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Top 25 Sports Movies

Top 25 Sports Movie Collage - feature image

Due to the cold winter months, you might be forced to exercise inside.  Your motivation might be lacking while spinning on your bike, running on the treadmill or trekking on the elliptical. Here is our list of the Top 25 Sports Movies that will not only get you moving, but inspire you as well.  Thank you to my husband, and my Google+ and Twitter followers for helping me compile this awesome list.

1.  Miracle

This is my all time favorite.  I own this movie and watch it at least once a quarter if not more. I generally watch this when I am preparing for a big race.  Miracle was released in 2004, starring Kurt Russell, Miracle is an American biographical sports movie based on the story of a men’s hockey team in the United States led by Herb Brooks. It featured the events that had taken place before the team bagged the Winter Olympics gold medal in 1980.

Available on:  Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

2.  Remember the Titans

Not only do I love this movie, but this is a tribute to a former co-worker who passed in September 2012; he was one of the Original Titans’ Class of ’72. Remember the Titans was directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it is an American sports movie that was released in 2000 and was inspired from a screenplay written by Gregory Allen Howard. The film was a retelling of the story of African American coach Herman Boone, who struggled to unite the racially divided team of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

3.  Breaking Away

My husband is an avid cyclist and got me into cycling and since then, I have watched several cycling movies and my share of bike races.

Breaking Away was released in 1979; about a small-town teen obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.  According to one reviewer from IDMB, “In short, this film explores many strands: the aimlessness of youth colliding with the responsibilities of adulthood; the often heartbreaking romantic fantasies of people who wish they could be something else; lying and cheating and the false nature of gains made through them; the importance of strong family relations and friendships; and life in small-town America – and it does all this with extraordinary craft, honesty and sensitivity.”

Available on: Netflix or Amazon Instant Video

4.  We Are Marshall

We Are Marshall was released in 2006, starring Matthew McConaughey as head coach Jack Lengyel, with Matthew Fox as assistant coach William “Red” Dawson. The movie depicts the aftermath of the 1970 plane crash that killed 37 football players on the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team as well as five coaches, two athletic trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters, and a crew of five. It also addresses the rebuilding of the program and the healing that the community undergoes.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

5.  The Blind Side

Released in 2009, The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron was based on the true story of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael “Big Mike” Oher. Michael has no idea who his father is and his mother is a drug addict. Michael has had little formal education and few skills to help him learn. Leigh Anne soon takes charge however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him, including giving the coach a few ideas on how best to use Michael’s skills. They not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

6.  Invictus

Released in 2009, Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

7.  Million Dollar Baby

A 2004 sports drama film, Million Dollar Baby revolved around the story of an underrated boxing trainer, his life, and his pledge to help an amateur boxer achieve his dream of becoming a professional boxer. Directed, scored and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, the movie won a total of four Academy Awards in 2004.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

8.  Invincible

Invincible was released in 2006, starring Mark Walberg.  Invincible is based on the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender from South Philadelphia who overcame long odds to play for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in 1976.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

9.  Rocky

Rocky is a 1976 American film starring Sylvester Stallone that told the “rags to riches” story of Rocky Balboa, an illiterate but kindhearted debt collector based in Pennsylvania. The movie was shot in just a month but was able to gross over $225 million. It became the highest grossing film of 1976, won three Oscars and received positive reviews from critics.  Plus, one the theme song gets stuck in your head, it is virtually impossible to get out.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

10.  Rocky IV

Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge after the Russian athlete kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match.   When Apollo is killed in the ring by the brutal Drago, Balboa blames himself and promises to avenge his friend’s death in the ring.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

11.  Jerry Maguire

“Show me the money.” Tom Cruise is in top form as a sports agent who suddenly discovers his scruples in this romantic comedy, which co-stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. in his Oscar(r)-winning role.

Available on:  Amazon Instant Video

12.  Chariots of Fire

An all-time favorite of most people, Chariots of Fire features the real-life story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics, Chariots of Fire is a British historical sports drama film released in 1981. Written by Colin Welland and directed by Hugh Hudson, the movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and ranked 19th in the list of Top 100 British films of the British Film Institute.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

13.  Rudy

Rudy is a 1993 American sports film of the account of the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. It was the first movie that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.

Available on: Netflix or Amazon Instant Video

14.  Field of Dreams

Released in 1989, Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner, is a sports drama about an Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

15.  Bull Durham

The perennially pitiful Durham Bulls ink pitching phenom “Nuke” LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), a gifted but undisciplined rookie, in hopes that he’ll usher the team to victory. But it’s up to seasoned bush-league catcher “Crash” Davis (Kevin Costner) to keep him in line. Meanwhile, a winsome groupie (Susan Sarandon) who confers sexual favors on a new player each season chooses Nuke as this year’s beneficiary. The problem is she’s more attracted to Crash.

Available on: Netflix

16.  A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own was released in 1992, starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell, A League of Their Own was an American comedy-drama film telling a fictional account of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

17.  Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama, which documents the coach and players of a high school football team and the Texas city of Odessa that supports and is obsessed with them. The book on which it was based, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, was authored by H. G. Bissinger and follows the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team as they made a run towards the state championship.

Available on:  Amazon Instant Video

18.  Brian’s Song

Brian’s Song featured the life story of American football player Brian Piccolo and his good and bad encounters with Gale Sayer, a Hall of Fame African American football player from the Chicago Bears team.

Available on: Netflix

19.  Hoop Dreams

Hoops Dreams was released in 1994 as a documentary film that was originally intended as a 30-minute production for the Public Broadcasting Service. It featured the story of African-American high school students who dreamed of becoming professional basketball players in Chicago, USA.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

20.  Hoosier 

Hoosier is based on the true story of a small-town Indiana team that made the state finals in 1954; this movie chronicles the attempts of a coach with a spotty past, and the town’s basketball-loving drunk to lead their high school team to victory.

Available on: Amazon Instant Video

21.  Radio

Based on an inspiring true story, a high school football coach befriends a developmentally disabled man nicknamed “Radio” — who’s the target of teasing — their friendship raises eyebrows. But Radio’s growth under the coach’s guidance leads to a thirty year legacy.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

22.  Cinderella Man

Academy Award winners Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger star in the triumphant true story of a boxer who fights to win a second chance for his family and becomes an unlikely national hero.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

23.  American Flyers

American Flyers takes you on the road for exciting world-class cycling competition as two brothers struggle to win a race and to regain the respect and affection they once shared.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

24.  Coach Carter

Samuel L. Jackson stars in the true story of high school basketball coach Ken Carter, who controversially puts school before sports and benches his entire undefeated team because of poor academic performance.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

25.  Glory Road

Director James Gartner’s inspiring drama tells the true story of Don Haskins (Josh Lucas), a high school basketball coach who, in 1962, took the reins of the Texas Western Miners, an underdog NCAA Division One team, and decided to shake things up. Haskins’s insistence on recruiting the best players available to him, regardless of the color of their skin, revolutionized the sport … and changed the course of history.

Available on: Netflix and Amazon Instant Video



Run Stroller Run
Lara is a full time, working, Ironman mom of two young kids. Lara is the founder and CEO of Run Stroller Run, an organization inspired by her own frustration as a competitive former athlete, unable to find races where she could run with her stroller after having a child. Now, Run Stroller Run hosts the world’s only directory of stroller-friendly running races and family-friendly events. Lara is an honoree of the 2015 Washington Business Journal's 40 Under 40 and she has been featured on and Women's Running Magazine.
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