Sports movies aren’t only for sports junkies. The best films go beyond the sport and speak to our deep human needs while leaving us inspired about our own potential.
Several sports flicks have similar elements, like hitting the game-winning shot, facing insurmountable odds and inspiring the team with a big speech.
Sports movies go deep into the details of the sport they’re focused on, but there are tons of different sub-genres out there too.
On a number of video streaming services, you’ll find inspirational sports flicks that make you want to take on the world, biographical dramas that provide an untold perspective, comedies that use sport as a backdrop to make you laugh and heartwarming movies the whole family can sit down and watch together.
In the must-see sports movie roundup below, you’ll find a handful of options to satisfy a variety of tastes.
Your sports movie streaming guide
Miracle is one of the all-time best hockey movies. It’s based on the story of the 1980 US Men’s hockey team and their fight to take down the Soviet Union. It stars Kurt Russell as the head coach of a disparate band of players. The movie is about coming together to achieve something great, against all the odds.
Where to watch Miracle: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
Similar movies: The Mighty Ducks, The Rookie, We Are Marshall
The Fighter tells the unlikely story of Micky Ward’s road to claim the welterweight boxing title. He faces family pressure and setbacks at the hand of his brother, a former boxer himself. The Fighter is about redemption, trust and family pain. It features a powerhouse cast, including Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg.
Where to watch The Fighter: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Raging Bull, Rocky
The Waterboy is an Adam Sandler classic. Sandler plays Bobby Boucher, a waterboy with an undiscovered talent for football who leads his team to the playoffs. He overcomes all odds to become a valued member of the team. Although it’s a comedy, it’s equally heartwarming and a movie you’ll enjoy time and time again.
Where to watch The Waterboy: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Caddyshack, Happy Gilmore
Secretariat is a horse racing movie about a housewife and mother, Penny Chenery, who takes over ailing Meadow Stables, with zero horse racing knowledge. With the help of a veteran trainer, they navigate the horse-racing business and win the triple crown.
Where to watch Secretariat: Disney+ ($5.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Seabiscuit
Rocky is the film that rocketed Sylvester Stallone to stardom. He plays a small-time boxer dead set on becoming a contender. He gets his shot against the world heavyweight boxing champion. This film is about redemption, hard work, staying true to your roots and the power of love. Other movies in the series include Creed, Creed II, Rocky Balboa, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky V.
Where to watch Rocky: Amazon Prime Video ($12.99/mo.), CBS All Access ($9.99/mo.), Hulu ($5.99/mo.), Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
Similar movies: The Fighter, Miracle, Raging Bull
Hoosiers is an old-school basketball movie about an underdog team and a tough new coach. It has all the components of a great sports movie, including a game-winning shot and an inspirational speech. This 1986 basketball movie is led by Gene Hackman and belongs on everyone’s list, especially those who enjoy basketball.
Where to watch Hoosiers: Amazon Prime Video ($12.99/mo.), Hulu ($5.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Coach Carter, Glory Road
Free Solo tells the incredible true story of free solo climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to climb the 3,000-foot El Capitan Wall in Yosemite Valley. This climb is arguably one of the most difficult feats in climbing history. Although shot in documentary style, the movie feels like a drama unfolding before your eyes.
Where to watch Free Solo: Disney+ ($5.99/mo), Hulu ($5.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Dawn Wall, Meru
I, Tonya tells the story of controversial competitive ice skater Tonya Harding. Once ranked best in the world, her future hangs in the balance due to a grizzly incident off the ice. This adaptation features up and coming star, Margot Robbie, in a terrific appearance as Tonya Harding. This movie is not only eye-opening but surprisingly funny.
Where to watch I, Tonya: Hulu ($5.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Blades of Glory, Ice Princess
Invictus centers around the newly elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Hoping to bring the divided nation together, he rallies behind South Africa’s rugby team as they make their run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup championship. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in this Clint Eastwood directed film.
Where to watch Invictus: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Remember the Titans
The Sandlot follows Scotty Smalls who moves to a new neighborhood in the summer of 1962. He befriends a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. The movie follows this group and their hilarious adventures.
Where to watch The Sandlot: Disney+ ($5.99/mo.)
Similar movies: Field of Dreams, Rookie of the Year
Sports movies can be exciting, enthralling, nail-biting and even funny. But, the best movies transcend the sport themselves, teach us lessons about life, inspire us to be better and entertain us along the way.
Whether you’re looking for a dose of inspiration or want a family-friendly movie that everyone can watch together, you can’t go wrong with any of the must-see films on our list.
Sports fans and people who love sports movies will have their pick of streaming networks. Netflix currently contains the largest selection of sports titles, but Disney+ has a growing library as well.