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The Most Inspirational Sports Movies 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 12, 2020 63k votes 5.3k voters 230.7k views 161 items

List Rules Movies must feature sports and inspiration

From football movies to baseball films, these are the most inspirational sports movies of all time. This list of the best sports films has been chosen by the wisdom of the crowd, which means anyone can vote up their favorite inspirational sports movies.

What are the most inspirational sports movies? You can pick from favorites like Rudy and The Natural and vote for the best inspirational sports film. You can even add your own list of the best sports movies to these rankings. Whether you're a film geek, a sports fan, or a little bit of both, this list is a winning play when it comes to finding the best movies about sports.
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1
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Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell

Released: 1992

Directed by: Penny Marshall

A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Directed by Penny Marshall, the ...more

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#40 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #77 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #300 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

2
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Inspirational Sports Movies
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates

Released: 2009

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael ...more

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#509 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #50 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography

Released: 1993

Directed by: David Anspaugh

Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of ...more

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Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents #470 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #31 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

4
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Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Dryden

Released: 2004

Directed by: Gavin O'Connor

Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks, that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The USA team's victory ...more

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#788 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #165 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #26 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

5
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Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington

Released: 2000

Directed by: Boaz Yakin

Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of ...more

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#13 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #81 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #954 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
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Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Anspaugh

Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film directed by David Anspaugh. A coach with a checkered past (Gene Hackman) and a local drunk (Dennis Hopper) train a small town high school basketball team to become ...more

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#172 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #911 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #171 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

7
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Matthew McConaughey, Kate Mara, January Jones

Released: 2006

Directed by: Joseph McGinty Nichol

We Are Marshall is a 2006 American historical drama biopic film directed by McG. It depicts the aftermath of the 1970 incident that 37 football players on the Marshall University Thundering Herd ...more

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#945 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #88 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #66 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

8
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Inspirational Sports Movies
Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

Released: 1976

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

Is this one of the best inspirational movies of all time?

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion (Carl Weathers) in ...more

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#30 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #91 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
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James Earl Jones, Denis Leary, Karen Allen

Released: 1993

Directed by: David M. Evans

The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy directed by David M. Evans, which tells the story of a group of young baseball players during the summer ...more

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What Ever Happened To All The Kids From The Sandlot? #20 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #31 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

10
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Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Roberto Durán

Released: 1979

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Rocky II is a 1979 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the second film in the series. Rocky (Stallone) struggles in family life after his bout with Apollo Creed (Carl ...more

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#559 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #588 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #239 of 347 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

11
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Dick Butkus, James Caan, Billy Dee Williams

Released: 1971

Directed by: Buzz Kulik

Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian Piccolo, a Wake Forest University football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro, ...more

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#350 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #44 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #58 of 153 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

12
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Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank

Released: 2004

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. This film is about an ...more

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#1,106 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #30 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
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John Candy, Malik Yoba, Jay Brazeau

Released: 1993

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub

Cool Runnings is a 1993 American sports film directed by Jon Turteltaub, and starring Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba and John Candy. The film was released in the United States on ...more

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#33 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #148 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #161 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

14
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Amber Heard, Connie Britton, Tim McGraw

Released: 2004

Directed by: Peter Berg

Friday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama film, directed by Peter Berg, which documents the coach and players of a high school football team and the Texas city of Odessa that supports and is ...more

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#1,462 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #220 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #375 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

15
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Inspirational Sports Movies
Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T

Released: 1985

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony ...more

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#85 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #247 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #841 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

16
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Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, Ashanti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Thomas Carter

Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical teen sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter, based on the true story of the Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter. Controversy ...more

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#24 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #53 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #4 of 36 The Most Inspirational Black Movies

17
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Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Randy Couture

Released: 2006

Directed by: Ericson Core

Invincible is a 2006 sports film directed by Ericson Core set in 1976. It is based on the true story of Vince Papale, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976 to 1978. Mark Wahlberg ...more

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#77 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #103 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #26 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

18
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Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner

Released: 1989

Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy ...more

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The Most Memorable 'Field of Dreams' Quotes #63 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #110 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

19
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johnnybunn added Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Nicole Beharie

Released: 2013

Directed by: Brian Helgeland

42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about the racial integration of American professional baseball by player Jackie Robinson, who wore jersey ...more

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#204 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #29 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #4 of 40 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

20
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Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire

Released: 2003

Directed by: Gary Ross

Seabiscuit is a 2003 American biographical sports psychological-drama thriller film based on the best-selling non-fiction book Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. The film is ...more

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#116 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #54 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #13 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

21
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Joshua Jackson, Emilio Estevez, Dan Tamberelli

Released: 1992

The Mighty Ducks is a 1992 American sports comedy film directed by Stephen Herek, starring Emilio Estevez. It was produced by Avnet–Kerner Productions and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It ...more

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14 Odd Things You Never Really Noticed About The 'Mighty Ducks' Movies #49 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #77 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

22
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Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Ron Howard

Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by ...more

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#33 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #251 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #38 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

23
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Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

Released: 1981

Directed by: Hugh Hudson

Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of ...more

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#363 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #78 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
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Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright

Released: 2011

Directed by: Bennett Miller

Moneyball is an American 2011 biographical sports drama film directed by Bennett Miller from a screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. The film is based on Michael Lewis's 2003 ...more

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#767 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #45 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #221 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

25
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Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

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#7 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #33 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #135 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies