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The Best Movies About Underdogs 

Ranker Film
Updated May 12, 2020 6.6k votes 1.3k voters 128.4k views 73 items

List Rules Films about underdogs and underdog stories. Vote up the best underdog movies.

There’s nothing more inspirational than a movie about an underdog who is victorious despite all the odds stacked against them. Viewers love films that highlight a noteworthy person’s triumphs – stories like this give us hope and make us want to fight to the end! These kinds of inspirational stories make amazing movies, but what are the best movies about underdogs? Vote up the best films below and see where your favorites rank. Then go check out TV shows about underdogs and other loveable losers.
 
The movies on this list tell the stories of an underdog in one way or another. Many of these films were actually based on true events that forever changed our perspectives and left us feeling inspired. Others are completely fictional in nature but inspire viewers nonetheless.
 
This list features the best movies about underdogs including, Hoosiers, Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby, Rudy, Miracle, The Jackie Robinson Story, Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans, and Rocky. Vote up the best underdog films or add one you love that isn't already on the list!

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1
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

Released: 1976

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

Is this one of the best motivational movies ever?

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 #150 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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#81 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #13 of 726 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #336 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

3
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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#33 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #7 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #135 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
Rudy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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

5
Warrior is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added Jennifer Morrison, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte

Released: 2011

Directed by: Gavin O'Connor

Warrior is a 2011 American sports drama film directed by Gavin O'Connor and starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as two estranged brothers whose entrance into a mixed martial arts tournament ...more

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#1,502 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #46 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #310 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

6
Cool Runnings is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added 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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7
Cinderella Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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#257 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #33 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #38 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

8
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added 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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#119 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #85 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #391 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

9
8 Mile is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy

Released: 2002

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

8 Mile is a 2002 American hip-hop biopic film written by Scott Silver, directed by Curtis Hanson, and starring Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger. The film ...more

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10
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mel Gibson

Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

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11
Miracle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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 #208 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

12
Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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#1,105 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #29 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Invincible is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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

14
Hoosiers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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

15
Slumdog Millionaire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

Released: 2008

Directed by: Loveleen Tandan, Danny Boyle

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2009 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. It was co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an ...more

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16
The Mighty Ducks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
joe_beak95 added 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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17
Seabiscuit is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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#117 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

18
Moneyball is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added 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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19
The Fighter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

Released: 2010

Directed by: David O. Russell

The Fighter is a 2010 American biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell. Fledgling boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled ...more

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20
A League of Their Own is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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21
Major League is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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22
DodgeBall: A True Underd... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
Ben Stiller, Chuck Norris, Vince Vaughn

Released: 2004

Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, commonly referred to as DodgeBall, is a 2004 American sports comedy film produced by 20th Century Fox and Red Hour Productions, written and directed by Rawson ...more

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#438 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #261 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #51 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

23
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
ryanmcw added Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1977

Directed by: George Lucas

Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

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24
The Rookie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
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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#1,185 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #110 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #27 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

25
McFarland, USA is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Underdogs
Thunderdolly added Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor

Released: 2014

Directed by: Niki Caro

McFarland, USA is an American 2015 sports drama film directed by Niki Caro and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the true story of a 1987 cross country team from a predominantly ...more

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