Sports

The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time  

Ranker Film
1.9k votes 244 voters 9.2k views 40 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.

list ordered by
1
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion (Carl Weathers) in ...more

More Rocky

#29 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #10 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
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

More Remember the Titans

#88 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #12 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #807 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
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

More The Blind Side

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

4
Miracle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Dryden

If you like this flick, check out our list of docudrama movies.

Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks, that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The USA team's victory ...more

More Miracle

#896 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #121 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #58 of 240 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

5
Field of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner
Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy ...more

More Field of Dreams

#74 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #87 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #242 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
Coach Carter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
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

More Coach Carter

#29 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #53 of 180 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

7
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita
The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

More The Karate Kid

#22 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #109 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #7 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

8
Rudy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography
Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of ...more

More Rudy

#287 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #97 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents

9
Hoosiers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey
Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film written by Angelo Pizzo and directed by David Anspaugh. It tells the story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. It ...more

More Hoosiers

#655 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #103 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #175 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
A League of Their Own is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell
A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Directed by Penny Marshall, the ...more

More A League of Their Own

#325 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #104 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #52 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies

11
Cinderella Man is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti
Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by ...more

More Cinderella Man

#42 of 240 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #282 of 547 The Greatest Movies for Guys #130 of 307 The Best Movies for Men

12
Invincible is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Randy Couture
Invincible is a 2006 sports film directed by Ericson Core set in 1976. It is based on the true story of Vince Papale, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976 to 1978. Mark Wahlberg ...more

More Invincible

#94 of 240 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #29 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever #102 of 139 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

13
We Are Marshall is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Matthew McConaughey, Kate Mara, January Jones
We Are Marshall is a 2006 American historical drama biopic film directed by McG. It depicts the aftermath of the 1970 incident that 37 football players on the Marshall University Thundering Herd ...more

More We Are Marshall

#750 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #78 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #52 of 240 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

14
Brian's Song is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
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

More Brian's Song

#231 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #10 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #50 of 145 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

15
Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank
Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. This film is about an ...more

More Million Dollar Baby

#35 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies #1,080 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
The Rookie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Rachel Griffiths
The Rookie is a 2002 sports drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on the true story of Jim Morris, who had a brief, but famous Major League ...more

More The Rookie

#1,279 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #100 of 139 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #36 of 180 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

17
42 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
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

More 42

#167 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #9 of 26 The Greatest African American Biopics #5 of 39 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

18
The Wrestler is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei
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

More The Wrestler

#112 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #52 of 145 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made #248 of 547 The Greatest Movies for Guys

19
High Flying Bird is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
André Holland, Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg
High Flying Bird is a 2019 American sports drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh. A sports agent (Andre Holland) pitches a rookie basketball client (Melvin Gregg) on an intriguing and ...more

More High Flying Bird

#43 of 65 The Best Netflix Original Movies of 2019, Ranked #29 of 45 The Most Anticipated Netflix Movies of 2019 #280 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

20
Ali is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
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

More Ali

#19 of 717 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #331 of 409 The Best Rainy Day Movies #10 of 26 The Greatest African American Biopics

21
The Fighter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg
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 ...more

More The Fighter

#1,046 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #56 of 240 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #197 of 241 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

22
McFarland, USA is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor
McFarland, USA is an American 2015 sports drama film directed by Niki Caro and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the true story of a 1987 cross country team from a predominantly ...more

More McFarland, USA

#149 of 180 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #16 of 19 The Best Disney Movies For Boys #18 of 25 The 25+ Best Sports Movies for Kids

23
Southpaw is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
TerryLane added Rachel McAdams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomie Harris
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

More Southpaw

#1,300 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #126 of 180 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #8 of 23 The Best Sports Thriller Movies, Ranked

24
Jerry Maguire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu, Renée Zellweger
Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger. It was ...more

More Jerry Maguire

#362 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #77 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese
Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik ...more

More Raging Bull

#55 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing Behind The Scenes Of 'Raging Bull,' The Masterpiece Scorsese Never Wanted To Makelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever