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The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

Updated May 12, 2020 3.1k votes 332 voters 13.2k views55 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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  • 1
    Rocky
    115
    38

    Rocky

    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Remember the Titans
    108
    38

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Released2000

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

    Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Blind Side
    113
    49

    The Blind Side

    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Miracle
    76
    35

    Miracle

    Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson

    Released2004

    Directed byGavin O'Connor

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

  • 5
    Hoosiers
    66
    27

    Hoosiers

    Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper

    Released1986

    Directed byDavid Anspaugh

    Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film directed by David Anspaugh. A coach with a checkered past (Gene... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Coach Carter
    74
    39

    Coach Carter

    Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum

    Released2005

    Directed byThomas Carter

    Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical teen sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter,... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Rudy
    74
    39

    Rudy

    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin

    Released1993

    Directed byDavid Anspaugh

    Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Field of Dreams
    71
    36

    Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

    Released1989

    Directed byPhil Alden Robinson

    Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    The Karate Kid
    63
    30

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G.... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    A League of Their Own
    61
    35

    A League of Their Own

    Madonna, Tom Hanks

    Released1992

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Brian's Song
    44
    27

    Brian's Song

    Dick Butkus, James Caan

    Released1971

    Directed byBuzz Kulik

    Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Cinderella Man
    49
    32

    Cinderella Man

    Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger

    Released2005

    Directed byRon Howard

    Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Million Dollar Baby
    51
    35

    Million Dollar Baby

    Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

    Released2004

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Invincible
    46
    30

    Invincible

    Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg

    Released2006

    Directed byEricson Core

    Invincible is a 2006 sports film directed by Ericson Core set in 1976. It is based on the true... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    42
    50
    35

    42

    Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

    42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Fighter
    43
    27

    The Fighter

    Amy Adams, Christian Bale

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    The Fighter is a 2010 American biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Raging Bull
    43
    28

    Raging Bull

    Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

    Released1980

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    We Are Marshall
    46
    32

    We Are Marshall

    Matthew McConaughey, Kate Mara

    Released2006

    Directed byJoseph McGinty Nichol

    We Are Marshall is a 2006 American historical drama biopic film directed by McG. It depicts... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    The Wrestler
    41
    29

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke

    Released2008

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Friday Night Lights
    46
    35

    Friday Night Lights

    Amber Heard, Connie Britton

    Released2004

    Directed byPeter Berg

    Friday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama film, directed by Peter Berg, which documents the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Southpaw
    40
    28

    Southpaw

    Rachel McAdams, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Directed byAntoine Fuqua

    Southpaw is a 2015 American sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua. A champion boxer... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    The Rookie
    39
    31

    The Rookie

    Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox

    Released2002

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    The Rookie is a 2002 sports drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and produced by Walt... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    The Hustler
    31
    24

    The Hustler

    Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason

    Released1961

    Directed byRobert Rossen

    The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the Walter Tevis's... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    McFarland, USA
    36
    31

    McFarland, USA

    Kevin Costner, Maria Bello

    Released2014

    Directed byNiki Caro

    McFarland, USA is an American 2015 sports drama film directed by Niki Caro and produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Warrior
    36
    32

    Warrior

    Jennifer Morrison, Tom Hardy

    Released2011

    Directed byGavin O'Connor

    Warrior is a 2011 American sports drama film directed by Gavin O'Connor and starring Tom Hardy... more on Wikipedia