movies objects on orange background

Lists of sports movies – fact and fiction

The sports film genre is plentiful, with many films inspired by real life stories of sports people. This list of sports films excludes documentaries, but there are still plenty of sports movies to enjoy. Find the film by the sport it’s based on.

Check out my other film lists

sports movies by sport type

*Ad – contains affiliate links

Football / soccer movies

Bend it like Beckham – indian footballing girl is pulled between her traditional family and the lure of stardom on the football field with her friend, as well as the distraction of falling for her coach.

The Damned United – based on true story about football coach Brian Clough taking on Leeds United in the 1970s

The Longest Yard – a team of prison inmates try to assert their dignity in a violent football match arranged against their guards with the involvement from a former pro footballer who ended up jailed.

United – based on the true tragic story of the Busby Babes, the legendary football players who played for Manchester United and become the youngest team to win the Football League. 

American football movies

12 Mighty Orphans – a devoted, but troubled high school football coach leads a team of orphans to the state championship during the Great Depression 

American Underdog – true story of Kurt Warner, who overcame years of setbacks to become a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback.

Any Given Sunday – looks at a turbulent season in the life of an Americal football franchise, with all the dynamics and hopelessness that included

Concussion – a doctor tries to convince the authorities and create awareness among the public about the presence of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a football-related head trauma in players.

Gridiron Gang – worker at a juvenile detention centre puts together a an American Football team to build the kids’ self esteem.

Home Team – suspended NFL head coach Sean Payton and later goes back to his hometown, and reconnects with his 12-year-old son by coaching his football team.

Jerry Maguire – sports agent tries to set himself back up after being fired from his job. But the only client he has is a disgruntled football player who wants a better contract.

The Blind Side – a homeless African-American teen finds success on and off the football field after he’s taken in by a white affluent family with a determined mum.

Varsity Blues – a college football team’s star quarterback suffers an injury, forcing the team to regroup under the a second-string quarterback with different dream.

Baseball movies

42 – life story of African American Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

A League of Their Own – story about a women’s professional baseball league during WWII.

Bull Durham – baseball themed movie of a middle aged baseball player, younger players coming through and meeting a woman also working with young players. A middle aged, ‘coming of age’ story.

Field of Dreams – Kevin Costner’s character aims to work out what the voice in his head is telling him, and reunites him with his father. An emotional ride with a love of baseball at its core.

Major League – baseball sitcom including all the cliches.

Moneyball – based on a true story of a baseball general manager and an economics graduate, who try to form a competitive sports team using computer-based methods.

The Natural – Robert Redford plays a once promising baseball player who later gets his chance at the big league.

Basketball movies

Blue Chips – story of college basketball corruption.

Boogie – an East Asian basketball prodigy tries to balance his dream of playing in the NBA with his traditional family’s expectations from him to earn a scholarship to a prestigious college.

Coach Carter – based on a true story, high school basketball coach Ken Carter benches his team for breaking their academic contract with him.

Hoop Dreams – story of inner city dreams about high school kids trying to reach the NBA.

Hoosiers – troubled coach motivates an underdog team of high schoolers to play amazing basketball by sticking to the basics.

Love and Basketball – neighbours pursuing their basketball career dreams while falling in love.

Thunderstruck – an NBA star switches his talent with his fan, the teenager becomes the star in his high school team, while the basketball player struggles while learning valuable lessons.

The way back – former high school basketball star, gets a second chance as coach of his old team.

Uncle Drew – a young black man recruits a crew of septuagenarians for the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem

White Men Can’t Jump – Venice beach streetball players team up to win local competitions. 

Fighting / martial arts / Boxing movies

Ali – Will Smith playing Mohammed Ali

Bleed for This – A car accident leaves boxer Vinny Pazienza almost paralysed. He’s determined to fight again, so trains to return to the ring for one last battle

Bruised – a MMA fighter grabs a last chance at fighting again when the young son she left behind comes back into her life.

Fighting with my Family – a British girl leaves her wrestling obsessed family to train for the chance to become a US WWE fighter, and how she finds her way.

Here comes the Boom – a biology teacher becomes an MMA fighter to earn money for his school’s extracurricular activities programme after he learns funding is being cut.

Foxcatcher – 2 wrestling brothers joins Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games.

Karate Kid – underdog movies of a boy who moves to California, gets beaten up, then learns to fight with an immigrant handyman. 

Million Dollar Baby – boxing movie with Hilary Swank in the lead.

Never Back Down – troubled teen moves to a high school and discovers there’s an underground fight club.

Raging Bull – Shot in black and white, a brutal look at what makes boxers get in the ring, and what happens afterwards. 

Rocky – a broken boxer who gets one last unlikely chance to prove himself against world heavyweight champion, a story of determination and drive.

Southpaw – after tragedy, a former boxing star is forced to start over

When we were Kings – Oscar winning documentary about the impact of the Ali/Foreman Rumble in the Jungle fight.

The Fighter – true stroy of an underdog boxer and his nightmare working class family.

Tennis movies

Battle of the Sexes – loosely based on the 1973, tennis matches between the renowned player Billie Jean King and former champion Bobby Riggs, while they deal with personal issues.

Borg vs McEnroe – the story of the 1980 rivalry between the 2 great tennis players.

King Richard – biopic of Richard Williams, father and tennis coach to the Williams sisters.

Wimbledon – rom com. An out-of-form tennis player gets a chance to play at Wimbledon. As he comes across Lizzie, an upcoming player, his game improves significantly.

Golf movies

Caddyshack – this golf based movie had a cult following.

Happy Gilmore – comedy about failed hockey player turned golfer.

Tin Cup – golf themed rom com, with Kevin Costner playing a burnt out ex pro, aiming to impress a woman by beating her boyfriend at the US Open

The greatest game ever played – a working class immigrant wants to play golf professionally, but soon realises there are many class boundaries at play

Winter Olymptics sports movies

Chalet Girl – former skateboarding champion, Kim Matthews has a choice to make: sticking to her new catering job to make money after her mother’s death, or winning the snowboarding championship. 

Cool Runnings – story of the determination of a group of Jamaican bobsledders aiming for the Winter Olympics when they don’t have snow.

Eddie the Eagle – story of Eddie the Eagle Edwards, an underdog ski-jumper, trying to become the first participant to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski-jumping.

I Tonya – a film about disgraced Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding, and her background in achieving her dreams

Miracle – tribute to coach Herb Brooks, about leading the US ice hockey team to an unlikely gold medal against the Soviet Union in 1980 Winter Olympics

F1 / racing films

Le Mans 66 – an automotive designer and a race car driver join to build a trailblazing vehicle to compete against Ferrari.

Rush – based on true events, the racing film follows the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Senna – portrait film of champion driver Ayrton Senna.

movies objects on orange background

Athletics films

Chariots of Fire – the true story of 2 early 1920s British track and field athletes in the lead up to the 1924 Olymics, that focuses on the men and the era as well as the competitive experiences.

Personal Best – a group of US women training for the 1980 Olympics, then realising that they’ll be boycotted by their country.

The Express – biopic movie about the life of Ernie Davis, the first African-American athlete who received the Heisman trophy.

Surfing / water sports movies

Point Break – FBI agent infiltrates a group of surfers involved in a number of bank robberies, complicating things when he befriends the gang’s leader.

Soul Surfer –  real story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton slowly building her courage to return to competitive surfing after a shark attack caused her to lose her arm.

The Endless Summer – surfing movie about the story of 2 wave chasers who travel the world to avoid winter.

Cricket films

83 – Cricketer Kapil Dev gets an opportunity to make his country famous on the world stage when he captains the Indian national cricket team at the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

Jersey – a failed cricketer decides to return to cricket in his late thirties with the aim of  representing the Indian cricket team and getting his son the gift of a jersey

Other sports movies

127 Hours – true story of a mountain climber out hiking in Utah who gets trapped under a boulder, and the story of how he struggles to stay alive for the 127 hours before being rescued.

Invictus – After the end of apartheid, President Nelson Mandela wants to unite the people by supporting a rugby team in their bid to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Seabiscuit – story of a racehorse beating the odds

The Big Lebowski – a bowling movie about camaraderie, culture and teams.

The Mighty Ducks – a self-centered lawyer is sentenced to community service, coaching a mess of a youth hockey team.

Whip It – a girl discovers roller derby vs her mum’s dream of her competing in pageants.

Buy or watch a selection of sports movies* at Amazon or on Prime.

What are your favourites sports themed movies?

Love it? Then share it

Similar Posts


  1. I was just about to say you missed The Mighty Ducks but it’s right there at the bottom. hehehe! It’s one of my favourite films along with Cool Runnings. x

Comments are closed.