35 Best Baseball Movies of All Time

The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The smell of ballpark franks, and we’re not just talking of the Thomas variety. At Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve cleared the benches and rushed the field with the best-reviewed baseball movies of all time!

From sentimental favorites (Field of Dreams, The Natural) to inside documentaries (Ballplayer: Pelotero) to wild comedies (The Sandlot, A League of Their Own) we’ve got a murderer’s row of heavy hitters. And because we know baseball fans trend towards being stat geeks, here’s ours: We picked only Fresh movies before sorting them using our ranking formula, which takes into account factors like year of release and number of overall reviews. The latter is important to the non-theatrical films (like 61* or The Battered Bastards of Baseball) to keep that playing field grass nice and even.

Batter up! It’s time to go to bat with the best baseball movies ever!

#35
Adjusted Score: 38453%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jewish baseball players take on the world.... [More]
Starring:

#34

Game 6 (2005)
62%

#34
Adjusted Score: 61770%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: It's 1986, and New York playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) faces a series of fears, but none more frightening than... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 62425%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a successful baseball career in college and as a coach in the military, Jackie Robinson (playing himself) attracts the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred E. Green

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 64377%
Critics Consensus: The Broken Hearts Club often feels like an amalgam of 70s sitcoms -- though a hunky lead and a sweet central romance provide soapy delights.
Synopsis: A fresh, funny, real story about a group of gay men in Hollywood, their lovers and friends, and the often... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#31
Adjusted Score: 79499%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1973, baseball lover and actor Bing Russell, father of Kurt Russell, starts an independent, single-A team composed of players... [More]
Directed By: Chapman Way, Maclain Way

#30

Off the Black (2006)
66%

#30
Adjusted Score: 65933%
Critics Consensus: Nick Nolte shines in his role as an irascible high school umpire, imbuing this indie coming-of-age dramedy with heft and true-to-life warmth.
Synopsis: After his baseball team loses a game due to a call by umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte), Dave Tibbel (Trevor... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#29

Cobb (1994)
65%

#29
Adjusted Score: 66831%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.
Synopsis: Baseball legend Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) pressures biographer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) to whitewash the sordid details of his... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#28

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#28
Adjusted Score: 68463%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 70897%
Critics Consensus: Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.
Synopsis: In a last-ditch effort to save his career, sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) plans to find baseball's next star... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#26

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#26
Adjusted Score: 71266%
Critics Consensus: While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit.
Synopsis: When Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, begins dating pretty businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), the two don't seem... [More]

#25

Damn Yankees (1958)
78%

#25
Adjusted Score: 79006%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Joe Boyd, an aging Washington Senators fan, would sell his soul for the Senators to beat the New York Yankees... [More]

#24

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#24
Adjusted Score: 79425%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and emotionally affecting, The Phenom proves a baseball movie can step away from the mound and still deliver a heater down the middle.
Synopsis: A sports therapist (Paul Giamatti) tries to help a troubled rookie pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who grew up with an abusive... [More]
Directed By: Noah Buschel

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 85783%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#22

61 (2001)
85%

#22
Adjusted Score: 85213%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aiming for one of the most famed records in sports history, a pair of very different baseball players hit home... [More]
Directed By: Billy Crystal

#21

The Natural (1984)
82%

#21
Adjusted Score: 86006%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: On the way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs, young baseball phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is shot by... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#20

Major League (1989)
83%

#20
Adjusted Score: 85287%
Critics Consensus: Major League may be predictable and formulaic, but buoyed by the script's light, silly humor -- not to mention the well-built sports action sequences and funny performances.
Synopsis: The new owner of the Cleveland Indians, former showgirl Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), has a sweetheart deal to move the... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#19

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85937%
Critics Consensus: Based on the true story of troubled baseball star Jimmy Piersall, Fear Strikes Out is an emotionally compelling drama featuring excellent performances from Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.
Synopsis: Ever since Jimmy Piersall (Anthony Perkins) was a boy, his baseball-obsessed father (Karl Malden) has pushed the sport on him.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 85306%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A college chemistry professor, Vernon Simpson (Ray Milland), invents a substance that keeps insects away from wood. But after a... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#17

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85402%
Critics Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.
Synopsis: Two Dominican baseball players face challenges as they try to make it to the Major Leagues.... [More]

#16

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 88095%
Critics Consensus: A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.
Synopsis: A true story about a coach who discovers that it's never too late for dreams to come true. Jim Morris... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#15

42 (2013)
81%

#15
Adjusted Score: 89052%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#14

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 90354%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.
Synopsis: The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 88676%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This fact-based sports drama chronicles the life of famous pitcher Monty Stratton. Stratton (James Stewart), a star athlete, loses his... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#12
Adjusted Score: 89586%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Top baseball pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) is fed up with how his Negro League team owner treats him,... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#11

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 92753%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: When Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying "If you build it,... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#10

Up for Grabs (2004)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 92022%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.
Synopsis: During the final leg of Major League Baseball's 2001 season, Giants batter Barry Bonds scores a historic 73rd home run... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 96081%
Critics Consensus: Bang the Drum Slowly is a touching melodrama that explores the inner workings of a baseball club and its players' personalities with remarkable depth.
Synopsis: When hotshot pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) is signed to the New York Mammoths, his confident ways quickly win over... [More]
Directed By: John D. Hancock

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 97591%
Critics Consensus: Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack.
Synopsis: In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#7

Sugar (2008)
92%

#7
Adjusted Score: 97586%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: Like many young men in the Dominican Republic, 19-year-old Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) dreams of winning a slot... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#6
Adjusted Score: 96534%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite being key players for the Wolves, baseball players Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra) and Eddie O'Brien (Gene Kelly) harbor a... [More]
Directed By: Busby Berkeley

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 97612%
Critics Consensus: The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankee's first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.
Synopsis: This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#4
Adjusted Score: 98197%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" is a humorous and nostalgic documentary about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 99772%
Critics Consensus: The Bad News Bears is rude, profane, and cynical, but shot through with honest, unforced humor, and held together by a deft, understated performance from Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: Hard-drinking, ex-minor-league hopeful Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) grumpily agrees to coach a Little League team at the behest of lawyer-councilman... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#2

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103427%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner is at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.
Synopsis: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#1

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104393%
Critics Consensus: Director Bennett Miller, along with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, take a niche subject and turn it into a sharp, funny, and touching portrait worthy of baseball lore.
Synopsis: Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manager of the Oakland A's, one day has an epiphany: Baseball's conventional wisdom is all... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

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