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81 voters

The Best Sports Thriller Movies, Ranked

Updated February 15, 2019 541 votes 81 voters 3.8k views23 items

List RulesVote up the most gripping thrillers about sports.

Sports movies are inherently exciting, but when you add an element of danger they become white knuckle thrillers. The top sports thriller movies combine the rush of competition with suspense and intrigue. This is a list of the best sports thriller movies, including everything from Point Break to Days of Thunder to Never Back Down.

What films will you find on this list of the best sports thriller movies? Steve Carell and Channing Tatum star in Foxcatcher, a 2014 film about a millionaire who invested in an elite wrestling team, with tragic results. The plot is based on the real-life story of John E. du Pont and Olympic wrestlers Dave and Mark Schultz. Director Tony Scott explores the dangerous obsession of one baseball enthusiast in his 1996 movie The Fan. Other good sports thrillers featured on this list include Premium Rush, Two for the Money, and Heart Like a Wheel.

Which of these thriller movies about sports is your favorite? Vote the best films up to the top of the list, and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

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    The Fighter

    Amy Adams, Christian Bale

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid 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 older...  more

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    Warrior

    Jennifer Morrison, Tom Hardy

    Released2011

    Directed byGavin 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 forces...  more

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    Point Break

    Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey

    Released1991

    Directed byKathryn Bigelow

    Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, where a...  more

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    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 Robert D. Siegel, and starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood. Production began in...  more

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    Foxcatcher

    Sienna Miller, Channing Tatum

    Released2014

    Directed byBennett Miller

    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 Ruffalo, and...  more

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    Kickboxer

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lau Kar-wing

    Released1989

    Directed byDavid Worth, Mark DiSalle

    Kickboxer is a 1989 American martial arts film produced and directed by Mark DiSalle, and co-directed by David Worth. The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and former world kickboxing champion Dennis...  more

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    Southpaw

    Rachel McAdams, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2015

    Directed byAntoine Fuqua

    Southpaw is a 2015 American sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua. A champion boxer (Jake Gyllenhaal) fights to get his daughter back as well as revive his professional career, after an...  more

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    Never Back Down

    Amber Heard, Djimon Hounsou

    Released2008

    Directed byJeff Wadlow

    Never Back Down is a 2008 martial arts film starring Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, and Djimon Hounsou. It was theatrically released on March 14, 2008. The film's tagline is "Win or lose......  more
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    Death Race

    Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson

    Released2008

    Directed byPaul W. S. Anderson

    This film is a 2008 American science fiction action thriller film produced, written, and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Jason Statham. Though referred to as a remake of the 1975 film,...  more

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    Blue Chips

    Shaquille O'Neal, Larry Bird

    Released1994

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

    Blue Chips is a 1994 basketball drama film, directed by William Friedkin, written by Ron Shelton and starring Nick Nolte as a college coach and real-life basketball stars Shaquille O'Neal and...  more

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    Rush

    U;Nee, Lee Min-woo

    Released1999

    Directed byLee Sang-in

    Rush is a 1999 drama film written and directed by Lee Sang-in....  more
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    3
    1

    Donnybrook

    Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley

    Released2019

    Directed byTim Sutton

    Donnybrook is a 2018 American-French drama film, written and directed by Tim Sutton. A former soldier (Jamie Bell) competes against a violent drug dealer in a bare-knuckle fight, for a large cash...  more
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    Days Of Thunder

    Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

    Released1990

    Directed byTony Scott

    Days of Thunder is a 1990 American auto racing film released by Paramount Pictures, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Tony Scott. The cast includes Tom Cruise, Nicole...  more

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    The Fan

    Robert De Niro, Jack Black

    Released1996

    Directed byTony Scott

    The Fan is a 1996 American thriller film directed by Tony Scott, and starring Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Peter Abrahams. The Fan is a...  more
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    The Harder They Fall

    Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger

    Released1956

    Directed byMark Robson

    The Harder They Fall is a 1956 film noir directed by Mark Robson, featuring Humphrey Bogart in his last film. It was written by Philip Yordan and based on the 1947 novel of the same name by Budd...  more
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    Two For The Money

    Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2005

    Directed byD. J. Caruso

    Two for the Money is a 2005 American drama-sports film directed by D. J. Caruso and starring Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Armand Assante and Carly Pope. The film is about the world of...  more

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    Premium Rush

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Chung

    Released2012

    Directed byDavid Koepp

    Premium Rush is a 2012 American action-thriller film directed by David Koepp and written by Koepp and John Kamps. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez and Jamie Chung....  more
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    Heart Like A Wheel

    Tiffany Brissette, Beau Bridges

    Released1983

    Directed byJonathan Kaplan

    Heart Like a Wheel is a 1983 biographical film directed by Jonathan Kaplan and based on the life of drag racing driver Shirley Muldowney. It stars Bonnie Bedelia as Muldowney, and Beau Bridges as...  more
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    Airborne

    Jack Black, Seth Green

    Released1993

    Directed byRob Bowman

    Airborne is a 1993 American comedy-drama film centered on inline skating, starring Shane McDermott, Seth Green, Brittney Powell, Chris Conrad, Jacob Vargas and a then-unknown Jack Black....  more
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    Night And The City

    Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange

    Released1992

    Directed byIrwin Winkler

    Night and the City is a 1992 remake of the 1950 film noir of the same name, itself an adaptation of Gerald Kersh's novel of the same name. The film stars Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange and is...  more
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    Match Point

    Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

    Released2005

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Match Point is a 2005 drama film written and directed by Woody Allen which stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, and Penelope Wilton. Rhys Meyers's...  more

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    The Recruiter

    Viktor Sukhorukov, Olga Landina

    Released2004

    Directed byGulshat Omarova

    Shiza a.k.a. Schizo is a 2004 Russian language film directed by Gulshat Omarova. The film was in the official selection from Kazakhstan for the 77th Academy Awards. It was also screened in the Un...  more
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    Fast Track: No Limits

    Erin Cahill, Maurice Roeves

    Released2008

    Directed byAxel Sand

    Fast Track: No Limits is a 2008 independent film directed by Axel Sand. The film was written and produced by Lee Goldberg who is known for his work on Diagnosis: Murder and Monk, and was as a...  more