Entertainment

Great Movies About Aging Athletes  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 189 voters 3.5k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest movies that feature aging athletes who are retired or just washed up.

Aging athletes are the ultimate underdogs, as they use their heart, will, and experience to push their bodies to the limit. The best retired athlete movies often find lead characters getting back in shape for one final competition. This is a list of the top movies about aging athletes in all sports, including everything from Raging Bull to Major League to Cinderella Man.

What films will you find on list of the best movies about older athletes? A few of the entries in the Rocky series, including Rocky Balboa, appear here. The title character was an underdog since the very first film in the series, but by the sixth film, the boxer is in his mid-fifties, a fact that makes it that much harder to get back in the ring. Cinderella Man is another great movie about an aging boxer.

In The Color of Money, Paul Newman finds himself in a role reversal from his The Hustler days, as the veteran billiards player outwits his young competition. Other good films on this roundup of the best old athlete movies include Invincible, The Wrestler, and Grudge Match.

Which aging athlete movie do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Rocky Balboa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Sylvester Stallone, Milo Ventimiglia, Talia Shire
Rocky Balboa is the sixth installment in the Rocky franchise, written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as the title character. The sixth film in the Rocky ...more
2
Major League is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Rene Russo
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
3
Jerry Maguire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu, Renée Zellweger
Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger. It was ...more
4
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Julie Bowen
Happy Gilmore is a 1996 sports comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Robert Simonds. It stars Adam Sandler as the title character, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers ...more
5
Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank
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
6
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T
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
7
The Rookie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths
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
8
Cinderella Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti
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
9
Creed is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson
Creed is a 2015 American sports drama film directed by Ryan Coogler. The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson ...more
10
Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese
Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik ...more
11
The Wrestler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei
The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood. Production began in ...more
12
Trouble with the Curve is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Amy Adams, Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake
Trouble with the Curve is a 2012 sports-drama film directed by Robert Lorenz and starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and John Goodman. The film revolves ...more
13
Invincible is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Randy Couture
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
14
White Men Can't Jump is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez
White Men Can't Jump is a 1992 American sports buddy comedy film written and directed by Ron Shelton, starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as streetball hustlers. The film was released in ...more
15
The Color of Money is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, Martin Scorsese
The Color of Money is a 1986 drama film directed by Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by Richard Price, based on the 1984 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. The film stars Paul Newman and ...more
16
The Hustler is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott
The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the Walter Tevis's 1959 novel of the same name Rossen and Sidney Carroll adapted for the screen. It tells the story of ...more
17
Mr. 3000 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Mr. 3000 Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Michael Rispoli
18
Resurrecting the Champ is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Teri Hatcher, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Nichols
Resurrecting the Champ is a 2007 American drama sports film directed by Rod Lurie. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett, based on a Los ...more
19
Grudge Match is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kim Basinger
Grudge Match is a 2013 sports comedy film starring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone as aging boxers stepping into the ring for one last bout. Stallone and De Niro have both previously been ...more
20
Foxcatcher is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Sienna Miller, Channing Tatum, Steve Carell
Foxcatcher is a 2014 American biographical drama film produced and directed by Bennett Miller. Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, the film stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark ...more
21
The World's Fastest Indian is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Anthony Hopkins, Walton Goggins, Diane Ladd
The World's Fastest Indian is a 2005 Japanese-American-Swiss-New Zealand biographical sports drama film based on the Invercargill, New Zealand speed bike racer Burt Munro and his highly modified ...more
22
Run Fatboy Run is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer
Run Fatboy Run is a 2007 British-American comedy film directed by David Schwimmer, written by Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg, Dylan Moran, Thandie Newton, Harish Patel, ...more
23
Fighting Tommy Riley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Aging Athletes
Eddie Jones, Christina Chambers, Don Wallace
Fighting Tommy Riley is a 2004 American independent film that tells the story of Tommy Riley and Marty Goldberg, a boxer and his trainer, as they work to secure a title shot for Tommy. Their ...more