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

Henry & Me (2014)
80%

#35
Adjusted Score: 17.606%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Henry & Me tells the courageous story of Jack (voice of AUSTIN WILLIAMS), a brave young boy who is dealt... [More]
Directed By: Barrett Esposito

#34
Adjusted Score: 61.622%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Portland, Oregon, lost its longtime minor-league affiliate, Bing Russell-who briefly played ball professionally before enjoying a successful Hollywood acting... [More]
Directed By: Maclain Way, Chapman Way

#33

61* (2001)
85%

#33
Adjusted Score: 85.04%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Noted baseball fan Billy Crystal directed this made-for-cable drama set in the summer of 1961, as two of the strongest... [More]
Directed By: Billy Crystal

#32

Game 6 (2005)
61%

#32
Adjusted Score: 61.576%
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 writer runs an obstacle course of neuroses as he prepares to debut an important new work in this comedy... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 63.345%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This documentary chronicles the life of Jackie Robinson, the first African American professional baseball player. Robinson's courage of conviction and... [More]
Directed By: Alfred E. Green

#30

The Sandlot (1993)
62%

#30
Adjusted Score: 66.032%
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 Sandlot is a coming-of-age story about a group of young boys growing up in California in 1962. A new,... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 62.213%
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: In the palm-shaded oasis of West Hollywood, we meet Dennis, a promising photographer. As he prepares to celebrate his twenty-eighth... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#28

Off the Black (2006)
66%

#28
Adjusted Score: 66.717%
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: In this coming-of-age story, teenager Dave Tibbel copes with his own distant father by forming an unlikely friendship with a... [More]

#27

Cobb (1994)
65%

#27
Adjusted Score: 67.664%
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: What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 70.426%
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: Based on a true story, Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#25

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#25
Adjusted Score: 71.534%
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: Nick Hornby's acclaimed memoir about one man's struggle to balance his love of a woman and his love for soccer... [More]

#24

Damn Yankees (1958)
76%

#24
Adjusted Score: 77.791%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Damn Yankees is a frothy, faithful adaptation of the 1956 Broadway hit. In an amusing slant on the "Faust" legend,... [More]

#23

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#23
Adjusted Score: 80.016%
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

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 82.971%
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

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 83.049%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lloyd Bacon's baseball comedy stars Ray Milland as Vernon Simpson, a chemist who develops a product which repels wood. Signing... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 86.224%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This biopic focuses on baseball star Monty Stratton. Beginning in the 1930s, the film follows Texas farm boy Stratton as... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#19

Major League (1989)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85.619%
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

#18

The Natural (1984)
81%

#18
Adjusted Score: 84.006%
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

#17

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
83%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85.78%
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: Anthony Perkins stars as troubled baseball-great Jimmy Piersall in this film. Based on Piersall's shattering tell-all autobiography, the film traces... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#16

42 (2013)
80%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87.375%
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

#15
Adjusted Score: 89.085%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by William Brasher, this film is set in the segregated South of 1939. African-American baseball pitcher... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#14

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#14
Adjusted Score: 88.159%
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

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 86.167%
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]

#12

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#12
Adjusted Score: 89.475%
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

#11

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 91.429%
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

#10

Up for Grabs (2005)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 92.845%
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

#9
Adjusted Score: 94.622%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: So baseball pictures never make money, eh? Try telling that to MGM, which raked in a box office gross of... [More]
Directed By: Busby Berkeley

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 95.555%
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: In this film, hayseed Bruce Pearson joins a professional baseball team. The team members were none to thrilled to have... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 96.296%
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: On the heels of his success with the groundbreaking drama Boyhood, director Richard Linklater shifts gears to sports for this... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#6

Sugar (2008)
92%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96.814%
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

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 97.007%
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

#4
Adjusted Score: 98.718%
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

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 99.925%
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

#2

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102.438%
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

#1

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 102.23%
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

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