66 Best Baseball Movies of All Time

The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The smell of ballpark franks, and we’re not just talking of the Thomas variety. At Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve cleared the benches and rushed the field with the best-reviewed baseball movies of all time!

From sentimental favorites (Field of Dreams, The Natural) to inside documentaries (The Battered Bastards) to wild comedies (The Sandlot, A League of Their Own) we’ve got a murderer’s row of heavy hitters. And because we know baseball fans trend towards being stat geeks, here’s ours: We listed Certified Fresh films first, which includes sports classics like Bull Durham and Moneyball. That’s followed by Fresh films like The Bad News Bears, and Rotten movies after that (with quite a few featuring positive Audience Scores, including For Love of the Game, Hardball, and The Benchwarmers.

Most recently: We added The League, the documentary tribute to the Negro League’s journey and legacy.

Batter up! It’s time to go to bat with the best baseball movies ever!

#1

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103231%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner is 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: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#2
Adjusted Score: 99667%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" is a humorous and nostalgic documentary about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#3

The League (2023)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 97824%
Critics Consensus: Exploring American history through the lens of the national pastime, The League is essential for sports fans and valuable viewing for audiences of all persuasions.
Synopsis: THE LEAGUE celebrates the dynamic journey of Negro League baseball's triumphs and challenges through the first half of the twentieth... [More]
Directed By: Samuel D. Pollard

#4

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 105117%
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: Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manager of the Oakland A's, one day has an epiphany: Baseball's conventional wisdom is all... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

#5

Up for Grabs (2004)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94751%
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: During the final leg of Major League Baseball's 2001 season, Giants batter Barry Bonds scores a historic 73rd home run... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

#6

Sugar (2008)
92%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97119%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: Like many young men in the Dominican Republic, 19-year-old Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) dreams of winning a slot... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#7

Field of Dreams (1989)
88%

#7
Adjusted Score: 93703%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: When Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying "If you build it,... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 98555%
Critics Consensus: Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack.
Synopsis: In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#9

Eight Men Out (1988)
87%

#9
Adjusted Score: 91423%
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: The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#10

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#10
Adjusted Score: 88941%
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: A true story about a coach who discovers that it's never too late for dreams to come true. Jim Morris... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#11

The Natural (1984)
83%

#11
Adjusted Score: 86693%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: On the way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs, young baseball phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is shot by... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#12

Major League (1989)
83%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86125%
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: The new owner of the Cleveland Indians, former showgirl Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), has a sweetheart deal to move the... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#13

42 (2013)
81%

#13
Adjusted Score: 89667%
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: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 87947%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#15

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80399%
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: A sports therapist (Paul Giamatti) tries to help a troubled rookie pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who grew up with an abusive... [More]
Directed By: Noah Buschel

#16
Adjusted Score: 82086%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1973, baseball lover and actor Bing Russell, father of Kurt Russell, starts an independent, single-A team composed of players... [More]
Directed By: Chapman Way, Maclain Way

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 100858%
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: Hard-drinking, ex-minor-league hopeful Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) grumpily agrees to coach a Little League team at the behest of lawyer-councilman... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 97642%
Critics Consensus: While taking full advantage of its subject's colorful baseball career, No No: A Dockumentary also imparts broader, thought-provoking messages that should resonate with viewers who aren't sports fans.
Synopsis: Baseball pitcher Dock Ellis had a controversial life and career, once pitching a no-hitter while high on LSD.... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Radice

#19

Facing Nolan (2022)
96%

#19
Adjusted Score: 96547%
Critics Consensus: Essential viewing for baseball fans and just as captivating for the uninitiated, Facing Nolan pays persuasive tribute to one of the sport's greatest characters.
Synopsis: Nolan Ryan's numbers tell a story, but numbers alone do not capture his essence. Certain flash-points have emblazoned him onto... [More]
Directed By: Bradley Jackson

#20
Adjusted Score: 97565%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite being key players for the Wolves, baseball players Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra) and Eddie O'Brien (Gene Kelly) harbor a... [More]
Directed By: Busby Berkeley

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 98291%
Critics Consensus: The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.
Synopsis: This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#22

Knuckleball! (2012)
94%

#22
Adjusted Score: 82054%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg profile baseball's Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey and other Major League pitchers who still have... [More]

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 93647%
Critics Consensus: Bang the Drum Slowly is a touching melodrama that explores the inner workings of a baseball club and its players' personalities with remarkable depth.
Synopsis: When hotshot pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) is signed to the New York Mammoths, his confident ways quickly win over... [More]
Directed By: John D. Hancock

#24

Fastball (2015)
90%

#24
Adjusted Score: 90044%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Current and former baseball players Hank Aaron, Derek Jeter, Bob Gibson, George Brett, Johnny Bench, Justin Verlander, David Price and... [More]
Starring: Kevin Costner
Directed By: Jonathan Hock

#25
Adjusted Score: 94744%
Critics Consensus: Assembling an all-star team and letting them have infectious fun, Bingo Long throws a grand party in the dugout while giving a generation of ballplayers their overdue shine.
Synopsis: Top baseball pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) is fed up with how his Negro League team owner treats him,... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 89684%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This fact-based sports drama chronicles the life of famous pitcher Monty Stratton. Stratton (James Stewart), a star athlete, loses his... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#27

61* (2001)
86%

#27
Adjusted Score: 86153%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aiming for one of the most famed records in sports history, a pair of very different baseball players hit home... [More]
Directed By: Billy Crystal

#28

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#28
Adjusted Score: 86234%
Critics Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.
Synopsis: Two Dominican baseball players face challenges as they try to make it to the Major Leagues.... [More]
Starring: John Leguizamo

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 88497%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A college chemistry professor, Vernon Simpson (Ray Milland), invents a substance that keeps insects away from wood. But after a... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#30

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
83%

#30
Adjusted Score: 85798%
Critics Consensus: Based on the true story of troubled baseball star Jimmy Piersall, Fear Strikes Out is an emotionally compelling drama featuring excellent performances from Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.
Synopsis: Ever since Jimmy Piersall (Anthony Perkins) was a boy, his baseball-obsessed father (Karl Malden) has pushed the sport on him.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 83085%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A newspaper reporter, Jennifer Paige (Janet Leigh), is investigating the Pittsburgh Pirates' losing streak. The team is led by manager... [More]
Directed By: Clarence Brown

#32

Henry & Me (2014)
80%

#32
Adjusted Score: 20522%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A guardian angel (Richard Gere) takes a gravely ill boy (Austin Williams) on a magical journey to meet legendary players... [More]
Directed By: Barrett Esposito

#33

Damn Yankees (1958)
79%

#33
Adjusted Score: 81055%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Joe Boyd, an aging Washington Senators fan, would sell his soul for the Senators to beat the New York Yankees... [More]

#34
Adjusted Score: 40901%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jewish baseball players take on the world.... [More]
Starring:

#35

Off the Black (2006)
65%

#35
Adjusted Score: 65952%
Critics Consensus: Nick Nolte shines in his role as an irascible high school umpire, imbuing this indie coming-of-age dramedy with heft and true-to-life warmth.
Synopsis: After his baseball team loses a game due to a call by umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte), Dave Tibbel (Trevor... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#36

Fever Pitch (2005)
66%

#36
Adjusted Score: 73115%
Critics Consensus: While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit.
Synopsis: When Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, begins dating pretty businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), the two don't seem... [More]

#37

Cobb (1994)
65%

#37
Adjusted Score: 67955%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.
Synopsis: Baseball legend Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) pressures biographer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) to whitewash the sordid details of his... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 71542%
Critics Consensus: Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.
Synopsis: In a last-ditch effort to save his career, sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) plans to find baseball's next star... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#39

The Sandlot (1993)
65%

#39
Adjusted Score: 70609%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David M. Evans

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 64247%
Critics Consensus: The Broken Hearts Club often feels like an amalgam of 70s sitcoms -- though a hunky lead and a sweet central romance provide soapy delights.
Synopsis: A fresh, funny, real story about a group of gay men in Hollywood, their lovers and friends, and the often... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#41

Mr. 3000 (2004)
55%

#41
Adjusted Score: 58210%
Critics Consensus: Bernie Mac demonstrates he can play the game even if the movie's a few innings short of a complete game.
Synopsis: Milwaukee Brewers player Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) angers his teammates by retiring during a 1995 playoff game after making the... [More]
Directed By: Charles Stone III

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 60578%
Critics Consensus: Though predictable and somewhat dramatically underwhelming, Trouble with the Curve benefits from Clint Eastwood's grizzled charisma and his easy chemistry with a charming Amy Adams.
Synopsis: For decades Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) has been one of baseball's best scouts -- but now his age is catching... [More]
Directed By: Robert Lorenz

#43
Adjusted Score: 50184%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this sequel, the Bears are invited to Houston to play against the Texas Little League champs in the famous... [More]
Directed By: Michael Pressman

#44

Bad News Bears (2005)
48%

#44
Adjusted Score: 53783%
Critics Consensus: This too-faithful remake aims low for laughs, turning off the easily offendable; despite another lovably irascible contribution by Thornton, it lacks the ensemble strength and originality of the 1976 version.
Synopsis: Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) is a burned-out minor league baseball player who loves to drink and can't keep his... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#45

The Babe (1992)
47%

#45
Adjusted Score: 49822%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: George Herman "Babe" Ruth (John Goodman) grows from a troubled boy who was sent to an orphanage to one of... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Hiller

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 50360%
Critics Consensus: Baseball wins, romance loses.
Synopsis: Forty-year-old pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is practically a dinosaur by professional baseball standards, fast approaching the end of his... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#47

Everyone's Hero (2006)
41%

#47
Adjusted Score: 43085%
Critics Consensus: Everyone's Hero is such a predictable and bland tale that it'll appeal mostly to little kids; others seeking something in Pixar's league are looking in the wrong ballpark.
Synopsis: A boy (Jake T. Austin) comes to a turning point in his life when he faces a critical decision: Should... [More]

#48

Hardball (2001)
41%

#48
Adjusted Score: 44721%
Critics Consensus: Although Hardball contains some touching moments, they are not enough to transcend the sports formula.
Synopsis: Conor (Keanu Reeves) is a ticket scalper, gambler and, now, Little League coach for a rag-tag team of kids in... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#49

BASEketball (1998)
41%

#49
Adjusted Score: 43518%
Critics Consensus: Baseketball isn't just a succession of fouls thanks to the comedic zip of David Zucker's direction, but sophomoric gags and a lack of performance hustle by Trey Parker and Matt Stone makes this satire a clumsy bunt.
Synopsis: When slacker friends Joe Cooper (Trey Parker) and Doug Remer (Matt Stone) are challenged to a pickup basketball game against... [More]
Directed By: David Zucker

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 42341%
Critics Consensus: Rookie of the Year gets some laughs from its novel premise, but a high strikeout rate on jokes and sentimental fouls keeps this comedy firmly in the minor leagues.
Synopsis: A freak accident causes 12-year-old Little League player Henry (Thomas Ian Nicholas) to become such a powerful and accurate pitcher... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Stern

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 39556%
Critics Consensus: With Richard Pryor's trademark ribald humor tamped down, Brewster's Millions feels like a missed opportunity to update a classic story.
Synopsis: After losing his position as a minor-league pitcher, Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) learns his great-uncle has left him $300 million.... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#52

Mr. Destiny (1990)
35%

#52
Adjusted Score: 35597%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Although Larry (James Belushi) has a comfortable middle-class life -- married to his teenage sweetheart (Linda Hamilton) and in an... [More]
Directed By: James Orr

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 35648%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When his grandfather (Jason Robards) dies, 12-year-old Billy (Luke Edwards) suddenly becomes the heir to the Minnesota Twins baseball team.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Scheinman

#54

American Pastime (2007)
33%

#54
Adjusted Score: 13078%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The lives of Japanese-Americans upend during World War II.... [More]
Directed By: Desmond Nakano

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 33307%
Critics Consensus: A queasy mishmash of poignant drama and slapstick fantasy, Angels in the Outfield strikes out as worthy family entertainment.
Synopsis: Foster kid Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) loves the Anaheim Angels, even though they're the worst team in the major leagues. His... [More]
Directed By: William Dear

#56

The Scout (1994)
31%

#56
Adjusted Score: 32142%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Al Percolo (Albert Brooks), a scout for the New York Yankees, is sent to Mexico after his latest prospect (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#57

Beer League (2006)
29%

#57
Adjusted Score: 18426%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Artie (Artie Lange) has no job and no girlfriend, and still lives with his mother. But he does have two... [More]
Directed By: Frank Sebastiano

#58

The Final Season (2007)
25%

#58
Adjusted Score: 26250%
Critics Consensus: The Final Season recycles clichés we've seen in countless other sports movies, making for an unoriginal and uninspiring addition to the genre.
Synopsis: Baseball rules in the small town of Norway, Iowa. Its high-school team is the winner of many state championships, and... [More]
Directed By: David M. Evans

#59
Adjusted Score: 21311%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Minor league pitcher Gus Cantrell (Scott Bakula) is about to be put out to pasture when he is given the... [More]
Directed By: John Warren

#60

Stealing Home (1988)
20%

#60
Adjusted Score: 20004%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Failed baseball player Billy Wyatt (Mark Harmon) learns that his childhood sweetheart, Katie (Jodie Foster), has killed herself. The exuberant... [More]

#61

The Benchwarmers (2006)
13%

#61
Adjusted Score: 15224%
Critics Consensus: A gross-out comedy that is more sophomoric than funny, The Benchwarmers goes down swinging.
Synopsis: A baseball-loving millionaire (Jon Lovitz) helps three inept nerds (David Spade, Rob Schneider, Jon Heder) form a baseball team to... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#62

Mr. Baseball (1992)
11%

#62
Adjusted Score: 11811%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professional American baseball player whose career is on the wane, Jack Elliot (Tom Selleck) gets traded to the Dragons,... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#63

Summer Catch (2001)
8%

#63
Adjusted Score: 10736%
Critics Consensus: A cliched and predictable sports comedy that's mostly devoid of excitement or laughs, Summer Catch is strictly bush-league.
Synopsis: A coming-of-age romantic comedy set against the backdrop of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Local boy Ryan Dunne (Freddie Prinze... [More]
Directed By: Michael Tollin

#64
Adjusted Score: 6914%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Led by Marvin Lazar (Tony Curtis), their latest in a string of bumbling coaches, beleaguered Little Leaguers the Bad News... [More]
Directed By: John Berry

#65

Ed (1996)
6%

#65
Adjusted Score: 6345%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jack Cooper (Matt LeBlanc) could be a world-class baseball pitcher if he didn't keep buckling under the pressure. He tries... [More]
Directed By: Bill Couturié

#66

Major League II (1994)
5%

#66
Adjusted Score: 5812%
Critics Consensus: Striking out on every joke, Major League II is a lazy sequel that belongs on the bench.
Synopsis: The Cleveland Indians, an endearing assortment of oddballs who improbably won the division championship last season, have since lost their... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward