130 Best Sports Movies of All Time

130-96 | 95-61 | 60-31 | 31-1


#30

Sugar (2008)
92%

#30
Adjusted Score: 96.458%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson) weave this introspective sports drama concerning a talented Dominican baseball player who... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#29

Breaking Away (1979)
94%

#29
Adjusted Score: 96.761%
Critics Consensus: At once a touching, funny coming-of-age story and a compelling sports film, Breaking Away is a delightful treat.
Synopsis: This charming, Academy Award winner (1979, Screenplay) cycles high on comedy as four friends come to terms with life after... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#28

The Fighter (2010)
90%

#28
Adjusted Score: 96.79%
Critics Consensus: Led by a trio of captivating performances from Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, The Fighter is a solidly entertaining, albeit predictable, entry in the boxing drama genre.
Synopsis: Mark Wahlberg stars in Paramount Pictures' inspirational docudrama exploring the remarkable rise of Massachusetts-born, junior welterweight title winner "Irish" Micky... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 96.822%
Critics Consensus: The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankee's first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.
Synopsis: This film chronicles the life of first baseman Lou Gehrig. The story begins as young Lou Gehrig dreams of becoming... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#26

The Crash Reel (2013)
96%

#26
Adjusted Score: 96.946%
Critics Consensus: Smart, compassionate, and moving, The Crash Reel uses the familiar sport-doc formula to subvert expectations and ask challenging questions about ambition and achievement.
Synopsis: This eye-popping, yet intimate, story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the potentially... [More]
Directed By: Lucy Walker

#25

Foxcatcher (2014)
88%

#25
Adjusted Score: 97.055%
Critics Consensus: A chilling true crime drama, Foxcatcher offers Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum a chance to shine -- and all three of them rise to the challenge.
Synopsis: FOXCATCHER is a psychological drama directed by Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (MONEYBALL) and starring Golden Globe winner Steve Carell,... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

#24

Deep Water (2006)
96%

#24
Adjusted Score: 97.064%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts mystery and biography, Deep Water is both an engrossing documentary and an affecting treatise on human folly and obsession.
Synopsis: Co-directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell's historical documentary Deep Water chronicles one of the most infamous nautical tragedies of the... [More]

#23

Pumping Iron (1976)
94%

#23
Adjusted Score: 97.265%
Critics Consensus: In addition to offering an enlightening early look into the world of future star/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron provides a witty and insightful overview of competitive bodybuilding.
Synopsis: Baby oil, bulging biceps and perfect pecs abound in this documentary that takes a fascinating look behind-the-scenes at the Mr.... [More]

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 97.281%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran boxing trainer who has devoted his life to the ring and has precious... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 97.41%
Critics Consensus: Gripping even though the outcome is known.
Synopsis: In 1985, two adventurous young mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, set off to climb the treacherous west face of... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#20

Red Army (2015)
95%

#20
Adjusted Score: 97.963%
Critics Consensus: Fun and fascinating, Red Army delivers absorbing documentary drama for hockey fans and sports novices alike.
Synopsis: From Oscar (R) nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmakers, RED ARMY is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the... [More]
Directed By: Gabe Polsky

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 98.095%
Critics Consensus: Bigger, Stronger, Faster* is a fascinating, informative, entertaining and especially introspective account of the American 'enhancement' culture.
Synopsis: In the hopes of exploring American culture's increased obsession with winning, documentary filmmaker Christopher Bell examines the anabolic steroid use... [More]
Directed By: Chris Bell

#18

Win Win (2011)
94%

#18
Adjusted Score: 98.695%
Critics Consensus: Rich, wonderful characters and strong performances populate Win Win, with writer/director Thomas McCarthy continuing to emerge as a great American humanist.
Synopsis: Paul Giamatti headlines writer/director Tom McCarthy's comedy drama centering on a beleaguered attorney and part-time wrestling coach who schemes to... [More]
Directed By: Tom McCarthy

#17
Adjusted Score: 98.706%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: Portrait of the legendary Bronx-born Jewish baseball player who came close to breaking Babe Ruth's record--hitting 58 home runs in... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#16

Undefeated (2012)
96%

#16
Adjusted Score: 98.926%
Critics Consensus: It covers familiar sports documentary territory, but Undefeated proves there are still powerful stories to be told on the high school gridiron.
Synopsis: Set in the inner-city of Memphis, Undefeated chronicles the Manassas Tigers' 2009 football season, on and off-the-field, as they strive... [More]
Directed By: Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin

#15

Rocky (1976)
93%

#15
Adjusted Score: 99.15%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: A slightly dimwitted amateur boxer from Philadelphia's tough neighborhood gets a surprise shot at fighting for the heavyweight championship, while... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 99.638%
Critics Consensus: The Bad News Bears is rude, profane, and cynical, but shot through with honest, unforced humor, and held together by a deft, understated performance from Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: The success this underdog comedy from director Michael Ritchie almost single-handedly spawned the kids' sports film boom of the 1980s... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 100.258%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing documentary that's as much about at time and a place as it is about a fight.
Synopsis: On October 30, 1974, perhaps the most famous heavyweight championship boxing match of all time took place in Kinshasa, Zaire:... [More]
Directed By: Leon Gast

#12

Horse Feathers (1932)
96%

#12
Adjusted Score: 100.4%
Critics Consensus: Horse Feathers finds the Marx Brothers in fine madcap form, taking aim at an array of timely targets while serving up classic set pieces.
Synopsis: Horse Feathers is a classic Marx Brothers comedy, featuring all four of the original members of the comedy team. Groucho... [More]

#11

Hoop Dreams (1994)
98%

#11
Adjusted Score: 101.238%
Critics Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.
Synopsis: This documentary about the aspirations of high-school basketball players from inner city Chicago won awards from the Sundance film festival,... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#10

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 101.31%
Critics Consensus: Director Bennett Miller, along with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, take a niche subject and turn it into a sharp, funny, and touching portrait worthy of baseball lore.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system.... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

#9

Raging Bull (1980)
95%

#9
Adjusted Score: 101.399%
Critics Consensus: Arguably Martin Scorsese's and Robert De Niro's finest film, Raging Bull is often painful to watch, but it's a searing, powerful work about an unsympathetic hero.
Synopsis: The story of Jake LaMotta, a former middleweight boxing champion, whose reputation for tenacity and success in the ring was... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#8
Adjusted Score: 101.412%
Critics Consensus: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki sidesteps sports biopic clichés with a beautifully filmed, well-acted look at the balance between career fulfillment and personal happiness.
Synopsis: The true story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title.... [More]
Directed By: Juho Kuosmanen

#7

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#7
Adjusted Score: 101.942%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.
Synopsis: A blend of comedy, drama and romance, Bull Durham follows the intertwining of three lives brought together by the great... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#6

Murderball (2005)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 102.127%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn't mean the fun has to end.
Synopsis: Like any other great sports story, 'Murderball' features fierce rivalry, stopwatch suspense, dazzling athletic prowess, larger-than-life personalities and triumph over... [More]

#5

The Hustler (1961)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 102.25%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason give iconic performances in this dark, morally complex tale of redemption.
Synopsis: As The Hustler's "Fast" Eddie Felson, Paul Newman created a classic antihero, charismatic but fundamentally flawed, and nobody's role model.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#4

National Velvet (1944)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103.419%
Critics Consensus: National Velvet makes the most of a breakout performance from Elizabeth Taylor, delivering a timeless family-friendly tearjerker that avoids straying into the sentimental.
Synopsis: Although National Velvet was the first starring role for 11-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, the early part of the film belongs to... [More]
Directed By: Clarence Brown

#3

I, Tonya (2018)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 106.545%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong work from Margot Robbie and Alison Janney, I, Tonya finds the humor in its real-life story without losing sight of its more tragic -- and emotionally resonant -- elements.
Synopsis: Based on the unbelievable, but true events, I, TONYA is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding,... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#2

Creed (2015)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105.431%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, attempts to follow in his father's... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#1

The Wrestler (2008)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 106.083%
Critics Consensus: Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler, a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama.
Synopsis: Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, 20 years later, he ekes... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

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