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The Best Basketball Movies

Updated March 10, 2021 8.3k votes 1.8k voters 136.8k views68 items

List RulesFilms about or featuring a basketball player or team

A list of the best basketball movies. There are the top, best movies about basketball. A portion of them are based on true stories. Basketball is one of the few sports to have been invented in North America, it is also easily the most popular. Today, basketball is played by high school, college, and professional teams world wide.

What are the best basketball movies? Basketball films have been popular for decades, but they really took off in the 90's. The ones on this list, are the most popular, the greatest, and the best. This list includes basketball comedies, dramas and basketball movies based on true stories.
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    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, based on the true story of the Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter. Controversy surrounds...  more

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    #41 of 85 The Greatest African American Biopics#5 of 59 The 50+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

  • 2
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    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 Hackman) and a local drunk (Dennis Hopper) train a small town high school basketball team to become a...  more

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    #888 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies#180 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

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    White Men Can't Jump

    Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes

    Released1992

    Directed byRon Shelton

    White Men Can't Jump is a 1992 American sports buddy comedy film written and directed by Ron Shelton, starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as streetball hustlers. The film was released in the...  more

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    #29 of 147 The Funniest Black Movies Ever Made#400 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys

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    He Got Game

    Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal

    Released1998

    Directed bySpike Lee

    He Got Game is a 1998 American sports-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee. It stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, a prison inmate convicted for an act against his wife. He is also...  more

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    #25 of 63 Movies Set in Brooklyn#278 of 290 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

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    Glory Road

    Emily Deschanel, Jon Voight

    Released2006

    Directed byJames Gartner

    Glory Road is a 2006 American drama sports film directed by James Gartner, based on a true story surrounding the events leading to the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Don Haskins...  more
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    Space Jam

    Michael Jordan, Bill Murray

    Released1996

    Directed byJoe Pytka

    Space Jam is a 1996 American live-action/animated sports family/comedy film starring basketball player Michael Jordan and featuring the Looney Tunes characters. The film was produced by Ivan Reitman,...  more

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    Above the Rim

    Tupac Shakur, Bernie Mac

    Released1994

    Directed byJeff Pollack

    Above the Rim is a 1994 American drama directed by Jeff Pollack. The screenplay was written by Pollack and screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper, from a story by Pollack and Benny Medina. Starring Duane...  more

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    #303 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks#7 of 12 Hidden Gems On HBO Max You Don't Want To Skip Over

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    Love & Basketball

    Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union

    Released2000

    Directed byGina Prince-Bythewood

    Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film tells the story of Quincy McCall and Monica Wright, two next-door neighbors in Los Angeles,...  more

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    #259 of 783 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#8 of 668 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

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    Blue Chips

    Shaquille O'Neal, Larry Bird

    Released1994

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

    Blue Chips is a 1994 basketball drama film, directed by William Friedkin, written by Ron Shelton and starring Nick Nolte as a college coach and real-life basketball stars Shaquille O'Neal and...  more

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    Hoop Dreams

    William Gates, Arthur Agee

    Released1994

    Directed bySteve James

    Hoop Dreams is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Steve James and written by James and Frederick Marx, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school...  more

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    #274 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s#13 of 392 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time

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    Semi-Pro

    Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig

    Released2008

    Directed byKent Alterman

    Semi-Pro is a 2008 American sports comedy film from New Line Cinema. The film was directed by Kent Alterman and stars Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin and Maura Tierney. The film was...  more

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    #14 of 34 The Funniest Movies About Sports#138 of 153 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

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    The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend

    Millie Perkins, John Richardson

    Released1991

    Directed byFrank C. Schroder

    The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend is a 1991 biographical sports film about the 1959 8th grade basketball season of Pete Maravich and his father Press Maravich. The film, which presents his early...  more
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    165
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    Like Mike

    Brenda Song, Jimmy Kimmel

    Released2002

    Directed byJohn Schultz

    Like Mike is a 2002 film directed by John Schultz and starring Lil' Bow Wow. The film was produced by NBA Productions and features many cameo appearances by NBA stars....  more
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    164
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    Air Up There

    Kevin Bacon, Charles Gitonga Maina

    Released1994

    Directed byPaul Michael Glaser

    The Air Up There is a 1994 comedy film directed by Paul Michael Glaser and starring Kevin Bacon and Charles Gitonga Maina with Yolanda Vazquez as Sister Susan....  more
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    105
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    Finding Forrester

    Anna Paquin, Matt Damon

    Released2000

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Finding Forrester is a 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant. An African-American teenager, Jamal Wallace, is invited to attend a prestigious private high school....  more

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    #244 of 372 The Best Movies Based On Books#37 of 95 80+ Great Movies About Black Teens

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    Basketball Diaries

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg

    Released1995

    Directed byScott Kalvert

    The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg from the non-fiction work of the same name....  more

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    #74 of 302 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#36 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

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    The 6th Man

    Marlon Wayans, Michael Michele

    Released1997

    Directed byRandall Miller

    The 6th Man, sometimes titled The Sixth Man, is a 1997 American sports comedy film directed by Randall Miller, starring Marlon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison. The film was released in the United States...  more
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    Teen Wolf

    Michael J. Fox, Doug Savant

    Released1985

    Directed byRod Daniel

    Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film released by Atlantic Releasing Corporation starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a high school student who discovers that his family has an unusual...  more

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    #68 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies#106 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

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    Released1996

    Directed byEriq La Salle

    Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault is a 1996 HBO television film about Earl Manigault, an American street basketball legendary player famous under his nickname of "The Goat." The film...  more
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    Celtic Pride

    Larry Bird, Deion Sanders

    Released1996

    Directed byTom DeCerchio

    Celtic Pride is a 1996 American comedy written by Judd Apatow and Colin Quinn, and directed by Tom DeCerchio. It stars Daniel Stern and Dan Aykroyd as Mike O'Hara and Jimmy Flaherty, two passionate...  more
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    One on One

    Melanie Griffith, Annette O'Toole

    Released1977

    Directed byLamont Johnson

    One on One is a 1977 drama film starring Robby Benson and Annette O'Toole. It was written by Benson and Jerry Segal, and shot on location in 1976 at Colorado State University. The film features songs...  more
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    223
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    High Flying Bird

    André Holland, Zazie Beetz

    Released2019

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    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
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    Sunset Park

    Terrence Howard, Carol Kane

    Released1996

    Directed bySteve Gomer

    Sunset Park is a 1996 basketball film. It stars Rhea Perlman as the head coach of a high school boys' basketball team from the Sunset Park neighborhood in New York City. The film also stars rapper...  more
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    BASEketball

    Jenny McCarthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Released1998

    Directed byDavid Zucker

    BASEketball is a 1998 American sports comedy film by David Zucker starring South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Dian Bachar, Robert Vaughn, Ernest Borgnine, Yasmine Bleeth, and...  more

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    #409 of 1,141 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#543 of 924 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

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    Uncle Drew

    Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery

    Released2018

    Directed byCharles Stone III

    Uncle Drew is a 2018 sports comedy film directed by Charles Stone III. After losing to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll) in a street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) stumbles upon the...