Watchworthy
96 voters

The Best Movies for Athletes to Watch

Updated February 14, 2020 967 votes 96 voters 2.9k views34 items

List RulesVote up the films that will inspire athletes.

There's something about a good sports movie that really gets the juices pumping. From inspirational sports movie to gripping documentaries, there are plenty of movies for athletes that can provide fantastic motivation. Below, you'll find some recommendations if you want a film that will encourage you to get out there and push yourself to your limits. 

When it comes to inspiring movies for athletes, many are based on true stories. From athlete biopics to films about a specific team during a point in history, these stories remind sports fans what can be achieved with drive and dedication. There are also plenty of fictional films that introduced characters - like Rocky Balboa - whose name are synonymous with athletic excellence. Whatever the central message, sports films are great for any aspiring athlete to watch because they teach us about struggling to overcome the limits we impose upon ourselves. Vote up the best movies for athletes below! 

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Rocky
    49
    10

    Rocky

    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer... more on Wikipedia

    More Rocky 

    #20 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#64 of 115 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

  • 2
    Bull Durham
    38
    13

    Bull Durham

    Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor... more on Wikipedia

    More Bull Durham 

    #94 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies#146 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 3
    Rudy
    26
    10

    Rudy

    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin

    Released1993

    Directed byDavid Anspaugh

    Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life... more on Wikipedia

    More Rudy 

    Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents#39 of 54 The Best Movies to Curl Up And Watch When You're Sick

  • 4
    Friday Night Lights
    29
    18

    Friday Night Lights

    Amber Heard, Connie Britton

    Released2004

    Directed byPeter Berg

    Friday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama film, directed by Peter Berg, which documents the... more on Wikipedia

    More Friday Night Lights 

    #29 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#354 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • 5
    Remember the Titans
    24
    12

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Released2000

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

    Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and... more on Wikipedia

    More Remember the Titans 

    #92 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#23 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 6
    Creed
    21
    10

    Creed

    Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan

    Released2015

    Directed byRyan Coogler

    Creed is a 2015 American sports drama film directed by Ryan Coogler. The former World... more on Wikipedia

    More Creed 

    #23 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#86 of 151 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • 7
    The Natural
    23
    12

    The Natural

    Kim Basinger, Robert Redford

    Released1984

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    The Natural is a 1984 sports drama. It is a film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Hoop Dreams
    Hoop Dreams is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Steve James and written by James... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    The Blind Side
    19
    8

    The Blind Side

    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    A League of Their Own
    22
    15

    A League of Their Own

    Madonna, Tom Hanks

    Released1992

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Hoosiers
    25
    19

    Hoosiers

    Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper

    Released1986

    Directed byDavid Anspaugh

    Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film directed by David Anspaugh. A coach with a checkered past (Gene... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Field of Dreams
    21
    15

    Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

    Released1989

    Directed byPhil Alden Robinson

    Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Chariots of Fire
    19
    13

    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh

    Released1981

    Directed byHugh Hudson

    Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two... more on Wikipedia

    More Chariots of Fire 

    #20 of 86 The Best Movies With Christian Themes#75 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 14
    North Dallas Forty
    16
    11

    North Dallas Forty

    Nick Nolte, Charles Durning

    Released1979

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

    North Dallas Forty is a 1979 film drama starring Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, and G. D. Spradlin set... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Pride of the Yankees
    15
    10

    The Pride of the Yankees

    Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper

    Released1942

    Directed bySam Wood

    The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 American film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gary... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Million Dollar Baby
    17
    13

    Million Dollar Baby

    Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

    Released2004

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by... more on Wikipedia

    More Million Dollar Baby 

    #66 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#1187 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 17
    Olympic Dreams
    1
    4

    Olympic Dreams

    Alexi Pappas, Nick Kroll

    Released2020

    Directed byJeremy Teicher

    Olympic dreams is a 2020 American comedy directed by Jeremy Teicher. A young cross-country... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    The Wrestler
    14
    10

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke

    Released2008

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Raging Bull
    12
    10

    Raging Bull

    Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

    Released1980

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by... more on Wikipedia

    More Raging Bull 

    Behind The Scenes Of 'Raging Bull,' The Masterpiece Scorsese Never Wanted To Make#87 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • 20
    When We Were Kings
    10
    9

    When We Were Kings

    George Foreman, B.B. King

    Released1996

    Directed byLeon Gast

    When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous "Rumble... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Any Given Sunday
    13
    12

    Any Given Sunday

    Cameron Diaz, Al Pacino

    Released1999

    Directed byOliver Stone

    Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional... more on Wikipedia

    More Any Given Sunday 

    #198 of 261 The Best Ensemble Movies#8 of 51 The Best Football Movies Ever

  • 22
    Miracle
    17
    19

    Miracle

    Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson

    Released2004

    Directed byGavin O'Connor

    Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Tin Cup
    12
    13

    Tin Cup

    Kevin Costner, Rene Russo

    Released1996

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Tin Cup is a 1996 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Ron Shelton, and starring... more on Wikipedia

    More Tin Cup 

    #339 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#174 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 24
    White Men Can't Jump
    11
    13

    White Men Can't Jump

    Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes

    Released1992

    Directed byRon Shelton

    White Men Can't Jump is a 1992 American sports buddy comedy film written and directed by Ron... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Free Solo
    10
    13

    Free Solo

    Alex Honnold

    Released2018

    Directed byJimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

    Free Solo is a 2018 documentary directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Follow...