Entertainment

The Most Inspirational Sports Movies  

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Originally by Ranker Community
62.4k votes 5.3k voters 228.7k views 158 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.
list ordered by
1
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 1 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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#29 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #136 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
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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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#91 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #105 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #58 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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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#97 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #285 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timefeaturing Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents

4
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Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Anspaugh

Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film written by Angelo Pizzo and directed by David Anspaugh. It tells the story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. It ...more

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#175 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #103 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #647 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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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#88 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #12 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #43 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

6
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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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#87 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #41 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #15 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

7
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 7 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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#6 of 80 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Booksfeaturing Quietly Racist Things You Probably Missed In The Blind Sidelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
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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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#121 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #895 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #234 of 547 The Greatest Movies for Guys

9
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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 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #22 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #22 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
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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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#79 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #750 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #80 of 198 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

11
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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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#282 of 547 The Greatest Movies for Guys #13 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever #42 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

12
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Kim Basinger, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall

Released: 1984

Directed by: Barry Levinson

The Natural is a 1984 sports drama. It is a film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball novel of the same name, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, and ...more

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#178 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #190 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #113 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

13
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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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#36 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #131 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing These Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'The Sandlot' Are Just As Wholesome As The Film Itself

14
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Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths

Released: 2002

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

The Rookie is a 2002 sports drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on the true story of Jim Morris, who had a brief, but famous Major League ...more

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#1,279 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #101 of 141 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #36 of 177 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

15
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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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#73 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #446 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing 14 Odd Things You Never Really Noticed About The 'Mighty Ducks' Movies

16
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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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#92 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #75 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #128 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

17
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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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#189 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #21 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Inspirational Sports Movies
Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

Released: 1994

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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#24 of 383 The Best War Movies Everfeaturing The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
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Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Thomas Carter

Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter. It is based on a true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter portrayed by Samuel L. ...more

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#29 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #53 of 177 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #6 of 40 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

20
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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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#33 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #429 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
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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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#15 of 80 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #102 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever #116 of 141 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

22
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Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Ron Shelton

Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor league experiences of writer/director Ron Shelton and depicts the players and fans of the Durham ...more

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#174 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #470 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #111 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

23
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Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Rene Russo

Released: 1989

Directed by: David S. Ward

Major League is a 1989 American sports comedy film written and directed by David S. Ward, starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, Wesley Snipes, James Gammon, Bob Uecker and ...more

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#283 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #54 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #25 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

24
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 24 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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#39 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #80 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #725 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

25
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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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#29 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever #102 of 141 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #94 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories