Best Sports Movies On Netflix

Summary

 

 

Are you a die-hard sports fan? Or do you just enjoy watching movies in the sports genre? Either way, Netflix has got you covered!

With thousands of movies just a click away, Netflix has got to be your go-to streaming platform when it comes to amazing sports movies that will keep you glued to your screens. It doesn’t matter whether you want to watch a documentary in the sports genre, an iconic rivalry that once existed in the sports world or an underdog story full of unexpected moments and well deserved triumphs, there is a little something for everyone. However, it is quite difficult to select a single movie to watch when the choices are endless, and the genre is your favorite. Hence, we have compiled the 15 best sports movies on Netflix that are currently available to stream. All of the movies on this list are must-watch, so we would suggest that you start with the first movie on the list and then watch them all over a period of time.

Top 15 Best Sports Movies On Netflix

From documentaries on iconic sports moments to good underdog stories, this list of the top 15 best sports movies on Netflix has got it all. These movies are captivating, inspiring and have a stellar cast that do justice to their roles. So get ready to dive into the exhilarating world of sports with these must watch movies available on the streaming service.

Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw Movie Poster

‘Southpaw’

ActionDramaSports
Release Date: August 10, 2016
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence
Runtime: 124 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
60%
IMDb
7.3/10

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Southpaw showcases Jake Gyllenhaal’s talent in a gripping narrative of both physical and emotional resilience. In this movie, Gyllenhaal portrays Billy “The Great” Hope, who is the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion. Billy enjoys it all from fame and wealth to a great loving family.

Unfortunately, his life takes a tragic turn, leaving him with nothing and no one to turn to. The only hope for Billy to revive his career lies in Tick Willis, a former boxer who now trains amateur fighters only. Billy must summon the inner strength not only to reclaim his title but also to mend his fractured family. Southpaw is a movie about hope, resilience and redemption. And you will definitely have a great time watching this sports movie on Netflix.

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid Movie Poster

‘The Karate Kid’

DramaActionFamily
Release Date: April 16, 2012
Director: John G Avildsen
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, William Zabka
Runtime: 126 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
89%
IMDb
7.3/10

Directed by John G. Avildsen and featuring Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Pat Morita and Elisabeth Shue, The Karate Kid is one of the most remarkable movies to ever be released in the sports genre. It focuses on New York native Daniel LaRusso as he shifts to southern California and faces intensified adolescent struggles due to relentless bullying. His life takes a turn when he meets Keisuke Miyagi, a Japanese immigrant who teaches him self-defense through karate.

The Karate Kid intertwines the story of a troubled teenager with that of an immigrant and war veteran with a poignant history, crafting a film that is unexpectedly profound and layered. It has also inspired the Netflix series Cobra Kai which is a great watch if you are up for some binge watching.

Hustle (2022)

Hustle Movie Poster

‘Hustle’

ComedyDramaSports
Release Date: June 8, 2022
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Cast: Adam Sandler, Juancho Hernangomez, Ben Foster, Queen Latifah
Runtime: 118 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
93%
IMDb
7.3/10

Get ready to see Adam Sandler in a completely new role in Hustle as he proves his versatility as an actor. In the movie, Sandler plays the role of Stanley Sugerman, an NBA scout working for the Philadelphia 76ers. Stanley’s job keeps him away from his wife, Teresa played by Queen Latifah, and daughter, Alex played by Jordan Hull, but things start looking up when his boss promotes him. However, everything changes when the boss’s son, Vince, takes over, leaving Stanley sidelined. Stanley then travels to Spain where he discovers Bo Cruz, a talented player with a complicated past that challenges Stanley’s ability to recruit him for the Sixers or get him into the NBA Draft, especially with the new low point in his career. These two men then come together and find their way out.

A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own Movie Poster

‘A League of Their Own’

ComedyDramaSports
Release Date: April 16, 2012
Director: Penny Marshall
Cast: Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell
Runtime: 128 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
81%
IMDb
7.3/10

Starring Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Hanks, and Lorie Petty, A League of Their Own is not a baseball flick. In fact, it is a sports movie which has all the ingredients to make it a hit. The movie’s storyline is inspired by the true story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which came into being at a time when men were busy fighting in World War II. It provided women with the opportunity to play professional baseball. Although the league only lasted a short time, its impact continues to be felt. The film not only highlights this impact but also tells a touching and heartwarming story of sisterhood. Moreover, A League of Their Own is the first of its kind of movie, and it created several opportunities for female actresses in the sports genre.

Rush (2013)

 Movie Poster

‘Rush’

ActionBiographyDrama
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde
Runtime: 123 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
89%
IMDb
8.1/10

If you’ve ever followed Formula One, you’ll likely remember the legendary Niki Lauda and the tragic crash he endured during the 1976 German Grand Prix. The movie Rush captures this intense scene and much more from the 1976 Formula One season making it one of those movies that keep the viewers on the edge of their seats even though we know how the story pans out.

Rush highlights the fierce rivalry between Lauda, played by Daniel Brühl, and the charismatic British driver, James Hunt played by Chris Hemsworth. The duo’s rivalry on the track produced some of the most thrilling and harrowing races in history which obviously deserved a movie of its own. Veteran director Ron Howard skillfully builds tension and drama, not only in the racing sequences but also in the compelling interactions between Hunt and Lauda. With stellar performances from current Marvel stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, Rush knows how to capture the hearts of the viewers with its remarkable cinematography, storyline and throbbing sounds.

Untold: Malice at the Palace (2021)

Untold: Malice at the Palace Movie Poster

‘Untold: Malice at the Palace’

DocumentaryBiographySports
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Director: Floyd Russ
Cast: Ron Artest
Runtime: 69 minutes
IMDb
7.5/10

Most NBA fans can recall the infamous night in Detroit when a typical team scuffle escalated into widespread chaos throughout the stadium. However, what most people lack are the crucial details regarding this event that turned it so big.

The documentary Untold: Malice at the Palace sheds light on this violent episode within Ron Artest’s turbulent life in his own words. Through interviews with Artest, the documentary provides insight into the events leading up to and following the brawl, revealing how the NBA was profoundly affected by the aftermath.

High Flying Bird (2019)

High Flying Bird Movie Poster

‘High Flying Bird’

DramaSports
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: André Holland, Melvin Gregg, Eddie Tavares
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
91%
IMDb
6.2/10

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and shot on an iPhone 8, High Flying Bird is an exceptional movie focusing more than just on the sport basketball itself. The movie shows the power struggles that take place behind the scenes during an NBA lockout. Ray Burke is a sports agent trying to look out for his client’s interests while shaking up a corrupt system. Things are not easy for Ray, especially considering the lockout, but with each passing minute, viewers will get to see him try out everything and anything to help out his client.

Soderbergh cleverly uses the iPhone to reflect the NBA’s social media-driven environment. The film also features appearances from real NBA stars, adding weight to the story. Through this project, Soderbergh explores creative freedom, resulting in a distinct film that contributes to the streaming platform’s collection of successful movies.

Pelé (2021)

Pelé Movie Poster

‘Pelé’

DocumentaryBiographySports
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Director: David Tryhorn, Ben Nicholas
Cast: Pelé
Runtime: 108 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
84%
IMDb
7/10

Who can forget the iconic Pelé? The man stood out and made such a name for himself that we cannot forget him even today. The 2021 documentary, Pelé, focuses on the star athlete whose exceptional football talent was not only a rare gift but also a significant symbol of politics, culture, and history in 20th century Brazil.

This documentary was made and released just some time before Pelé passed away and gives an insight into his life. It features on-camera interviews with Pelé himself as he gives the viewers a recap of his life talking about his wins, defeats, moments of joy and regret. Overall, whether you’re intrigued by the skill and athleticism of one of the world’s top athletes or curious to hear his perspective on being used as a symbol for Brazil’s dictatorship, this documentary offers something for everyone and just had to make its way to our list.

Icarus (2017)

Icarus Movie Poster

‘Icarus’

DocumentarySports
Release Date: August 4, 2017
Director: Bryan Fogel
Cast: Bryan Fogel, Grigori Rodchenkov
Runtime: 120 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
92%
IMDb
7.9/10

Brian Fogel, a playwright and amateur cyclist, becomes captivated by doping scandals and Lance Armstrong’s downfall. His curiosity leads him to try out performance enhancing drugs as he tries to reach the top at an amateur race. He soon connects with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the laboratory involved in stopping Russian athletes from doping.

In Icarus, Fogel delves into the history of doping and Rodchenkov’s role in stopping it, which sparked outrage in Russia and made Rodchenkov a political target. It shows all the steps Rodchenkov took to provide proof that Russia was involved in doping with the country’s denial of any such acts. In fact, it is because of Rodchenkov’s evidence that Russian athletes have been banned from participating in major international competitions. This documentary is one of the best documentaries you will ever come across, as it shows how sports can be used to accomplish certain goals and how one scientist can bring about such a huge change and result in an entire nation’s fury. Thanks to its gripping storyline, Icarus won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in the year 2018.

The Redeem Team (2022)

The Redeem Team Movie Poster

‘The Redeem Team’

DocumentaryHistorySports
Release Date: October 7, 2022
Director: Jon Weinbach
Cast: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade
Runtime: 97 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
93%
IMDb
7.4/10

Directed by John Weinbach, The Redeem Team uses footage and interviews from the archives to show the US Men’s Basketball Team’s return to glory after their defeat at the 2004 Summer Olympics Games in Athens. The team was ready to take the trophy back home; every American expected that. But, during the semifinals, the US Men’s Basketball Team lost to Argentina and returned home with a bronze medal instead of a gold medal. This shocked everyone! After all, the team had won previously and was also playing great throughout all its games this time as well. After their defeat, the team rose back to glory. They worked extra hard, and in 2008, they won the gold medal in Beijing. Players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Kobe Bryant are a part of this sports movie and one of the reasons that make it one of the best sports movies on Netflix.

Happy Gilmore (1996)

Happy Gilmore Movie Poster

‘Happy Gilmore’

ComedySports
Release Date: June 15, 2012
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, Christopher McDonald, Frances Bay
Runtime: 92 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
62%
IMDb
7/10

Say hello to another Adam Sandler movie on this list! Happy Gilmore is a cliche-filled sports movie about a hockey player who is not good at the sport at all and is in desperate need of money to save his grandmother’s house. So, he takes whatever set of skills he has, heads to the PGA tour, and surprisingly turns into a golf pro. The movie is a great way to spend some quality time and have a good laugh. 

The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter Movie Poster

‘The Fighter’

ActionBiographyDrama
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dicky Eklund, Melissa Leo
Runtime: 116 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
91%
IMDb
7.8/10

The Fighter is an acclaimed biographical drama starring Mark Wahlberg as boxer Micky Ward, an underdog in the world of welterweight boxing. The film showcases Ward’s tumultuous journey to the top, aided by his troubled brother/trainer, who battles drug addiction and crime, played by Dicky Eklund. The story also delves into the dynamics of Ward’s family, led by his mother (also his manager), who is portrayed by Melissa Leo. It explores his romantic relationship with a standout performance by Amy Adams. The Fighter is a raw portrayal of familial bonds and what it takes to be at the top.

Unbroken (2014)

Unbroken Movie Poster

‘Unbroken’

ActionBiographyDrama
Release Date: November 13, 2015
Director: Angelina Jolie
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock
Runtime: 137 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
52%
IMDb
7.2/10

Directed by Angelina Jolie, Unbroken is more than just a sports movie as it dives deeper into the real life of Louis Zamperini and the several difficulties he had to face. Almost everyone remembers the win of Jesse Owens during the 1936 Olympics, where he proved Hitler and all fascists wrong. However, another US runner participated and came in 8th place in the same tournament. This was none other than Louis Zamperini, who also set a new lap record during this process.

But, after his running career came to an end, Louis faced his greatest physical and emotional trial when he was captured by Japanese forces during World War II. Enduring brutal physical labour, and unimaginable hardships, Louis’s story highlights the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity. The movie’s heart-wrenching scenes and amazing storyline are bound to capture the hearts of the viewers, making it a great watch.

Kicking & Screaming (2005)

Kicking & Screaming Movie Poster

‘Kicking & Screaming’

ComedyFamilyRomance
Release Date: June 3, 2012
Director: Jesse Dylan
Cast: Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, Mike Ditka, Kate Walsh
Runtime: 95 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
41%
IMDb
5.6/10

Featuring Will Ferrell in the lead as Phil Weston, Kicking & Screaming is a great movie for the family to sit together and watch. The film follows Phil Weston, who is not naturally athletic and has struggled with sports all his life. But when Phil’s father benches his own grandson, Phil decides that he has had enough and it’s time to change things. He takes matters into labour his own hands and transfers his son to a new team that he will coach himself. Very soon, Phil’s competitive side is unleashed, and he realizes that he is not much different from his father.

The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)

The Battered Bastards of Baseball Movie Poster

‘The Battered Bastards of Baseball’

DocumentarySports
Release Date: December 5, 2016
Director: Chapman Way, Maclain Way
Cast: Lou Rusell, Kurt Russell, Todd Field
Runtime: 80 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
100%
IMDb
8/10

The Battered Bastards of Baseball shows what happens when a seasoned Hollywood veteran arrives in Portland, Oregon, and sets out to establish the nation’s sole independent minor league baseball team. It focuses on the journey of Bing Russell and the Portland Mavericks, a spirited team of dedicated underdogs, as they create a captivating story of passion and perseverance. It shows what it takes to stand out and make your name in the world of sports.

What makes this sports movie different from several other sports movies is that it gives hope to fans and shows that teams can become major players even without the backing of rich owners. It shows that with talent and hard work, anything is possible. Moreover, The Battered Bastards of Baseball features Kurt Russell, who today is a popular action star but is also the son of Bing Russel, aka the owner of the Portland Mavericks.

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Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam is a medical student with a passion for binge-watching TV shows. From Gilmore Girls to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she will watch anything and everything with a little bit of romance, comedy and drama. Her love and passion for entertainment keeps her motivated to share her knowledge with others. Apart from Netflix-ing and chilling, she loves reading books and shopping.
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