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370 voters

The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

Updated April 7, 2021 3.3k votes 370 voters 15.0k views58 items

Camaraderie, heart, and a good underdog story are often at the core of a good sports drama. The top sports drama movies tap into a universal quest for greatness in the setting of a field, court, or track. This is a list of great dramas about athletes featuring everything from Field of Dreams to The Blind Side to Friday Night Lights.

What films will you find on this list of great dramas about sports? Of course, Rocky has to make an appearance here. The 1977 Academy Award winner had everyone rooting for the title character inside the ring and out while he rose up to fight adversity. Raging Bulldirected by Martin Scorsese – is another great sports drama about a tough boxer.

Many notable sports movies are about men, but women stepped into the spotlight, and up to the plate, with A League of Their Own. Other good movies featured on this top sports dramas list include The Hurricane, The Karate Kid, and My All American.

Do you have a favorite sports drama? Take a look at this list, vote your favorites to the top, and please add any good movies about athletes that are missing.

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    Creed

    Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan
    Creed is a 2015 American sports drama film directed by Ryan Coogler. The former World...  more

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    Ali

    Will Smith, Jamie Foxx
    Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of...  more

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    #67 of 301 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#8 of 85 The Greatest African American Biopics

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    Safety

    Jay Reeves, Thaddeus J. Mixson
    Safety is a 2020 American biographical sports drama film directed by Reginald Hudlin. A...  more
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    Any Given Sunday

    Cameron Diaz, Al Pacino
    Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional...  more

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    #56 of 204 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#210 of 306 The Best Ensemble Movies

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    Bull Durham

    Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon
    Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor...  more

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    Jerry Maguire

    Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu
    Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced and...  more

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    The Hustler

    Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason
    The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the Walter Tevis's...  more

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    Slalom

    Noée Abita, Jérémie Renier
    Slalom is a 2020 French sports drama film directed by Charlène Favier. Under the guidance of a...  more
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    The Pride of the Yankees

    Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper
    The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 American film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gary...  more
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    High Flying Bird

    André Holland, Zazie Beetz
    High Flying Bird is a 2019 American sports drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh. A sports...  more
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    Boogie

    Taylor Takahashi, Taylour Paige
    Boogie is an 2021 American sports drama film directed by Eddie Huang. An Asian-American...  more
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    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh
    Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two...  more

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    The Way Back

    Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal
    The Way Back is an American sports drama film directed by Gavin O'Connor and written by Brad...  more

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    Glory Road

    Emily Deschanel, Jon Voight
    Glory Road is a 2006 American drama sports film directed by James Gartner, based on a true...  more
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    The Hurricane

    Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber
    The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel...  more

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    For Love of the Game

    Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston
    For Love of the Game is a 1999 American drama sports film based on the novel of the same title...  more
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    Olympic Dreams

    Alexi Pappas, Nick Kroll
    Olympic dreams is a 2020 American comedy directed by Jeremy Teicher. A young cross-country...  more
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    The Natural

    Kim Basinger, Robert Redford
    The Natural is a 1984 sports drama. It is a film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball...  more

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    The Express

    Dennis Quaid, Nicole Beharie
    The Express is a 2008 American sports film produced by John Davis and directed by Gary Fleder....  more
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    Rocky IV

    Sylvester Stallone, James Brown
    Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also...  more

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    Days of Thunder

    Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman
    Days of Thunder is a 1990 American auto racing film released by Paramount Pictures, produced...  more

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    Invictus

    Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon
    "From director Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela...  more

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    Ride Like a Girl

    Teresa Palmer, Sam Neill
    Ride Like a Girl is a 2020 Australian biographical sports film directed by Rachel Griffiths...  more

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    #61 of 74 Movies With The Most Hardcore Women#4 of 15 15 Great Horse Movies On Netflix

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    Overcomer

    Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer
    Overcomer is a 2019 American Christian drama film directed by Alex Kendrick. John Harrison...  more
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    Brian Banks

    Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear
    Brian Banks is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Tom Shadyac, based on the...  more