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The Best Basketball Movies 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated March 6, 2020 9.4k votes 1.6k voters 133.3k views 55 items

List Rules Films 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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1
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Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, Ashanti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Thomas 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 ...more

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#24 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #53 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #4 of 39 The Most Inspirational Black Movies

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Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez

Released: 1992

Directed by: Ron 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 ...more

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#166 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #52 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #469 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

3
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Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey

Released: 1986

Directed by: David 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 ...more

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#170 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #920 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #172 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

4
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Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Milla Jovovich

Released: 1998

Directed by: Spike 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 ...more

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#77 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #288 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

5
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Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Larry Bird

Released: 1996

Directed by: Joe 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 ...more

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'Space Jam' Was A '90s Fever Dream With Cynical Origins #54 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #84 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

6
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Emily Deschanel, Jon Voight, Tatyana Ali

Released: 2006

Directed by: James 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 ...more

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#304 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #139 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #73 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

7
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Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan

Released: 2000

Directed by: Gina 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 ...more

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#11 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #370 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #290 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

8
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wiabux added Tupac Shakur, Bernie Mac, Marlon Wayans

Released: 1994

Directed by: Jeff 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 ...more

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#56 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #317 of 321 Movies with the Best Soundtracks #6 of 33 The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made

9
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Shaquille O'Neal, Larry Bird, Kevin Garnett

Released: 1994

Directed by: William 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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#76 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #27 of 33 The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Made #52 of 55 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

10
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wiabux added

Released: 1994

Directed by: Steve 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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#349 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #330 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #8 of 364 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time

11
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Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Woody Harrelson

Released: 2008

Directed by: Kent 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 ...more
12
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Brenda Song, Jimmy Kimmel, Jonathan Lipnicki

Released: 2002

Directed by: John 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.

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#50 of 59 The Best Movies Released July 4th Weekend #22 of 25 The 25+ Best Sports Movies for Kids #31 of 38 The Best High School Sports Movies

13
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis

Released: 1995

Directed by: Scott 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 ...more

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#52 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #14 of 212 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #206 of 321 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

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Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Sean Connery

Released: 2000

Directed by: Gus 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 ...more

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#615 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #250 of 368 The Best Movies Based On Books #8 of 81 The Best Movies About Writers

16
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josie-maxwell added Millie Perkins, John Richardson, Tom Lester

Released: 1991

Directed by: Frank 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
17
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Marlon Wayans, Michael Michele, David Paymer

Released: 1997

Directed by: Randall 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 ...more
18
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Larry Bird, Deion Sanders, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1996

Directed by: Tom 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 ...more
19
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Kevin Garnett, James Earl Jones, Don Cheadle

Released: 1996

Directed by: Eriq 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 ...more
20
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Michael J. Fox, Doug Savant, James Hampton

Released: 1985

Directed by: Rod 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 ...more

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#119 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #101 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #71 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

21
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Logan2011 added Jenny McCarthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Victoria Silvstedt

Released: 1998

Directed by: David 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, ...more

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#75 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #523 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #342 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

22
High Flying Bird is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Basketball Movies
André Holland, Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg

Released: 2019

Directed by: Steven 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
23
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Terrence Howard, Carol Kane, Rhea Perlman

Released: 1996

Directed by: Steve 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 ...more

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#268 of 728 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #18 of 33 The 30+ Best Black Sports Movies Ever Madelisted on Movies Set in Brooklyn

24
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Melanie Griffith, Annette O'Toole, Robby Benson

Released: 1977

Directed by: Lamont 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 ...more
25
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BrandyBrandiceMaeJohnson added Lil Wayne, Taraji P. Henson, Forest Whitaker

Released: 2009

Directed by: Tim Story

Hurricane Season is a sports drama film directed by Tim Story and starring Forest Whitaker, Taraji P. Henson, Isaiah Washington, and Bow Wow. The screenplay was written by Robert Eisele and the ...more