Sports

The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
1.4k votes 288 voters 28.2k 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
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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#88 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #12 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #802 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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
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 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #6 of 40 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time #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
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 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #9 of 26 The Greatest African American Biopics #33 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

4
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates
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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#702 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Quietly Racist Things You Probably Missed In The Blind Sidelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Love & Basketball is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan
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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#247 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #35 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #494 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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
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 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #305 of 319 Movies with the Best Soundtracks #18 of 35 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
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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#144 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #61 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #806 of 1,204 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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
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
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
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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#244 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #72 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted 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
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 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #137 of 139 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #32 of 40 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

11
The Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger
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 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #111 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Space Jam is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Larry Bird
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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#72 of 600 The Best Animated Films Ever #76 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing Space Jam Is The Craziest Kids Movie Ever Made And We Should Be Grateful For It

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
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 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #32 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #75 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

14
Ali is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith
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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#19 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #332 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #10 of 26 The Greatest African American Biopics

15
Pride is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Tom Arnold
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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#223 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #49 of 53 The Best Movies "Loosely" Based on True Storiesfeaturing The Best Songs About Pride

16
Drumline is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Zoe Saldana, Nick Cannon, Orlando Jones
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 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #88 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #45 of 205 The Best Movies About Music

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
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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#200 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #26 of 54 The Best Basketball Movieslisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

18
The Jesse Owens Story is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
LeVar Burton, Norman Fell, Tom Bosley
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
19
Hoop Dreams is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
William Gates, Arthur Agee
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 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #336 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #34 of 396 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time

20
The Greatest is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Ernest Borgnine
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

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#67 of 95 The Best Robert Duvall Movies #17 of 117 The Greatest Boxing Movies Ever Made

21
When We Were Kings is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
George Foreman, B.B. King, Don King
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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#110 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #14 of 396 The Greatest Documentaries of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Rebound is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Martin Lawrence, Megan Mullally, Tom Arnold
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

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#413 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #30 of 31 The Funniest Comedy Movies About Sports #37 of 42 The Best Sports Movies About Coaches

23
Men of Honor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made
Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding 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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#195 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,177 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #140 of 307 The Best Movies for Men

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
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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#231 of 719 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #10 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #25 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

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
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