The Best Sports Movies of All Time

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Greatest Sports Movies

With the exception of a few sports like WWE, sporting events are unscripted. It’s this unpredictability that leaves people at the edge of their seats until the last seconds of a game. Additionally, the success of underdogs can be a big plot twist that no one sees coming.

For example, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship in 2019, even though no one even considered them a contender at the start of the year. In Formula 1, the 2009 championships were won by Brawn GP and Jenson Button, and yet the team had no sponsors and almost didn’t make it to the first race of the year.

These factors make sports a great subject for movies. Some are complete works of fiction, while others are based on real events. Here are some of the greatest examples of these films.


ROUNDERS is a film about underground poker. It was released in 1998 but developed a cult following among poker fans a few years later. Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, the film follows Mike, a law student from New York who is a talented poker player. Early in the film, he loses $30,000 in an underground game and he swears he’ll never play again.

Before long, Mike’s friend who goes by the name of “Worm” drags him back into the world of poker when he gets into debt. Chaos ensues and Mike must use his poker skills to get out of trouble.

Besides developing a cult following, ROUNDERS has been widely credited with being a contributing factor to the poker boom of the early 2000s. During this time, online poker sites saw a huge rise in interest from people who wanted to play more poker and hopefully enter tournaments like the World Series of Poker.


In 2004, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller taught us the “five Ds of dodgeball”: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and….dodge.

This comedy is a classic underdog story, following members of the “Average Joe’s Gym” as they enter a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas to earn $50,000. They need the money to pay off the gym’s debt. Without it, a rival gym owner plans to turn the land into a parking lot.

Like ROUNDERS, DODGEBALL helped to increase the popularity of the sport. In 2014, a decade after the film premiered, the European Championships for dodgeball had record numbers of teams taking part.


Telling the true story of the 1976 Formula 1 season, RUSH focuses on the intense rivalry between drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. The two could not be more different, with Hunt being a happy-go-lucky playboy and Lauda taking a clinical approach to his work and a more conservative attitude in his personal life.

While they have different personalities, they are both exceptional race drivers and could both win the world championship that year. However, Lauda has a horrific accident in the rain at the German Grand Prix, receiving third-degree burns that leave him with no eyelids and scarring of his lungs.

The film depicts how he had to summon the courage and energy to overcome this and get back in a race car. While a little gruesome in places, RUSH is a film that depicts a difficult comeback in the face of adversity and serves as motivation to anyone who may be struggling themselves.