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 Bull – directed 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.
Directed by: Boaz YakinRemember 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
Directed by: John G. AvildsenRocky 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 a... more
Directed by: John Lee HancockThe 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
Directed by: Gavin O'Connor
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 over... more
Directed by: Thomas CarterCoach Carter is a 2005 American biographical teen sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter, based on the true story of the Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter. Controversy surrounds... more
Directed by: David AnspaughRudy 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 Notre Dame... more
Directed by: Phil Alden RobinsonField 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
Directed by: David AnspaughHoosiers is a 1986 sports film directed by David Anspaugh. A coach with a checkered past (Gene Hackman) and a local drunk (Dennis Hopper) train a small town high school basketball team to become a... more
Directed by: John G. AvildsenThe 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
Directed by: Penny MarshallA 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 film... more
Directed by: Ericson CoreInvincible 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 portrays... more
Directed by: Ron HowardCinderella 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 Howard,... more
Directed by: John Lee HancockThe 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
Directed by: Joseph McGinty NicholWe 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
Directed by: Brian Helgeland42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film directed by Brian Helgeland. The powerful story of Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), the legendary baseball player who broke Major League Baseball’s... more
Directed by: Clint EastwoodMillion 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
Directed by: Antoine FuquaSouthpaw 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
Directed by: David O. RussellThe 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 older... more
Directed by: Buzz KulikBrian'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, told... more
Directed by: Peter BergFriday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama film, directed by Peter Berg, which documents the coach and players of a high school football team and the Texas city of Odessa that supports and is... more
Directed by: Todd RandallUnder the Stadium Lights is a 2021 American sports drama film directed by Todd Randall, based on the nonfiction book Brother's Keeper by Al Pickett and Chad Mitchell. A true story about the '09... more
Directed by: Martin ScorseseRaging 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 Martin... more
Directed by: Ryan CooglerCreed 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 (Michael... more
Directed by: Darren AronofskyThe 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
Directed by: Niki CaroMcFarland, 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