35 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 (Ballplayer: Pelotero) 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 picked only Fresh movies before ranking ’em by Adjusted Tomatometer, which takes into account factors like year of release and number of overall reviews. The latter is important to the non-theatrical films (like 61* or The Battered Bastards of Basleball) to keep that playing field grass nice and even.

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

#35
Adjusted Score: 33528%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jewish baseball players take on the world.... [More]
Starring:

#34
Adjusted Score: 79507%
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

#33

Game 6 (2005)
62%

#33
Adjusted Score: 61770%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: A New York playwright (Michael Keaton) fears a scathing review from a powerful critic (Robert Downey Jr.), while his beloved... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 62425%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (Minor Watson) makes Robinson (Jackie Robinson) the first black player in major-league baseball.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred E. Green

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 64377%
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: Gay friends (Timothy Olyphant, Andrew Keegan, John Mahoney) in West Hollywood bond and bemoan the lack of true love in... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#30

Off the Black (2006)
66%

#30
Adjusted Score: 65933%
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: A paternal bond slowly forms between a dying umpire (Nick Nolte) and the young ballplayer (Trevor Morgan) he caught vandalizing... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#29

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#29
Adjusted Score: 68471%
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: The best baseball player (Mike Vitar) in the neighborhood helps a new kid (Thomas Guiry) with his clumsy ball-handling.... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#28

Cobb (1994)
65%

#28
Adjusted Score: 67302%
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

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 70898%
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, a sports agent (Jon Hamm) brings a pair of Indian cricket players... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#26

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#26
Adjusted Score: 71266%
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: A corporate executive (Drew Barrymore) falls for an affable schoolteacher (Jimmy Fallon) obsessed with the Boston Red Sox.... [More]

#25

Damn Yankees (1958)
78%

#25
Adjusted Score: 79006%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Washington Senators fan becomes a player (Tab Hunter) after making a deal with the devil (Ray Walston) to beat... [More]

#24

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#24
Adjusted Score: 79427%
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

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 85306%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professor (Ray Milland) becomes a World Series pitcher with his secret formula for wood-repellent screwballs.... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 85783%
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 begins in 1943 with a major-league has-been as a manager (Tom Hanks).... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#21

61 (2001)
85%

#21
Adjusted Score: 85213%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: New York Yankees Roger Maris (Barry Pepper) and Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) try to break Babe Ruth's home-run record in... [More]
Directed By: Billy Crystal

#20

The Natural (1984)
82%

#20
Adjusted Score: 86006%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: The almost mythical ability of a middle-aged baseball player rockets a major-league team toward the 1939 pennant.... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#19

Major League (1989)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85287%
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: Lackluster baseball players (Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen) hear their Cleveland team's new owner is counting on them to... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#18

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
83%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85937%
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: Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall (Anthony Perkins) has a nervous breakdown as a result of intense pressure from his... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 88676%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Inspired by his wife (June Allyson) and son, Chicago White Soxer Monty Stratton (James Stewart) pitches with an artificial leg.... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#16

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#16
Adjusted Score: 85403%
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]

#15

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#15
Adjusted Score: 88095%
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 high-school baseball coach (Dennis Quaid) makes it to the Major Leagues as a middle-aged relief pitcher.... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#14

42 (2013)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 89055%
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), general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signs Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#13
Adjusted Score: 89601%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fed-up baseball players (Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor) form their own team and barnstorm the country in... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#12

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90354%
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: Disgruntled Chicago White Sox stand trial for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series for mobster Arnold Rothstein (Michael Lerner).... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#11

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 92753%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: An inspired Iowa farmer (Kevin Costner) builds a baseball field, then sees Shoeless Joe Jackson's ghost and other marvels.... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#10

Up for Grabs (2004)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 92022%
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: Filmmaker Michael Wranovics documents a legal battle between two baseball fans who want possession of a record-breaking home run by... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

#9
Adjusted Score: 96534%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two dancing baseball players (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra) run into trouble with their team's new female owner (Esther Williams) and... [More]
Directed By: Busby Berkeley

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 96081%
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: A top major-league pitcher (Michael Moriarty) devotes himself to a simple-minded catcher (Robert De Niro) dying of Hodgkin's disease.... [More]
Directed By: John D. Hancock

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 97600%
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

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 97612%
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: Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) leads the New York baseball team for years and then, slowly dying, retires with a stadium... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#5

Sugar (2008)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 97594%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: A talented Dominican pitcher (Algenis Perez Soto) faces a number of curveballs during his tenure on a minor-league team in... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#4
Adjusted Score: 98197%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Aviva Kempner profiles the former Detroit Tiger, who defied anti-Semitism to play baseball in the '30s and '40s.... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 99772%
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 beer-drinking manager (Walter Matthau) of a peewee team bribes a girl pitcher (Tatum O'Neal) to lead his losers.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#2

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103453%
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: A literary baseball groupie (Susan Sarandon) romances a pitcher (Tim Robbins) and a catcher (Kevin Costner) on a minor-league North... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#1

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104393%
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: Faced with a tight budget, a baseball manager (Brad Pitt) and his partner (Jonah Hill) recruit bargain-bin players that scouts... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

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