Film The Best Athlete Biopics  

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1.2k votes 159 voters 5.2k views 38 items

List Rules Sports biopics. Vote up the best biopics about athletes and sports stars.

There are many biopics that have been made about athletes and the world of sports. What are the best sports biopic movies? This list includes titles such as A League of their Own, Chariots of Fire, Brian’s Song and Cinderella Man. Men and women have voted on the films below to rank the best sports biopics.

Movies have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. Sports have the ability to to the same and often we are enchanted about the lives of our sports heroes. Movies that tell the story of Ernie James, Jake Lamotta, Muhammed Ali, and James Braddock are all incredibly fascinating, tumultuous, and inspiring.

It is with a peek into the lives of these individuals that we can understand their motives and drives that helped them become the greatest of their time. By understanding sport’s greatest, we will hopefully take some of that inspiration into our own lives. These movies vary in their genre but they all equally fascinating.

Vote up the greatest sports biopic movies ever made below or add on you think is great that isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

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Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm Harold Abrahams 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

35 12
Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athlete Biopics
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese Jake LaMotta  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

35 13
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Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Dryden Herb Brooks 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

36 14
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Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright Billy Bean 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

28 14
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Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti Jmaes J. Braddock 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

28 14
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Dick Butkus, James Caan, Billy Dee Williams Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers  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

30 16
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Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde James Hunt Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film directed by Ron Howard. The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).

27 14
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Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Nicole Beharie Jackie Robinson 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

29 16
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Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger 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

26 14
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Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire Red Pollard and seabiscuit 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

28 17
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Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell All American Professional Girls Baseball League 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

24 14
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Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington Herman Boone 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

26 17
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Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates Michael Oher 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

17 9
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Anthony Michael Hall, Thomas Jane, Christopher McDonald Roger Marris 61* is a 2001 American sports drama film written by Hank Steinberg and directed by Billy Crystal. It stars Barry Pepper as Roger Maris and Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle on their quest to break ...more

19 12
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Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger Rubin Carter The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel Washington. The script was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the ...more

20 14
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Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Randy Couture Vince Papale 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

19 13
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Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths Jim Morris 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

11 5
I, Tonya is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Athlete Biopics
Margot Robbie, Caitlin Carver, Sebastian Stan

Tonya Harding

I, Tonya is a 2017 American biographical sports black comedy film directed by Craig Gillespie. The film tells the story of the 1994 attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan orchestrated by Tonya ...more

19 14
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Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood Francois Pienaar "From director Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar ...more

18 13
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Jared Leto, Ed O'Neill, R. Lee Ermey Steve Prefontaine Prefontaine is a 1997 American biographical film chronicling the life of the American long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine. Jared Leto plays the title character and R. Lee Ermey plays Bill ...more

18 14
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Diane Lane, John Malkovich, James Cromwell Penny Chenery and Secreteriat Secretariat is a 2010 biographical sports drama film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Randall Wallace. The film chronicles the life of thoroughbred race horse ...more

12 11
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LeVar Burton, Norman Fell, Tom Bosley Jesse Owens The Jesse Owens Story is a 1984 biographical film about the black athlete Jesse Owens. Dorian Harewood plays the Olympic gold-winning athlete. The drama won a 1985 Primetime Emmy Award and was ...more

17 17
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Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg  Micky Ward The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. The film centers on the life of ...more

14 14
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Tommy Lee Jones, Lolita Davidovich, Bradley Whitford Ty Cobb Cobb is a 1994 biopic starring Tommy Lee Jones as the famed baseball player Ty Cobb. It was written and directed by Ron Shelton and was based on a book by Al Stump. The original music score was ...more

12 12
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Jon Favreau filmography, George C. Scott, Penelope Ann Miller Rocky Marciano Rocky Marciano is a 1999 made for TV movie directed by Charles Winkler and presented by MGM. It tells the story of the rise to fame of legendary boxer Rocky Marciano.

13 14
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Carrie Underwood, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb Bethany Hamilton Soul Surfer is a 2011 American biopic drama film directed by Sean McNamara. It is a film adaptation of the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back ...more

13 14
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John Goodman, James Cromwell, Kelly McGillis Babe Ruth The Babe is a 1992 biographical drama film about the life of famed baseball player Babe Ruth, who is portrayed by John Goodman.

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Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith Muhammed Ali Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of the boxer Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith, from 1964-74 featuring his capture of the heavyweight ...more

12 15
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Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner, Jonathan Penner Bruce Lee Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a 1993 American biographical drama film written and directed by Rob Cohen, and starring Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly and Robert Wagner. The film was released in ...more

11 14
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Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti Ken 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

3 5
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Paul Rudd, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller The Catcher Was a Spy is a 2018 biographical spy film directed by Ben Lewin, based on the book by Nicholas Dawidoff. A major league baseball player, Moe Berg (Paul Rudd), lives a double life ...more

10 16
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis Jim Carroll The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg from the non-fiction work of the same ...more

10 16
The Pride of the Yankees is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Athlete Biopics
Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper, Bill Dickey Lou Gehrig The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 American film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, and Walter Brennan. It is a tribute to the legendary New York Yankees first baseman ...more

9 15
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Dennis Quaid, Nicole Beharie, Clancy Brown Ernie Davis The Express is a 2008 American sports film produced by John Davis and directed by Gary Fleder. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Charles Leavitt from a book titled Ernie ...more

8 15
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Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall Brian Clough The Damned United is a 2009 British sports drama film directed by Tom Hooper and adapted by Peter Morgan from David Peace's bestselling novel The Damned Utd, a largely fictional book based on ...more

6 15
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Videoport Jones added Donald Sutherland, Billy Crudup, Monica Potter Without Limits is a 1998 biographical sports film. It is written and directed by Robert Towne and follows the relationship between record-breaking distance runner Steve Prefontaine and his coach ...more

5 15
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Jim Caviezel, Claire Forlani, Malcolm McDowell Bobby Jones Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius is a 2004 biographical drama film based on the life of Bobby Jones, the only player in the sport to win all four of the men's major golf championships in a single ...more

1 18
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Parinya Charoenphol, Sorapong Chatree, Orn-anong Panyawong Nong Thoom Beautiful Boxer is a Thai biographical sports film by Singapore-based director Ekachai Uekrongtham. It tells the life story of Nong Thoom, a famous kathoey, Muay Thai fighter, actress and model. ...more