Sports

The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time 

Ranker Film
2k votes 255 voters 9.5k views 52 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

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#10 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture #86 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable 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

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#808 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #358 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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

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#704 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

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#231 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #11 of 80 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

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

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#242 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #72 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The Most Memorable 'Field of Dreams' Quotes

6
Rudy is listed (or ranked) 6 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

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#430 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #285 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timefeaturing Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents

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

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#134 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #99 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #7 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

8
Hoosiers is listed (or ranked) 8 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

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#645 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #169 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

9
Coach Carter is listed (or ranked) 9 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

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#29 of 720 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #53 of 179 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

10
Bull Durham is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor league experiences of writer/director Ron Shelton and depicts the players and fans of the Durham ...more

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#188 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #225 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

11
Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm
Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of ...more

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12
A League of Their Own is listed (or ranked) 12 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

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#112 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #58 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

13
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T
Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony ...more

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#468 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #723 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

14
Days of Thunder is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall
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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#1,005 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #360 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

15
Olympic Dreams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
Alexi Pappas, Nick Kroll, Gus Kenworthy
Olympic dreams is a 2020 American comedy directed by Jeremy Teicher. A young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor after her competition ends.
16
Creed is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson
Creed is a 2015 American sports drama film directed by Ryan Coogler. The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson ...more

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17
Moneyball is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright
Moneyball is an American 2011 biographical sports drama film directed by Bennett Miller from a screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. The film is based on Michael Lewis's 2003 ...more

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#801 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #248 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books

18
Invictus is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Langley Kirkwood
"From director Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar ...more

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#64 of 179 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #18 of 41 35+ Great Political Movies Based on True Stories

19
For Love of the Game is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, J.K. Simmons
For Love of the Game is a 1999 American drama sports film based on the novel of the same title by Michael Shaara. It is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston. The film ...more

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#225 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #547 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

20
The Natural is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Kim Basinger, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall
The Natural is a 1984 sports drama. It is a film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball novel of the same name, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, and ...more

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#177 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #151 of 172 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

21
The Black Stallion is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton
The Black Stallion is a 1979 American film based on the 1941 classic children's novel The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. It tells the story of Alec Ramsay, who is shipwrecked on a deserted ...more

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22
American Flyers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time
whatisatlas added
Kevin Costner, Jennifer Grey, Alexandra Paul
American Flyers is a 1985 film starring Kevin Costner, David Marshall Grant, Rae Dawn Chong, Alexandra Paul and Janice Rule about bicycle racing. It was directed by John Badham and written by ...more

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#107 of 159 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies #33 of 51 The Best Kevin Costner Movies

23
Cinderella Man is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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#283 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #13 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

24
Invincible is listed (or ranked) 24 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

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#29 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Ever #95 of 238 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #30 of 179 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

25
We Are Marshall is listed (or ranked) 25 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

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#79 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #80 of 199 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time #53 of 238 The Best Movies Based on True Stories