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The Best Sports Movies on Netflix

From heart-breaking dramas to documentaries to laugh-out-loud comedies, these sports movies on Netflix are guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
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Whether you grew up playing sports or can’t tell the difference between a football and a basketball, you have to admit there’s something electrifying about a sports movie.

Maybe it’s the drama, maybe it’s watching people fight for their dreams or overcome adversity, but whatever the reason is, there’s no question sports movies are incredibly captivating. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t like the sport — they still manage to suck you in.

GIPHY/HBO

Thankfully, if you do consider yourself to be a sports movie fan, Netflix has an incredible line-up of sports flicks that’ll get your blood pumping, your heart racing, and may bring a tear (or two) to your eye.

From heart-breaking dramas to documentaries to laugh-out-loud comedies, here are the best sports movies on Netflix. 

Rush (2013)

Even if you don’t consider yourself a Formula One fan, Rush is a heart-pounding drama that’ll keep you entertained from beginning to end.

Directed by Academy Award-winner Ron Howard, this 2013 biopic is about the famous rivalry between drivers James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl). The film takes place during the 1976 season, which was when Hunt and Lauda’s rivalry was arguably at its best.

While the drama between the two men is captivating, the racing sequences take the film up another notch. 

The Karate Kid (2010)

Wax on, wax off. Though the original Karate Kid is not available on Netflix at the moment, fans can watch the 2010 remake, which stars Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. 

Taking inspiration from the original movie, this film is about a young boy named Dre (Jaden Smith) who learns to stand up for himself after being bullied, with help from an older mentor (Jackie Chan).

While the film doesn’t actually feature karate (it’s based in China so he learns kung fu), it has a lot of the same heart and spirit as the 1984 classic. Watch the original first and then check out this version on Netflix.

Athlete A (2020)

Despite being a documentary and not a movie, Athlete A is certainly worth a watch. For those unfamiliar with the story, Athlete A is about the journalists at the Indianapolis Star who uncovered the despicable sexual crimes committed by former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. 

The documentary focuses on Nassar’s years of abuse, as well as what happened when the abuse was uncovered back in 2016. It also dives into the complete and total failure on the part of USA Gymnastics to prevent this abuse from happening.

There’s no question it is an extremely painful watch, but it gives the victims an opportunity to share their stories.

Talladega Nights (2006)

Oh, you didn’t think Talladega Nights would be considered a sports movie? Think again! Despite being one of the funniest movies of Will Ferrell’s career, Talladega Nights is legitimately a sports film, too! 

It features race car drivers, which are athletes, as well as some very intense racing scenes. Boom, you’ve got yourself a sports movie! Who could ever forget the showdown between Ferrell’s Ricky Bobby and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Jean Girard?

While it may not be the first film people think of when they think of “sports movies,” it’ll always be one of the most rewatchable films out there.

High Flying Bird (2019)

High Flying Bird is a sports movie without being a “sports” movie, if that makes sense. While the film is about a sports agent (played by Andre Holland) who is trying to take care of his player during an NBA lockout, the film is really about corruption and greed.

In fact, the sport of basketball is really just the backdrop, not the main focus. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (who is best known for directing the Ocean’s Eleven movies), the film was also exclusively shot on an iPhone. See, you really can make a movie at home!

Icarus (2017)

Icarus proves truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. This documentary follows a filmmaker named Bryan Fogel as he tries to uncover the truth about doping in sports. But, when he ends up connecting with Russian scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, things take a dramatic turn.

Without giving too much away, let’s just say Dr. Rodchenkov reveals himself to have been involved in some illegal activity and Fogel embarks on a mission to uncover the truth. Despite being a documentary, this really plays like a heart-pounding thriller. 

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Not many sports dramas get nominated for Best Picture, but Million Dollar Baby managed to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards back in 2005.

Clint Eastwood’s film is about a boxer named Maggie Fitzgerald (played by Hilary Swank) who is trained by an older trainer (played by Eastwood). While the film is more a character study than a boxing movie, it delivers one emotional gut-punch after another. If you’re looking for a sports movie that’ll make you cry buckets, this is one to watch.