Sports

The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made 

Ranker Film
Updated October 1, 2019 1.4k votes 296 voters 29.3k views 30 items

Black sports movies combine the thrill of competition with athletes' desire to fight against oppression. The top black sports movies range from completely fictitious comedies to compelling real-life documentaries. This is a list of the top black sports films featuring everything from When We Were Kings to Love & Basketball to The Hurricane.

What movies will you find on this list of the best black sports films? You might vote Hoop Dreams to the top. Documentarian Steve James followed two African American high school basketball stars as they set out on their quest to join the NBA. The movie examined all of the factors that contribute to the future of these young men including race, social class, education, and skills. White Men Can't Jump bridged the racial divide as Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes played a pair of b-ball hustlers who are out to make a quick buck. Other good movies featured on this top black sports movies list include Ali, He Got Game, and Drumline.

Which black athlete movies deserves the top spots on this list? Help us decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section. And be sure to check out our list of the best movies about racism.

list ordered by
1
Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
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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#810 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #358 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #74 of 125 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

2
Coach Carter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Thomas 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

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#29 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #36 of 50 The Most Woke Movies of All Time

3
42 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Nicole Beharie

Released: 2013

Directed by: Brian Helgeland

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

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#167 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #9 of 27 The Greatest African American Biopics

4
Love & Basketball is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan

Released: 2000

Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film tells the story of Quincy McCall and Monica Wright, two next-door neighbors in Los ...more

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#494 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #5 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens

5
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates

Released: 2009

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

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

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#703 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Quietly Racist Things You Probably Missed In The Blind Sidelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Above the Rim is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Tupac Shakur, Bernie Mac, Marlon Wayans

Released: 1994

Directed by: Jeff Pollack

Above the Rim is a 1994 American drama directed by Jeff Pollack. The screenplay was written by Pollack and screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper, from a story by Pollack and Benny Medina. Starring ...more

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#102 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #18 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens

7
White Men Can't Jump is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez

Released: 1992

Directed by: Ron Shelton

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

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#806 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #160 of 173 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

8
The Express is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Dennis Quaid, Nicole Beharie, Clancy Brown

Released: 2008

Directed by: Gary Fleder

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

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#96 of 179 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #37 of 52 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

9
He Got Game is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Milla Jovovich

Released: 1998

Directed by: Spike Lee

He Got Game is a 1998 American sports-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate convicted for an act against his wife. He is ...more

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#72 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #79 of 179 The Best Sports Movies Ever Madelisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

10
Glory Road is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Emily Deschanel, Jon Voight, Tatyana Ali

Released: 2006

Directed by: James Gartner

Glory Road is a 2006 American drama sports film directed by James Gartner, based on a true story surrounding the events leading to the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Don ...more

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#219 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #58 of 179 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #46 of 52 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

11
Space Jam is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Larry Bird

Released: 1996

Directed by: Joe Pytka

Space Jam is a 1996 American live-action/animated sports family/comedy film starring basketball player Michael Jordan and featuring the Looney Tunes characters. The film was produced by Ivan ...more

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#76 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #72 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever 'Space Jam' Was A '90s Fever Dream With Cynical Origins

12
The Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

Released: 1999

Directed by: Norman Jewison

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

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#59 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #93 of 236 The Best Movies Based on True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Cool Runnings is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
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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#92 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #75 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

14
Drumline is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Zoe Saldana, Nick Cannon, Orlando Jones

Released: 2002

Directed by: Charles Stone III

Drumline is a 2002 American drama film directed by Charles Stone III. The screenplay, a fictional story about a historically black college and university marching band, was written by Tina ...more

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#222 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #26 of 119 The Best College Movies Ever

15
Ali is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 2001

Directed by: Michael Mann

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

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#96 of 236 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #10 of 27 The Greatest African American Biopics

16
Pride is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Tom Arnold

Released: 2007

Directed by: Sunu Gonera

Pride is a 2007 biopic drama feature film released by Lionsgate Entertainment on March 23, 2007. Loosely based upon the true story of Philadelphia swim coach James "Jim" Ellis, Pride ...more

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#49 of 53 The Best Movies "Loosely" Based on True Stories #125 of 159 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies The Best Songs About Pride

17
Sunset Park is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Terrence Howard, Carol Kane, Rhea Perlman

Released: 1996

Directed by: Steve Gomer

Sunset Park is a 1996 basketball film. It stars Rhea Perlman as the head coach of a high school boys' basketball team from the Sunset Park neighborhood in New York City. The film also stars ...more

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#26 of 54 The Best Basketball Movies #31 of 47 The Best Terrence Howard Movieslisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

18
Rebound is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Martin Lawrence, Megan Mullally, Tom Arnold

Released: 2005

Directed by: Steve Carr

Rebound is a 2005 comedy film directed by Steve Carr and starring Martin Lawrence as a disgraced college basketball coach who returns to his old middle school to coach the boys' basketball team. ...more
19
Hoop Dreams is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
William Gates, Arthur Agee

Released: 1994

Directed by: Steve James

Hoop Dreams is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Steve James and written by James and Frederick Marx, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school ...more

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#258 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #31 of 398 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time #12 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel

20
The Jesse Owens Story is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
LeVar Burton, Norman Fell, Tom Bosley

Released: 1984

Directed by: Richard Irving

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

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#357 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #15 of 53 The Best G-Rated Sports Movies

21
Men of Honor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 2000

Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.

Men of Honor is a 2000 drama film, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. It is inspired by the true story of Master chief petty officer Carl ...more

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#1,177 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #195 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

22
The Greatest is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1977

Directed by: Tom Gries, Monte Hellman

The Greatest is a 1977 film about the life of boxer Muhammad Ali, in which Ali plays himself. It was directed by Tom Gries and Monte Hellman. The film follows Ali's life from the 1960 Olympics ...more
23
When We Were Kings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
George Foreman, B.B. King, Don King

Released: 1996

Directed by: Leon Gast

When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The ...more

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#536 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #14 of 398 The Greatest Documentaries of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
Brian's Song is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Dick Butkus, James Caan, Billy Dee Williams

Released: 1971

Directed by: Buzz Kulik

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

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#228 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #52 of 151 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made #45 of 199 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

25
Unforgivable Blackness ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thornton

Released: 2004

Directed by: Ken Burns

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Geoffrey C. Ward. In Burns' signature style the ...more