Top 10: Best Sports Movies

Sports movies have the ability to enthrall us while also making us feel really great.  With the Super Bowl festivities winding down, I thought it be a good idea to take a look at the times that Hollywood dipped its feet into the realm of sports and succeeded immensely.  This list was incredibly tough to construct (you may notice some glaring omissions).  Before I unveil the list, I must warn you that there may be some spoilers involved in the discussion of these great movies.  You’ve been warned!  Here’s a look at the best of the best:

#10: The Bad News Bears: Completely rude and profane, The Bad News Bears has lived on as a classic.  It has so many memorable characters headlined by a great lead performance from Walter Matthau.  The Bad News Bears’ formula has been copied again and again by Hollywood with numerous ripoffs and even a reboot.  However, nothing seems to compare to this timeless hit.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 96%

Metacritic Score: N/A

MovieBabble Score: A-

sports movies

image via Retroland

#9: Moneyball (2011): Moneyball is a fascinating look into the struggle to stay within heavily entrenched policies or branch out and try something radically different.  Although those who have some knowledge regarding the analytics movement in baseball may get more out of Moneyball than the typical moviegoer, the movie has enough great performances from actors such as Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill to be enjoyed by everyone.  The events of the film are definitely worth checking out as analytics has since seeped into other sports such as basketball and football.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 94%

Metacritic Score: 87


MovieBabble Score: A-

sports movies

image via The Federalist

#8: The Natural (1984): A strong cast headlined by Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, and Wilford Brimley helps The Natural transcend its cliches and become one of the better baseball movies to date.  You can’t help but feel for Roy Hobbs as continues his dream of playing in big leagues.  As soon as he carves his bat out of an oak tree, you want nothing but for him to succeed in his goals.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 81%

Metacritic Score: N/A

MovieBabble Score: A-

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image via

#7: Hoosiers (1986): Gene Hackman powers this seen before story of an underdog coming to prominence past the mundane into an instant classic.  The film, which was nominated for two Oscars, does what many other films have failed to do by capturing the sport of basketball with a sense of realism.  Basketball films in general are very challenging to make since it’s difficult to edit around actors who aren’t the most skilled players.  This fact gives Hoosiers a leg up on many other efforts.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 88%

Metacritic Score: 76

MovieBabble Score: A-

sports movies

image via ApeDonkey

#6: Remember the Titans (2003): Able to blend discussions of race relations and sports together, Remember the Titans is definitely a triumph.  The film may be eye-rolling at times with its cliches.  But, a powerful performance from Denzel Washington along with some iconic sequences has helped Remember the Titans to live on in the public conscience.  Remember the Titans runs the gamut of emotions, making you laugh, feel proud, and maybe even cry.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 73%

Metacritic Score: 48

MovieBabble Score: A-

sports movies

image via Leadership With You

#5: Creed (2015): A surprisingly refreshing installment to the Rocky franchise, Creed builds on the success of past movies and brings us a layered, engaging new character in Adonis Creed played by Michael B. Jordan to watch moving forward.  Creed has some absolutely stellar fight scenes.  The best of which may be Adonis’ fight against Leo “The Lion” which is edited in such a way that it seems like one long take.  I still contend that Sylvester Stallone was robbed by not winning the best supporting actor Oscar as he brings a truly tear-jerking performance to his beloved character in Rocky.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 95%

Metacritic Score: 82

MovieBabble Score: A

sports movies

image via The Mary Sue

#4: Bull Durham (1988): Kevin Costner brings it big time as a washed up minor league baseball player in a movie that’s focus is on the memorable characters and their interactions more than any other element.  Tim Robbins is hilarious as the dimwitted Nuke LaLoosh and makes the battle for Annie’s affections very palpable and engrossing.  Bull Durham easily deserves its iconic status.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 97%

Metacritic Score: 73

MovieBabble Score: A

sports movies

image via Mental Floss

#3: Caddyshack (1980): The king of stupid comedies, Caddyshack has lived on as one of the best comedies of all time.  It’s one of the best examples of an all-star cast in which every actor brought their “A” game.  The film is instantly quotable with stars like Rodney Dangerfield quipping with the best of them.  Caddyshack may not be the most compelling plot of any of the movies on this list, but it is definitely the funniest.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 76%

Metacritic Score: N/A

MovieBabble Score: A+

Image result for caddyshack

image via Pinterest

#2: Raging Bull (1980): Possibly Martin Scorsese’s best work, Raging Bull is definitely not as easy of a watch as other movies on this list, but it’s power simply cannot be ignored.  Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta is so compelling, show us what can happen when a man falls from grace.  You’re sure to flinch every time Robert De Niro gets clocked with a right hook as well as when the film delves deeper into his personal life.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 97%

Metacritic Score: 92

MovieBabble Score: A+

Image result for raging bull

image via IMDb

#1: Rocky (1976): The best underdog tale there is, Rocky is so popular that an entire city memorialized the character in front of one of the must see spots in the city.  We’ve seen countless parodies and imitations over the years.  But, nothing compares to the feel good nature that Rocky gave us.  On top of practically every moviegoer loving the film, the film was a massive success with critics, winning the Oscar for Best Picture.  Rocky shot Sylvester Stallone to super stardom, something that we can all appreciate.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 93%

Metacritic Score: N/A

MovieBabble Score: A+

Image result for rocky 1976

image via Boston Hassle

Thanks for reading!  What do you feel of the list?  Are there any movies that you felt were too high or too low on the list?  Were there any movies you felt should’ve been on the list that weren’t?  Be sure to comment below and let me know!

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What movie topic should I discuss next?  Whether it be old or new, the choice is up to you!


Nick Kush

A current young professional in the greater D.C. area, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 and hasn't look back since! Nick is also a member of the Internet Film Critics Society and the Washington DC Film Critics Association. You can follow Nick on Twitter @nkush42

35 Responses

  1. TMH says:

    The list brought back good memories.

    • Nick Kush says:

      It really does! I just rewatched Rocky the other day and it still stands up completely. There aren’t too many good sports movies anymore

  2. petriesan says:

    Nice list. Not sure how I would rank them, but the ones on my list would be
    Baseball: Major League, A League of their Own, Pride of the Yankees, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, The Natural, Bad News Bears, 42, and Damn Yankees
    Football: North Dallas 40, The (original) Longest Yard, and We Are Marshall
    Golf: Tin Cup, Happy Gilmore, and Caddyshack
    Boxing: Rocky and Raging Bull
    Others: Miracle, The Big Lebowski and Rollerball

    That’s twenty, and a lot of Kevin Costner. Thankfully, neither you nor I have Rudy on the list.

    Thanks for following me

  3. People are passionate about sports and they bring that same passion to their feelings about sports movies. You could have an endless conversation about this list – there’s so many good movies that haven’t even been mentioned in the comments (White Men Can’t Jump, North Dallas Forty, Friday Night Lights, He Got Game, Slap Shot, etc.). Likewise, you could have a similarly passionate debate over the 10 worst sports movies.

  4. These are all great movies! I would have to say that Remember the Titans is my favorite one.

  5. Great lost! The sandlot for sure is my go to 🙂 and maybe field of dreams.

  6. Jade says:

    Great list! Does Foxcatcher count? 🙂

    • MovieBabble says:

      Hmmm I didn’t even think of Foxcatcher when I was making the list! I’d consider it a sports movie since the plot does revolve around wrestling, but I think there’s definitely a strong argument for it be viewed as a psychological thriller. I think I’d still keep these ten over it though!

      • Jade says:

        Agreed, it leaves a stronger impression as a psychological thriller for sure. The Wrestler would have made my list, but then again, the sport is mostly used as a backdrop. So strictly speaking, Rocky would have to be my #1 too. And of course, the other 9 are equally solid choices!

      • MovieBabble says:

        You’re too kind, just doing my best!

  7. Writergurlny says:

    Where is A League Of Their Own in your list?

  8. I really like Caddyshack and The Natural! I love sports movies with Kevin Costner, but I actually wasn’t in love with Bull Durham. Rather, I love Tin Cup and Field of Dreams!

  9. Pretty solid list, Creed wouldn’t of made my sports list. I would definitely of had Field of Dreams, Happy Gilmore, The Sandlot on my list

  10. Tina Kush says:

    Million dollar baby

  11. Great list. I have to say Remember the Titans would be number one on my list as it one of my favourite movies of all time. I now need to see a few of the movies on your list now. I recently watched 42 and thought that was a really well made sports movie.

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