Although sports movies are considered a separate genre, they consist of drama, action, romantic films, and others. Whether you watch the team of outsiders finally beating their top rivals or hearing a coach deliver an inspiring speech to his players, it’s hard not to become emotionally involved in what’s going on.
Most movies in this genre show how their characters overcome all the obstacles and how sports, in turn, overprints their lives in all aspects. Here are some of the most remarkable sports movies you can enjoy on streaming platforms right now.
A rough yet heartfelt underdog comedy, Goon is a ferocious story about a guy who literally gets paid to deliver pain. The talented Seann William Scott plays Doug Glatt, an enforcer for a low-rent hockey team who’d rather knock his rival out than score a goal. Although Goon tends to be funny, it opens up a sad picture of failed athletes while destroying a stereotype of a typical enforcer role in professional hockey.
Due to its deep and comprehensive storyline, Goon received several nominations at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards and spawned a sequel released in 2017.
The best racing drama of the decade was undeniably the incredible Rush. Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth star as Niki Lauda and James Hunt, respectively, two adoring Formula One drivers who constantly confronted each other throughout the 1970s. Its intense competition, both on and off the track, reflects how relentless and ruinous a run for impeccability can be. As terrific and well-shot as the real-life races are, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of awe each time the movie’s characters start their engines.
Rush received many worthy nominations at the Golden Globe Awards, and it is undoubtedly one of Howard’s best movies ever introduced.
O.J.: Made in America (2016)
It’s impossible to deny that O.J.: Made in America is one of the most powerful Oscar-winning chronicles ever made. The movie is a lengthy, exhausting immersion into O.J. Simpson’s life and career; the film is definitely much more than an ordinary sports documentary. While it covers the period from Simpson’s rise as an NFL superstar to his fall, the movie uses its main character to explore the deeper context of celebrities’ life in the U.S. in a single detail.
O.J.: Made in America won multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and, of course, Oscar.
Outsiders storylines are an overused theme, but that doesn’t actually mean they can’t be made well. Miracle is a dramatic release based on one of the most incredible underdog stories in American sports history: the U.S. men’s hockey team beats the invincible Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in 1980. Kurt Russell appears in the movie as the team’s head coach Herb Brooks, who delivers such a powerful and inspiring game speech, so it’s hard not to get immersed into the emotions like those.
While some viewers may dismiss Miracle due to its tremendous American exceptionalism propaganda, it’s a true story about overcoming obstacles and reaching goals. Miracle got positive feedback from critics, with lots of compliments focused on Russell’s exceptional performance.
Free Solo (2018)
One of the most captivating sports documentaries ever made, Free Solo is an outstanding cinematic achievement and a fantastic portrait of one man’s extreme persistence. Depicting rock climber Alex Honnold’s free solo climb of El Capitan in 2017, Free Solo, was planned and filmed by a team of professional climbers, which helped create a feeling of deep dive into events happening on the screen. Even with the understanding that Honnold’s reached his goal, it’s hard to keep an even temper while watching every second of his attempt.
Free Solo was introduced to the public in the U.S. in September 2018, where it received positive feedback from critics and grossed over $28 million.
Besides, the film received multiple accolades, including Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards and the People’s Choice Award in the Documentaries section at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018.
Rocky is back to show everyone that he remained the king, but this time the storyline is centered around Creed – a more-than-worthy successor to the boxing movie hero. Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed, a self-made athlete with Rocky Balboa as a master and mentor in the boxing world.
Written and filmed by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Creed does its best to honor Rocky’s legacy while attempting to please both old and new fans of the legendary franchise.
Creed received more-than-expected positive feedback from critics and numerous accolades, with Stallone earning a much-desired Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.
Friday Night Lights (2004)
A movie about football and its impact on millions of players and fans, Friday Night Lights is a must-see if you want to find out why the sport is such an obsession within American society. Based on H.G. Bissinger’s book with the same name, the movie narrates about a coach and Texas-based high school football team’s run towards the state championship. Starring a range of promising and talented young actors, Friday Night Lights is a fantastic family movie and an impressive sports drama.
The film mainly received positive reviews, but its most significant achievement is the T.V. show it spawned several years later. It was released in 2006 and lasted till 2011, and it is undoubtedly even better than the movie.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Have you ever heard the utterance “There’s no crying in baseball?” Indeed, it’s entirely applicable to A League of Their Own, even though the movie is all about the ladies. It depicts Geena Davis and Lori Petty, who play rival sisters, joined a women’s baseball league during World War II. The film is a heartfelt yet funny tribute to the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Whether it’s the well-thought-out and lively script or the fact that all actresses performed the stunts, few sports releases are as remarkable.
Apart from often being listed as “all-time sports movies,” A League of Their Own was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and that’s a considerable achievement.
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Undeniably the most prominent sports documentary ever made, Hoop Dreams remains a sorrowful, tear-jerking understanding of professional sports’ difficulties and the harshness of following the American Dream. The film is notable for its enormous ambition, telling about two African-American teens, William Gates and Arthur Agee, following their big dream of getting into the NBA.
Originally intended to be a short film, it eventually led to five years of filming and 250 hours of footage. The movie isn’t just the ordinary picture of a couple of teens who want to play basketball and become famous. Indeed, it’s all about the unpleasant side of sports that is generally hidden from spectators’ eyes.
Hoop Dreams is often regarded as one of the most noticeable documentaries of all time and received all-around praise from critics. Though it received a nomination for Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards, its exclusion from the Best Documentary category caused significant controversy.
Moneyball is the perfect example of a movie for those who generally don’t like sports movies. The film is a captivating yet entertaining drama based on the dramatic world of baseball. Although boasting a star cast, at first sight, it seems that Billy Beane isn’t Brad Pitt’s most outstanding role, but as the storyline goes on, the more it feels like perhaps it’s his best.
The baseball part of Moneyball doesn’t seem particularly impressive or energetic. Still, director Bennett Miller and screenwriters Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin have done their best to skillfully weave lines that give the story its dynamics. Aging, failures, the fear of not living up to expectations, second chances, and the willingness to improve your life –
these ideas masterfully come together in Moneyball, which is full of outstanding performances. Both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill deservedly received Oscar nominations; besides, there were numerous worthy accolades that require separate listing. For a movie focusing on the world of baseball, Moneyball is profoundly emotional and touching, though it might seem impossible to depict some moments so sincerely.