Rolling Stone's profile image

30 Best Sports Movies of All Time

30 Shows & Movies | by Rolling Stone

From Rudy to Rocky, counting down the greatest films to play the game and get in the ring.
No No: A Dockumentary

No No: A Dockumentary

Documentary

Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then worked for decades counseling drug abusers. Dock's soulful style defined 1970s baseball as he kept hitters honest and embarrassed the establishment. An ensemble cast of teammates, friends, and family investigate his life on the field, in the media, and out of the spotlight.
Miracle

Miracle

Drama, History

When college coach Herb Brooks is hired to helm the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, he brings a unique and brash style to the ice. After assembling a team of hot-headed college all-stars, who are humiliated in an early match, Brooks unites his squad against a common foe: the heavily-favored Soviet team.
Rudy

Rudy

Drama

Rudy grew up in a steel mill town where most people ended up working, but wanted to play football at Notre Dame instead. There were only a couple of problems. His grades were a little low, his athletic skills were poor, and he was only half the size of the other players. But he had the drive and the spirit of 5 people and has set his sights upon joining the team.
Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

Drama

A star quarterback gets knocked out of the game and an unknown third stringer is called in to replace him. The unknown gives a stunning performance and forces the aging coach to reevaluate his game plans and life. A new co-owner/president adds to the pressure of winning. The new owner must prove her self in a male dominated world.
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings

Comedy

Tired of the slave-like treatment of his team's owner, charismatic star Negro League pitcher Bingo Long takes to the road with his band of barnstormers through the small towns of the Midwest in the 1930's.
The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

Comedy, Crime

Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, a Los Angeles slacker who only wants to bowl and drink White Russians, is mistaken for another Jeffrey Lebowski, a wheelchair-bound millionaire, and finds himself dragged into a strange series of events involving nihilists, adult film producers, ferrets, errant toes, and large sums of money.
The Wrestler

The Wrestler

Drama, Romance

Aging wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson is long past his prime but still ready and rarin' to go on the pro-wrestling circuit. After a particularly brutal beating, however, Randy hangs up his tights, pursues a serious relationship with a long-in-the-tooth stripper, and tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. But he can't resist the lure of the ring and readies himself for a comeback.
The Endless Summer

The Endless Summer

Documentary

The Endless Summer, by Bruce Brown, is one of the first and most influential surf movies of all times. The film documents American surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August as they travel the world during California’s winter (which back in 1965 was off-season for surfing) in search of the perfect wave and an endless summer.
Murderball

Murderball

Documentary

Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
White Men Can't Jump

White Men Can't Jump

Comedy, Drama

Billy Hoyle and Sidney Deane are an unlikely pair of basketball hustlers. They team up to con their way across the courts of Los Angeles, playing a game that's fast dangerous - and funny.
Senna

Senna

Documentary

Senna's remarkable story, charting his physical and spiritual achievments on the track and off, his quest for perfection, and the mythical status he has since attained, is the subject of Senna, a documentary feature that spans the racing legend's years as an F1 driver, from his opening season in 1984 to his untimely death a decade later.
Slap Shot

Slap Shot

Drama, Comedy

To build up attendance at their games, the management of a struggling minor-league hockey team signs up the Hanson Brothers, three hard-charging players whose job is to demolish the opposition.
Caddyshack

Caddyshack

Comedy

At an exclusive country club, an ambitious young caddy, Danny Noonan, eagerly pursues a caddy scholarship in hopes of attending college and, in turn, avoiding a job at the lumber yard. In order to succeed, he must first win the favour of the elitist Judge Smails, and then the caddy golf tournament which Smails sponsors.
The Bad News Bears

The Bad News Bears

Comedy, Family

An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.
Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Documentary

Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominately white suburban school well-known for the excellence of its basketball program. Gates and Agee dream of NBA stardom, and with the support of their close-knit families, they battle the social and physical obstacles that stand in their way. This acclaimed documentary was shot over the course of five years.
Tin Cup

Tin Cup

Comedy, Romance

A washed up golf pro working at a driving range tries to qualify for the US Open in order to win the heart of his succesful rival's girlfriend.
Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire

Drama, History

The true story of British athletes preparing for and competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics.
Blue Chips

Blue Chips

Drama

Pete Bell, a college basketball coach is under a lot of pressure. His team aren't winning and he cannot attract new players. The stars of the future are secretly being paid by boosters. This practice is forbidden in the college game, but Pete is desperate and has pressures from all around.
Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham

Comedy, Drama

Jess Bhamra, the daughter of a strict Indian couple in London, is not permitted to play organized soccer, even though she is 18. When Jess is playing for fun one day, her impressive skills are seen by Jules Paxton, who then convinces Jess to play for her semi-pro team. Jess uses elaborate excuses to hide her matches from her family while also dealing with her romantic feelings for her coach, Joe.
Victory

Victory

Drama, Romance

Axel Heyst is an American recluse with a dubious past living in the Dutch East Indies port of Surabaya circa 1913. Staying in a German hotel there, Heyst becomes entranced with a member of the hotel's all-female orchestra.
The Natural

The Natural

Drama

An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league.
North Dallas Forty

North Dallas Forty

Comedy, Drama

A semi-fictional account of life as a professional Football (American-style) player. Loosely based on the Dallas Cowboys team of the early 1970s.
Fat City

Fat City

Drama

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.
Hoosiers

Hoosiers

Drama, Family

High school basketball is king in small-town Indiana, and the 1954 Hickory Huskers are all hope and no talent. But their new coach -- abrasive, unlikable Norman Dale -- whips the team into shape ... while also inciting controversy.
Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

Drama

A small, turbulent town in Texas obsesses over their high school football team to an unhealthy degree. When the star tailback, Boobie Miles, is seriously injured during the first game of the season, all hope is lost, and the town's dormant social problems begin to flare up. It is left to the inspiring abilities of new coach Gary Gaines to instill in the other team members -- and, by proxy, the town itself -- a sense of self-respect and honor.
When We Were Kings

When We Were Kings

Documentary

It's 1974. Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a willing backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire, and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set, including a musical festival featuring some of America's top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King.
Bull Durham

Bull Durham

Comedy, Romance

Veteran catcher Crash Davis is brought to the minor league Durham Bulls to help their up and coming pitching prospect, "Nuke" Laloosh. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start and is further complicated when baseball groupie Annie Savoy sets her sights on the two men.
Raging Bull

Raging Bull

Drama

When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.
Rocky

Rocky

Drama

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey Goldmill to make the most of this once in a lifetime break.
The Blind Side

The Blind Side

Drama

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.