130 Best Sports Movies of All Time

130-96 | 95-61 | 60-3131-1


#95

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#95
Adjusted Score: 80.02%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and emotionally affecting, The Phenom proves a baseball movie can step away from the mound and still deliver a heater down the middle.
Synopsis: When major-league rookie pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) can't find the plate, he's sent down to the minor leagues and... [More]
Directed By: Noah Buschel

#94

The Hammer (2007)
80%

#94
Adjusted Score: 80.461%
Critics Consensus: The Hammer perseveres as both an above-average sports comedy and a perfect starring vehicle for Carolla.
Synopsis: Can a guy edging into middle age become a success fighting guys half his age? That's the big question behind... [More]

#93

Without Limits (1998)
79%

#93
Adjusted Score: 80.489%
Critics Consensus: This drama about American track star and hero Steve Prefontaine intelligently looks at the character of this oft mythologized athlete and features a fantastic performance by Donald Sutherland as Prefontaine's trainer.
Synopsis: A film about the late Oregon running legend Steve Prefontaine and his coach, Bill Bowerman. Bowerman helped create a generation... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 81.007%
Critics Consensus: White Men Can't Jump provides a fresh take on the sports comedy genre, with a clever script and a charismatic trio of leads.
Synopsis: Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) wrote and directed the basketball-oriented seriocomedy White Men Can't Jump. Woody Harrelson plays Billy Hoyle, a... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#91

Rudy (1993)
78%

#91
Adjusted Score: 81.234%
Critics Consensus: Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination.
Synopsis: Since he was a little boy, Rudy Ruttinger (Sean Astin) has idolized the University of Notre Dame and its football... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#90

Rocky Balboa (2006)
76%

#90
Adjusted Score: 81.644%
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

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 81.858%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: The All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League was founded in 1943, when most of the men of baseball-playing age were far... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#88

Seabiscuit (2003)
77%

#88
Adjusted Score: 82.579%
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

#87

He Got Game (1998)
80%

#87
Adjusted Score: 82.996%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee at or near the top of his late-period 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

#86

Invictus (2009)
76%

#86
Adjusted Score: 83.155%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision from 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

#85
Adjusted Score: 83.252%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a soccer fan to enjoy this stylish, breezy slice of 1970s sports history.
Synopsis: While professional soccer is still struggling to find a firm foothold in the United States, in the 1970s the North... [More]
Directed By: Paul Crowder, John Dower

#84

Step Into Liquid (2003)
82%

#84
Adjusted Score: 83.573%
Critics Consensus: A perfect companion piece to The Endless Summer.
Synopsis: A documentary which centers on a cross-section of characters who come from many walks of life, but share one thing... [More]
Directed By: Dana Brown

#83

Miracle (2004)
80%

#83
Adjusted Score: 84.045%
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

#82

McFarland USA (2015)
80%

#82
Adjusted Score: 84.048%
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

#81

The Boxer (1997)
80%

#81
Adjusted Score: 84.071%
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

#80

The Longest Yard (1974)
81%

#80
Adjusted Score: 84.074%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts tough and funny, and led by a perfectly cast Burt Reynolds, The Longest Yard has an interesting political subtext and an excellent climax -- even if it takes too long to get there.
Synopsis: Ex-football star Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds) ends up in a prison run by sadistic sports-nut Warden Hazen (Eddie Albert). Strong-armed... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#79

Beyond the Mat (1999)
82%

#79
Adjusted Score: 84.433%
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

#78

Major League (1989)
82%

#78
Adjusted Score: 84.555%
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

#77

The Natural (1984)
82%

#77
Adjusted Score: 84.658%
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

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 84.663%
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

#75

Racing Dreams (2010)
100%

#75
Adjusted Score: 84.742%
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

Goon (2012)
82%

#74
Adjusted Score: 85.125%
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

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 85.394%
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

#72

Slap Shot (1977)
83%

#72
Adjusted Score: 85.492%
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

#71

42 (2013)
79%

#71
Adjusted Score: 85.577%
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

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 85.844%
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

#69
Adjusted Score: 86.239%
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

#68

Cinderella Man (2005)
80%

#68
Adjusted Score: 86.839%
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

#67

Eddie The Eagle (2016)
80%

#67
Adjusted Score: 86.863%
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

#66

Looking for Eric (2010)
85%

#66
Adjusted Score: 87.194%
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

#65

Jerry Maguire (1996)
83%

#65
Adjusted Score: 87.546%
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

#64

Downhill Racer (1969)
85%

#64
Adjusted Score: 87.876%
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

#63

The Hurricane (1999)
83%

#63
Adjusted Score: 87.878%
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

#62

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#62
Adjusted Score: 87.996%
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

#61

Big Fan (2009)
86%

#61
Adjusted Score: 88.028%
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

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