Top 10 Sports Movies

by Grace Lindberg, Staff

It’s no secret that sports are not just sports. They are emotions, they are family for some, and they are life for a few. Sports hold storylines that can’t be created anywhere else, and deserve to be spread everywhere. These movies have told stories, some true, some fictional, that have moved people. This is a breakdown of my top 10. 

“I, Tonya” (2017; R)

This story, based on the events that took place in the tumultuous life of Tonya Harding, an Olympic figure skater and controversial athlete, takes viewers into a darker side of the competitive sports world and cautions about the dangers of overcompetitiveness. Margot Robbie portrays Tonya Harding, in fantastic style, as someone who was never fully accepted for who she was in any community, and had to work against all odds to succeed.

“Coach Carter” (2005; PG-13)

It wouldn’t be a comprehensive best movies list if there wasn’t a film about the power of a good coach, and “Coach Carter,” starring Samuel L. Jackson, is not just about the power of a good coach, it is about the power of a coach that can change someone’s life. Based on a true story, this film follows a high school basketball team’s transformation that comes from a controversial coaching style, where it is clear that he does not only care for the boys as athletes, but as people. It makes the list as a strong ninth place.

“Rocky” (1976; PG)

One of the most iconic soundtracks and scenes, “Rocky” lives up to the hype that it gets. This is the story of a boxer who gets the opportunity of a lifetime. Rocky shows true determination and dedication to his craft. Not just a sports storyline, Rocky has themes of romance, overcoming struggle and how the underdog is always hungrier for success. Written by, and starring Sylvester Stallone, and directed by John G. Avildsen, “Rocky” makes my list at number 8.

“Remember the Titans” (2000; PG)

“Remember the Titans,” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling, is the top movie on this list for showing how sports can bring people together. Taking place in Alexandra, Virginia during the integration of public schools in 1971, this story follows the T.C. Williams high school football team as they go through the process of integration. It is a heartwarming tale of how sports may change attitudes from adults, to high schoolers, to children.

Battle of the Sexes (2017; PG-13)

If you are a female in sport, or really anyone in sport, the name Billie Jean King should ring a bell. The star studded “Battle of the Sexes” cast, including Steve Carrell and Emma Stone, retells the story of the famous tennis match between World #1 Female, Billie Jean King and former male world champion tennis player Bobby Riggs. The match itself was branded “The Battle of the Sexes”. The match however holds significance far beyond just glory as it is a pivotal step towards gender equality in sports. And throughout, both Riggs and King go through deep personal development. This movie makes the list at #7.

Moneyball” (2011; PG-13)

“Moneyball”, starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Chris Pratt is the movie for anyone who has ever asked “When am I ever going to use this?” in math class. Another retelling of a true story, this movie could be the one that makes anyone believe in the underdogs and the power of an unlikely duo coming together to do big things. It comes into into the running at #5.

“A League of Their Own” (1992; PG)

What better than a baseball movie? A baseball movie starring Madonna, Rosie O’Donell, and Tom Hanks, that is about an all-female traveling baseball team. Mixed with comedy, and girl-power themes this movie is one that highlights the triumphs of women in the 1940’s during World War II. “A League of Their Own,” another movie based on true events highlights the importance of inclusivity in sports, and for this reason, checks into the list at #4.

“The Mighty Ducks” (1992; PG)

Though this movie may have well defined the term feel-good and lighthearted, it also contains some themes that stand for any age and stories for any type of movie viewer. Whether you like the competitiveness of hockey in a state like Minnesota, the story of friendship and growth or even a little romance, “The Mighty Ducks” starring Emilio Estevez is a tale that anyone could instantly fall in love with.

“Miracle” (2004; PG)

“Again, again, again…” that’s all I have to say about this one. Based on a true story this movie is the more intense version of “The Mighty Ducks”, one may say. It is a staple watch for any hockey lover, or anyone who loves the nitty gritty intensity of sports. “Miracle” left me motivated and with a greater sense of appreciation for the sacrifice involved with sports. Its highly emotional storyline gets it the runner up spot in this list.

“The Blind Side” (2009; PG-13)

Family is essential in so many areas and sports is one of them. The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock as a strong female lead and Quinton Aaron as one of the most lovable characters to take the stage in any sports movie, is a powerful tale of how the impact of family and sport can change a person. The themes of belonging, family, and love of the game earn “The Blind Side” the top spot in this ranking of 10 of the best sports movies.