The 10 Best Sports Movies to Watch Right Now

The must-watch sports movies on streaming platforms

Sports movies deliver all kinds of thrills, which makes them such entertaining viewing experiences. Whether you're watching the underdog team finally beat their arch-rivals or hearing a coach deliver a rousing speech to their players, it's hard not to get emotionally invested in what's happening on-screen.

The best movies in this genre show their subjects overcoming adversity and teach us something about the role of sports in the larger culture. Here are some of the greatest sports movies you can catch on streaming platforms right now.

This list includes both feature films and documentaries. It isn't meant to be a definitive ranking of the best sports movies ever made. Instead, think of it as an introduction to the genre, with a mix of movies to suit many different tastes.

01
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Best for People Who Don't Watch Sports Movies: Moneyball (2011)

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball (2011)

Columbia Pictures / IMDb

  • IMDb Rating: 7.6
  • Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
  • Starring: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill
  • Director: Bennett Miller
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 133 minutes

The perfect movie to show to anyone who typically doesn't like sports movies, Moneyball is a flat-out entertaining drama that happens to be about baseball. The film chronicles Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), and his attempts to build a competitive team for the 2002 season.

Thanks in large part to Aaron Sorkin's snappy script, Moneyball somehow makes discussions of MLB economics and player analytics riveting. Pitt's chemistry with co-star Jonah Hill also goes a long way in making this such an enjoyable watch.

Moneyball was one of the best-reviewed films of 2011 and received six Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Hill), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.

02
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Best Sports Documentary: Hoop Dreams (1994)

William Gates and others in Hoop Dreams (1994)

Kartemquin Films

  • IMDb Rating: 8.3
  • Genre: Documentary, Drama, Sport
  • Starring: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
  • Director: Steve James
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 170 minutes

Arguably the most influential sports documentary ever made, Hoop Dreams remains a poignant, ground-breaking examination of professional sports' allure and the brutality of the American Dream. Focusing on two Chicago-area teens, William Gates and Arthur Agee, as they follow their dream of playing in the NBA, Steve James' film is notable for its ambition. Filmed over five years, the movie isn't just the story of a couple of teens who want to play basketball for a living, but the darker side of sports as a whole.

Hoop Dreams is regularly cited as one of the best documentaries of all time and received near-universal acclaim from critics. Although it received a nomination for Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards, its omission from the Best Documentary category was a significant controversy.

03
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Best Female-Driven Sports Movie: A League of Their Own (1992)

Geena Davis as Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own (1992)

Columbia Pictures / IMDb

  • IMDb Rating: 7.3
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sport
  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty
  • Director: Penny Marshall
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 128 minutes

The famous line "there's no crying in baseball" may be uttered by Tom Hanks' Jimmy Dugan, but everyone knows A League of Their Own is all about the ladies. Starring Geena Davis and Lori Petty as rival sisters who join a women's baseball league during World War II, Penny Marshall's film is a funny, touching tribute to baseball and the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Whether it's the intelligent and snappy script or the fact that many actresses performed the stunts, few sports movies are as enjoyable.

Despite often being left off many "all-time sports movies" lists, A League of Their Own is the highest-earning baseball movie in history and has become a beloved classic in its own right.

04
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Best High School Sports Movie: Friday Night Lights (2004)

Billy Bob Thornton as Coach Gary Gaines in Friday Night Lights (2004)

Universal Pictures / IMDb

  • IMDb Rating: 7.2
  • Genre: Action, Drama, Sport
  • Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Jay Hernandez, Derek Luke
  • Director: Peter Berg
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

A movie about football and its hold on millions of players and fans alike, Friday Night Lights is essential viewing if you want to understand why the sport is such a fixture in American culture. Based on H.G. Bissinger's book of the same name, the movie follows a Texas high school football team's run to the 1988 state championship. Starring Billy Bob Thornton and a range of up-and-coming young stars, Friday Night Lights is a great high school movie and a thrilling sports drama.

Friday Night Lights mainly received positive reviews upon reviews, but its most significant legacy is the TV show it spawned two years later. It aired from 2006-2011 and is arguably even better than the movie.

05
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Best Sports Reboot: Creed (2015)

Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in Creed (2015)

Warner Bros. Pictures / IMDb

  • IMDb Rating: 7.6
  • Genre: Drama, Sport
  • Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 133 minutes

Rocky may still be the king, but Creed is a more-than-worthy successor to the boxing movie crown. Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, as he carves a name for himself in the boxing world with Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) as trainer and mentor.

Written and directed by future Black Panther helmer Ryan Coogler, Creed somehow honors the Rocky franchise's legacy while forging a solid story for old and new fans alike.

Creed received an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and even drew awards buzz, with Stallone earning a much-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

06
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Best Vertigo-Inducing Documentary: Free Solo (2018)

Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan in Free Solo (2018)

National Geographic / Prime Video

  • IMDb Rating: 8.2
  • Genre: Documentary, Adventure, Sport
  • Starring: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Jimmy Chin
  • Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

One of the most compelling sports documentaries you'll ever see, Free Solo is a towering (pun intended) technical achievement and a stunning portrait of one man's extreme determination. Profiling rock climber Alex Honnold's free solo climb of El Capitan in June 2017, Free Solo, was directed and filmed by a crew of experienced climbers, which helps create a sense of intimacy that can be nauseating at times. Even with the knowledge that Honnold survived the climb, it's hard not to watch every second of his attempt with bated breath.

Free Solo premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018, where it won the People's Choice Award in the Documentaries category. It also notably beat out RBG to win Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

07
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Best Sports Underdog Story: Miracle (2004)

Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks in Miracle (2004)

Walt Disney Pictures / Netflix

  • IMDb Rating: 7.5
  • Genre: Biography, Drama, History
  • Starring: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West
  • Director: Gavin O'Connor
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 135 minutes

Underdog stories are an overused trope, but that doesn't mean they can't be done well. Miracle is a dramatic retelling of one of the biggest underdog stories in American sports history: the U.S. men's hockey team's victory over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Kurt Russell anchors the movie as the team's coach Herb Brooks, who gives such a powerful game time speech; it's hard not to get swept up in the emotion of it all.

While it would be easy to dismiss Miracle as American exceptionalism propaganda, it's a universal story about overcoming adversity and chasing dreams. Miracle received a positive response from critics, with much of the praise focused on Russell's lead performance. It won the Best Sports Movie ESPY Award for 2004.

08
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Best for Binging: O.J.: Made in America (2016)

O.J. Simpsons in O.J.: Made in America (2016)

ESPN Films

  • IMDb Rating: 8.9
  • Genre: Documentary, Biography, Crime
  • Starring: O.J. Simpson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mike Albanese
  • Director: Ezra Edelman
  • Motion Picture Rating: N/A (not recommended for young audiences due to graphic archival footage)
  • Running Time: 467 minutes

Whether you consider it an extended feature or a miniseries, it's hard to deny that O.J.: Made in America is a powerful documentary filmmaking piece. A sprawling, 7+ hour examination of O.J. Simpson's life and career, Made in America is much more than a sports doc. While it covers Simpson's rise from college football prodigy to NFL superstar, the movie uses its subject to examine the broader context of race and celebrity in America to masterful effect.

O.J.: Made in America won several industry awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It's the longest film ever to receive an Oscar nomination and win. It swayed the Academy to bar future multi-part or limited series from eligibility in the documentary categories.

09
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Most Exhilarating Racing Movie: Rush (2013)

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl in Rush (2013)

Universal Pictures / Prime Video

  • IMDb Rating: 8.1
  • Genre: Action, Biography, Drama
  • Starring: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Motion Picture Rating: R
  • Running Time: 123 minutes

While Ford v Ferrari got the Oscar treatment, the best racing drama of the 2010s was arguably Ron Howard's Rush. Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth star as Niki Lauda and James Hunt, respectively, two real-life Formula One drivers who endured a bitter rivalry in the 1970s. It's an intense ride both on and off the track, showing how unhealthy and dangerous chasing perfection can be. As exciting and well-shot as the actual races are, it's hard not to feel a sense of dread each time the movie's protagonists set foot behind the wheel.

One of Howard's best movies to date, Rush earned several high-profile nominations, including Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Supporting Actor for Brühl at the Golden Globes.

10
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Best Blue Collar Sports Comedy: Goon (2011)

Seann William Scott as Doug Glatt in Goon (2011)

Alliance Films / IMDb

  • IMDb Rating: 6.8
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sport
  • Starring: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill
  • Director: Michael Dowse
  • Motion Picture Rating: R
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

A rough-and-tumble underdog story, Goon is a brutish sports comedy with a surprising amount of heart. The underrated Seann William Scott plays Doug Glatt, an enforcer for a minor-league hockey team who'd rather knock an opponent out than score a goal. Although Goon has "dumb comedy" written all over it, it paints a sympathetic picture of failed athletes while offering a tribute to the all-but-obsolete enforcer role in professional hockey.

Featuring a supporting cast of Canadian talent headlined by Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, and Eugene Levy, Goon received four nominations at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards and spawned a sequel, Goon: Last of the Enforcers, released in 2017.

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