles' dramatization of the most infamous episode in professional sports -- the fix of the 1919 World Series... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#66

Happy Valley (2014)
89%

#66
Adjusted Score: 89.519%
Critics Consensus: Sober, even-handed, and quietly devastating, Happy Valley illuminates the wreckage of a tragedy while leaving viewers room to draw their own conclusions.
Synopsis: In his newest film, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That, The Tillman Story) takes audiences on... [More]
Directed By: Amir Bar-Lev

#65

Chariots of Fire (1981)
83%

#65
Adjusted Score: 88.775%
Critics Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire is the internationally acclaimed Oscar-winning drama of two very different men who... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#64
#64
Adjusted Score: 89.801%
Critics Consensus: This group of high school girls and their eccentric basketball coach easily win your heart with their unusual humanity and dynamism.
Synopsis: When Seattle filmmaker Ward Serrill met Bill Resler, a college tax professor who moonlights as a girls' basketball coach, he... [More]
Directed By: Ward Serrill, Ward Serrell

#63

The Way Back (2020)
83%

#63
Adjusted Score: 91.364%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
Synopsis: Back in high school, Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) had everything going for him. A basketball phenom, he could have punched... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#62

Girlfight (2000)
87%

#62
Adjusted Score: 89.976%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Rodriguez gives a compelling performance, despite lack of a boxing background; Karyn Kusama packs a punch with this directorial debut.
Synopsis: A high-school senior with a fiery temper and reputation for trouble, Diana lives with her brother and single dad, Sandro,... [More]
Directed By: Karyn Kusama

#61

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#61
Adjusted Score: 91.443%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: "If you build it, he will come." That's the ethereal message that inspires Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#60

Whip It (2009)
85%

#60
Adjusted Score: 90.82%
Critics Consensus: While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.
Synopsis: Bliss is a rebellious Texas teen who throws in her small-town beauty pageant crown for the rowdy world of roller... [More]
Directed By: Drew Barrymore

#59

The Karate Kid (1984)
88%

#59
Adjusted Score: 91.026%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Newly arrived in California from New Jersey, teenager Daniel (Ralph Macchio) almost immediately runs afoul of karate-trained high school bullies.... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#58

Meru (2015)
89%

#58
Adjusted Score: 91.187%
Critics Consensus: Gripping visually as well as narratively, Meru is the rare documentary that proves thought-provoking while offering thrilling wide-screen vistas.
Synopsis: In the high-stakes pursuit of big-wall climbing, the Shark's Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting 21,000... [More]

#57
Adjusted Score: 91.282%
Critics Consensus: John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection offers a compelling analysis of what made its subject special - and gives audiences a courtside seat to a pivotal match.
Synopsis: Written and directed by Julien Faraut and narrated by Mathieu Amalric, JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION revisits the... [More]
Starring: Mathieu Amalric
Directed By: Julien Faraut

#56

Diego Maradona (2019)
89%

#56
Adjusted Score: 91.625%
Critics Consensus: Diego Maradona traces the arc of a standard sports documentary, but illuminates its subject with uncommon clarity and depth.
Synopsis: Having never won a major tournament, ailing football giant SSC Napoli had criminally underachieved. Their fanatical support was unequalled in... [More]
Starring: Diego Maradona
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#55

Shaolin Soccer (2004)
90%

#55
Adjusted Score: 92.053%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
Synopsis: One of Hong Kong's top screen comics, Stephen Chow, co-wrote, co-directed, and headlines this three-way blend of sports, action, and... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow

#54

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
88%

#54
Adjusted Score: 92.028%
Critics Consensus: A throwback to the high-gloss screwball comedies of the 1940s, Heaven Can Wait beguiles with seamless production values and great comic relief from Charles Grodin and Dianne Cannon.
Synopsis: In this film, Warren Beatty plays pro-football-player Joe Pendleton, who is whisked to Heaven before his due date by over-eager... [More]
Directed By: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 92.599%
Critics Consensus: Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is compelling viewing even though it spoils the score of the titular college football matchup - and even if you aren't a fan of the sport.
Synopsis: Kevin Rafferty's documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 looks at this historic 1968 matchup between those two longtime college football rivals.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Rafferty

#52

Hoosiers (1986)
89%

#52
Adjusted Score: 92.858%
Critics Consensus: It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.
Synopsis: Nominated for two Oscars (R) and hailed by Sports Illustrated and ESPN as one of the best sports movies of... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#51

Up for Grabs (2005)
92%

#51
Adjusted Score: 92.843%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.
Synopsis: In the summer of 2001, baseball star Barry Bonds was in the final stretch of a remarkable season when he... [More]
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

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