Walter Mitty

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22 Most Inspirational Movies

A new year can represent opportunity for new hopes and resolutions, and movies have the gift to inspire that personal change. If you’re eager to turn the page on 2021, here’s 22 of the most inspirational movies to charge your 2022.

Diet and exercise are always high contenders on new year’s resolutions lists, and movies like Brittany Runs a Marathon or Chariots of Fire will get you in motion. There are movies for getting in touch with inner hope (The Shawshank Redemption) and your roots (Lion), along with picking up new skills (Julie & Julia) and rekindling determination (Remember the Titans, Hidden Figures). And those entering 2021 with open hearts ought to seek out Wild and Groundhog Day. And some movies guide us through trauma and disaster, like Life of Pi, and Soul Surfer.

If it’s a new year, it’s a new you: Here’s 22 movies to inspire your 2022.

#1

A Beautiful Mind (2001)
74%

#1
Adjusted Score: 82551%
Critics Consensus: The well-acted A Beautiful Mind is both a moving love story and a revealing look at mental illness.
Synopsis: A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 99281%
Critics Consensus: Brittany Runs a Marathon is an earnest and hilarious dramedy that finally gives Jillian Bell a role worthy of her gifts.
Synopsis: A hard-partying woman receives a startling wake-up call when a visit to the doctor reveals how unhealthy she is. Motivated... [More]
Directed By: Paul Downs Colaizzo

#3

The Bucket List (2007)
41%

#3
Adjusted Score: 47959%
Critics Consensus: Not even the earnest performances of the two leads can rescue The Bucket List from its schmaltzy script.
Synopsis: Billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) are complete strangers, until fate lands them in... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#4

Chariots of Fire (1981)
82%

#4
Adjusted Score: 87981%
Critics Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.
Synopsis: In the class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#5

Chef (2014)
87%

#5
Adjusted Score: 93975%
Critics Consensus: Chef's charming cast and sharp, funny script add enough spice to make this feel-good comedy a flavorful -- if familiar -- treat.
Synopsis: After a controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman) pushes him too far, chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) quits his position at a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#6

Forrest Gump (1994)
71%

#6
Adjusted Score: 78315%
Critics Consensus: Forrest Gump may be an overly sentimental film with a somewhat problematic message, but its sweetness and charm are usually enough to approximate true depth and grace.
Synopsis: Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field),... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 101368%
Critics Consensus: It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.
Synopsis: Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#8

Groundhog Day (1993)
97%

#8
Adjusted Score: 103336%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Synopsis: Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#9

Hidden Figures (2016)
93%

#9
Adjusted Score: 117305%
Critics Consensus: In heartwarming, crowd-pleasing fashion, Hidden Figures celebrates overlooked -- and crucial -- contributions from a pivotal moment in American history.
Synopsis: Three brilliant African American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- serve as the brains... [More]
Directed By: Theodore Melfi

#10

The Intouchables (2011)
75%

#10
Adjusted Score: 79776%
Critics Consensus: It handles its potentially prickly subject matter with kid gloves, but Intouchables gets by thanks to its strong cast and some remarkably sensitive direction.
Synopsis: An unlikely friendship develops between a wealthy quadriplegic (François Cluzet) and his caretaker (Omar Sy), just released from prison.... [More]

#11

Julie & Julia (2009)
77%

#11
Adjusted Score: 86315%
Critics Consensus: Boosted by Meryl Streep's charismatic performance as Julia Child, Julie and Julia is a light, but fairly entertaining culinary comedy.
Synopsis: Frustrated with a soul-killing job, New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a daring project: she vows to prepare... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#12

Last Holiday (2006)
55%

#12
Adjusted Score: 59859%
Critics Consensus: Although Queen Latifah's bountiful life-affirming spirit permeates the film, director Wayne Wang is unable to revive this remake with any real flair.
Synopsis: The discovery that she has a terminal illness prompts introverted saleswoman Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) to reflect on what she... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Wang

#13

Life of Pi (2012)
86%

#13
Adjusted Score: 96903%
Critics Consensus: A 3D adaptation of a supposedly "unfilmable" book, Ang Lee's Life of Pi achieves the near impossible -- it's an astonishing technical achievement that's also emotionally rewarding.
Synopsis: After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#14

Lion (2016)
84%

#14
Adjusted Score: 99757%
Critics Consensus: Lion's undeniably uplifting story and talented cast make it a moving journey that transcends the typical cliches of its genre.
Synopsis: Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home... [More]
Directed By: Garth Davis

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 74432%
Critics Consensus: Will Smith's heartfelt performance elevates The Pursuit of Happyness above mere melodrama.
Synopsis: Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner (Will Smith). Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son... [More]
Directed By: Gabriele Muccino

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 76982%
Critics Consensus: An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it's also well-crafted and features terrific performances.
Synopsis: In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas,... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#17

Rocky (1976)
91%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97736%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#18
Adjusted Score: 58866%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't lack for ambition, but The Secret Life of Walter Mitty fails to back up its grand designs with enough substance to anchor the spectacle.
Synopsis: Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 96496%
Critics Consensus: The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.
Synopsis: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#20

Soul Surfer (2011)
45%

#20
Adjusted Score: 48567%
Critics Consensus: There's an amazing true story at the heart of Soul Surfer -- and unfortunately, it's drowned by waves of Hollywood cheese.
Synopsis: A natural talent in the sport of surfing, teenager Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) loses an arm in a shark attack.... [More]
Directed By: Sean McNamara

#21

Wild (2014)
88%

#21
Adjusted Score: 99446%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully moving and emotionally resonant, Wild finds director Jean-Marc Vallée and star Reese Witherspoon working at the peak of their respective powers.
Synopsis: Driven to the edge by the loss of her beloved mother (Laura Dern), the dissolution of her marriage and a... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée

#22

Yes Man (2008)
46%

#22
Adjusted Score: 51969%
Critics Consensus: Jim Carrey's comic convulsions are the only bright spots in this otherwise dim and predictable comedy.
Synopsis: Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is stuck in a rut with his negative ways. Then he goes to a self-help seminar... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

(Photo by 20th Century Fox/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All Matt Damon Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Before his breakout with Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon was already something of an actor to watch, showing versatility as a gaunt military medic in Courage Under Fire and as a determined law school grad in The Rainmaker. But looking to take creative control of his own career, he and partner-in-crime Ben Affleck wrote Good Will Hunting, earning the two a Best Original Screenplay Oscar, and an acting nom for Damon. After that, it was off to the races, working with the likes of Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), Kevin Smith (Dogma, though he already had a previous cameo in Chasing Amy), Anthony Minghella (The Talented Mr. Ripley), and Martin Scorsese (The Departed).

Damon worked with Gus Van Sant a few more times (Finding Forrester, Gerry) before finding a truly kindred creative partner in Steven Soderbergh. Together, along with another regular cast of collaborators, he’s starred in three Ocean’s movies, Contagion, The Informant!, and Behind the Candelabra, with small cameos in Soderbergh’s Che Guevara biopics. Around the same time as Ocean’s Eleven, Damon came into the Bourne series, whose first trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum) would rewrite the book on action cinema in the 21st century, with its intimate shaky-cam presentation and intricate plotting and character work.

The 2010s were a big decade for science-fiction and Damon got in on the action, with work representing some of his best movies, and certainly among the most well-known: The Adjustment Bureau, Elysium, The Zero Theorem, Interstellar, and The Martian.

After a rough 2017 where he starred in only Rotten movies (The Great Wall, Suburbicon, Downsizing), and remaining off-screen for 2018, he made a late 2019 appearance with Ford v Ferrari, the high-octane true story co-starring Christian Bale, and directed by James Mangold. Next, he’ll be in The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott. Now, we’re ranking all of Matt Damon’s movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#50

Suburbicon (2017)
28%

#50
Adjusted Score: 46491%
Critics Consensus: A disappointing misfire for director George Clooney, Suburbicon attempts to juggle social satire, racial commentary, and murder mystery -- and ends up making a mess of all three.
Synopsis: Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns -- the perfect place to raise a... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 40936%
Critics Consensus: Its intentions are noble and its cast is impressive, but neither can compensate for The Monuments Men's stiffly nostalgic tone and curiously slack narrative.
Synopsis: During World War II, the Nazis steal countless pieces of art and hide them away. Some over-the-hill art scholars, historians,... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 34468%
Critics Consensus: This adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel comes off as rather flat and uninvolving. Scenes feel rushed and done in shorthand, and the romance between Damon and Cruz has no sparks.
Synopsis: The year is 1949. A young Texan named John Grady finds himself without a home after his mother sells the... [More]
Directed By: Billy Bob Thornton

#47

The Great Wall (2016)
35%

#47
Adjusted Score: 52782%
Critics Consensus: For a Yimou Zhang film featuring Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe battling ancient monsters, The Great Wall is neither as exciting nor as entertainingly bonkers as one might hope.
Synopsis: When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the... [More]
Directed By: Zhang Yimou

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 44177%
Critics Consensus: The Brothers Grimm is full of beautiful imagery, but the story is labored and less than enchanting.
Synopsis: The Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm (Matt Damon) and Jacob (Heath Ledger), are dysfunctional schemers who go from town to town putting... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#45

The Majestic (2001)
42%

#45
Adjusted Score: 46415%
Critics Consensus: Ponderous and overlong, The Majestic drowns in forced sentimentality and resembles a mish-mash of other, better films.
Synopsis: Rising Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton (Jim Carrey) is blacklisted in the early 1950s Red Scare. Following a drunken car accident,... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#44
Adjusted Score: 47763%
Critics Consensus: Despite the talent involved in The Legend of Bagger Vance, performances are hindered by an inadequate screenplay full of flat characters and bad dialogue. Also, not much happens, and some critics are offended by how the film glosses over issues of racism.
Synopsis: During the Great Depression, Georgia socialite Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) announces a publicity-garnering high-stakes match at her struggling family golf... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#43

Happy Feet Two (2011)
45%

#43
Adjusted Score: 49213%
Critics Consensus: The animation is as eye-popping as ever, but Happy Feet Two's narrative is too noisily incoherent to recapture the Oscar-winning charm of its predecessor.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood) the penguin, now called the Master of Tap, has an unusual problem: Erik, his son, is reluctant... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#42

Hereafter (2010)
47%

#42
Adjusted Score: 55031%
Critics Consensus: Despite a thought-provoking premise and Clint Eastwood's typical flair as director, Hereafter fails to generate much compelling drama, straddling the line between poignant sentimentality and hokey tedium.
Synopsis: Three people set out on a spiritual journey after death touches their lives in different ways. George (Matt Damon) is... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#41

Downsizing (2017)
47%

#41
Adjusted Score: 68633%
Critics Consensus: Downsizing assembles a talented cast in pursuit of some truly interesting ideas -- which may be enough for some audiences to forgive the final product's frustrating shortcomings.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered therapist Paul Safranek and his wife, Audrey, decide to undergo a process in which scientists shrink people down to... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne

#40
Adjusted Score: 48036%
Critics Consensus: Geronimo: An American Legend fails to stir the soul, though its sweeping visuals and historical ambitions mark an intelligent change of pace for director Walter Hill.
Synopsis: Following the expansion of the United States into the Southwest, the Apache Indians are forced onto a reservation to live... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#39

The Zero Theorem (2013)
48%

#39
Adjusted Score: 53157%
Critics Consensus: Fans of director Terry Gilliam's trademark visual aesthetic will find everything they've bargained for, but for the unconverted, The Zero Theorem may prove too muddled to enjoy.
Synopsis: Hired to crack a theorem, reclusive computer genius Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) begins to make headway until his controlled world... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#38

Titan A.E. (2000)
50%

#38
Adjusted Score: 53566%
Critics Consensus: Great visuals, but the story feels like a cut-and-paste job of other sci-fi movies.
Synopsis: A science-fiction film that combines traditional animation with computer generated images, "Titan A.E." takes place in the distant future, after... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

#37

Promised Land (2012)
53%

#37
Adjusted Score: 57896%
Critics Consensus: The earnest and well-intentioned Promised Land sports a likable cast, but it also suffers from oversimplified characterizations and a frustrating final act.
Synopsis: Corporate sales partners Steve Butler (Matt Damon) and Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand) arrive in a small town to secure drilling... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#36

Green Zone (2010)
53%

#36
Adjusted Score: 60076%
Critics Consensus: Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass return to the propulsive action and visceral editing of the Bourne films -- but a cliched script and stock characters keep those methods from being as effective this time around.
Synopsis: Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) and his team of inspectors are on a mission in 2003 to find... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#35

Ocean's Twelve (2004)
54%

#35
Adjusted Score: 60686%
Critics Consensus: While some have found the latest star-studded heist flick to be a fun, glossy star vehicle, others declare it's lazy, self-satisfied and illogical.
Synopsis: After successfully robbing five casinos in one night, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his crew of thieves have big problems.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#34

Jason Bourne (2016)
54%

#34
Adjusted Score: 73669%
Critics Consensus: Jason Bourne delivers fans of the franchise more of what they've come to expect -- which is this sequel's biggest selling point as well as its greatest flaw.
Synopsis: It's been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 62193%
Critics Consensus: Though ambitious and confidently directed by Robert De Niro, The Good Shepherd is ultimately a tedious drama that holds few surprises and succumbs to self-seriousness.
Synopsis: Discreet, idealistic and intensely loyal, Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) finds that service in the OSS and later as a founding... [More]
Directed By: Robert De Niro

#32

School Ties (1992)
60%

#32
Adjusted Score: 62879%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When David Greene (Brendan Fraser) receives a football scholarship to a prestigious prep school in the 1950s, he feels pressure... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mandel

#31

Gerry (2002)
61%

#31
Adjusted Score: 63927%
Critics Consensus: The type of uncompromising film that divides filmgoers over whether it is profound or pretentious.
Synopsis: Friends Gerry (Casey Affleck) and Gerry (Matt Damon) hike into Death Valley, but they stray so far from the trail... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#30

Stuck on You (2003)
61%

#30
Adjusted Score: 65211%
Critics Consensus: An unusually sweet and charming comedy by the Farrelly brothers. Fans may miss the distinct lack of bodily fluids though.
Synopsis: In Martha's Vineyard, Mass., conjoined twins Walt (Greg Kinnear) and Bob Tenor (Matt Damon) make the best of their handicap... [More]

#29

Rounders (1998)
65%

#29
Adjusted Score: 69239%
Critics Consensus: Richly atmospheric and colorful performances contributed to the movie's entertainment value.
Synopsis: Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy "KGB" (John Malkovich). Under pressure... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#28

We Bought a Zoo (2011)
65%

#28
Adjusted Score: 70410%
Critics Consensus: We Bought a Zoo is a transparently cloying effort by director Cameron Crowe, but Matt Damon makes for a sympathetic central character.
Synopsis: Following his wife's untimely death, Los Angeles journalist Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) decides to make a fresh start by quitting... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#27

Elysium (2013)
65%

#27
Adjusted Score: 74731%
Critics Consensus: After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.
Synopsis: In the year 2154, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#26

Dogma (1999)
67%

#26
Adjusted Score: 72586%
Critics Consensus: Provocative and audacious, Dogma is an uneven but thoughtful religious satire that's both respectful and irreverent.
Synopsis: Two fallen angels who were ejected from paradise find themselves banned in Wisconsin. They are now headed for New Jersey... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#25
Adjusted Score: 72815%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American frontier. Encountering man... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

#24

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
69%

#24
Adjusted Score: 77689%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's Thirteen reverts to the formula of the first installment, and the result is another slick and entertaining heist film.
Synopsis: Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang hatch an ambitious plot for revenge after ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 81244%
Critics Consensus: First-time writer/director George Nolfi struggles to maintain a consistent tone, but The Adjustment Bureau rises on the strong, believable chemistry of its stars.
Synopsis: Just as he is on the brink of winning a Senate seat, politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets a ballerina... [More]
Directed By: George Nolfi

#22

Interstellar (2014)
72%

#22
Adjusted Score: 88293%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#21

Syriana (2005)
73%

#21
Adjusted Score: 79846%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious, complicated, intellectual, and demanding of its audience, Syriana is both a gripping geopolitical thriller and wake-up call to the complacent.
Synopsis: The Middle Eastern oil industry is the backdrop of this tense drama, which weaves together numerous story lines. Bennett Holiday... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#20

Margaret (2011)
74%

#20
Adjusted Score: 77351%
Critics Consensus: A surfeit of ideas contributes to Margaret's excessive run time, but Anna Paquin does a admirable job of guiding viewers through emotional hell.
Synopsis: New York high-school student Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin) inadvertently causes an accident in which a bus driver (Mark Ruffalo) runs... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Lonergan

#19

Stillwater (2021)
74%

#19
Adjusted Score: 83114%
Critics Consensus: Stillwater isn't perfect, but its thoughtful approach to intelligent themes -- and strong performances from its leads -- give this timely drama a steadily building power.
Synopsis: Unemployed roughneck Bill Baker (Academy Award® winner Matt Damon) travels from Oklahoma to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter Allison... [More]
Directed By: Tom McCarthy

#18

Invictus (2009)
76%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85456%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#17

The Informant! (2009)
79%

#17
Adjusted Score: 88588%
Critics Consensus: A charismatic turn by star Matt Damon and a consistently ironic tone boost this quietly funny satire about a corporate whistle-blower.
Synopsis: Though a rising star in the ranks of Archer Daniels Midland, Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) suddenly exposes a price-fixing conspiracy... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#16
Adjusted Score: 84813%
Critics Consensus: Invigorated by its talented cast and Francis Ford Coppola's strong direction, The Rainmaker is a satisfying legal drama -- and arguably the best of Hollywood's many John Grisham adaptations.
Synopsis: Struggling new attorney Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) resorts to working for a shady lawyer (Mickey Rourke), where he meets paralegal... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 88141%
Critics Consensus: A well-made sequel that delivers the thrills.
Synopsis: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is living in India when he is framed by Russian agent Kirill (Karl Urban) for the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 88875%
Critics Consensus: With Matt Damon's unsettling performance offering a darkly twisted counterpoint to Anthony Minghella's glossy direction, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a suspense thriller that lingers.
Synopsis: To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun-drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that's... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#13

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#13
Adjusted Score: 90210%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 89292%
Critics Consensus: Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers -- and then some.
Synopsis: The story of a man (Matt Damon), salvaged, near death, from the ocean by an Italian fishing boat. When he... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 87938%
Critics Consensus: An emotional and intriguing tale of a military officer who must review the merits of a fallen officer while confronting his own war demons. Effectively depicts the terrors of war as well as its heartbreaking aftermath.
Synopsis: During the 1991 Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) accidentally caused a friendly fire incident, a mistake that... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#10

Contagion (2011)
85%

#10
Adjusted Score: 94933%
Critics Consensus: Tense, tightly plotted, and bolstered by a stellar cast, Contagion is an exceptionally smart -- and scary -- disaster movie.
Synopsis: When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#9

The Departed (2006)
90%

#9
Adjusted Score: 102528%
Critics Consensus: Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality we come to expect from Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#8

Ponyo (2008)
91%

#8
Adjusted Score: 96826%
Critics Consensus: While not Miyazaki's best film, Ponyo is a visually stunning fairy tale that's a sweetly poetic treat for children of all ages.
Synopsis: During a forbidden excursion to see the surface world, a goldfish princess encounters a human boy named Sosuke, who gives... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#7

The Martian (2015)
91%

#7
Adjusted Score: 107209%
Critics Consensus: Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny, The Martian offers a faithful adaptation of the bestselling book that brings out the best in leading man Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott.
Synopsis: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 102879%
Critics Consensus: The Bourne Ultimatum is an intelligent, finely tuned non-stop thrill ride. Another strong performance from Matt Damon and sharp camerawork from Paul Greengrass make this the finest installment of the Bourne trilogy.
Synopsis: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) continues his international quest to uncover his true identity. From Russia to Europe to northern Africa... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#5

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 114314%
Critics Consensus: Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect -- and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts.
Synopsis: American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 101378%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Synopsis: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 97836%
Critics Consensus: Affectionate without sacrificing honesty, Behind the Candelabra couples award-worthy performances from Michael Douglas and Matt Damon with some typically sharp direction from Steven Soderbergh.
Synopsis: World-famous pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) takes much-younger Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) as a lover, but the relationship deteriorates when Liberace... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#2

True Grit (2010)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105689%
Critics Consensus: Girded by strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and lifted by some of the Coens' most finely tuned, unaffected work, True Grit is a worthy companion to the Charles Portis book.
Synopsis: After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 101368%
Critics Consensus: It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.
Synopsis: Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

150 Best Sports Movies of All Time

In the arena of the sports movie, every story can be told. The impossible underdog team that survives a brutal season into the final game. The kid who’s just starting out and the veteran being pulled back into the game, who both share the same odds: Against. Stories of the power of coming together as a selfless team, and myths of individual strength when you remove all the limits. Sports movies make us cheer, laugh, cry, and scream. They even make us think about renewing that gym membership.

We’re going all the way to the end zone with our list of the 150 Best Sports Movies of All Time, sorted by Adjusted Tomatometer from at least 20 reviews each. (The Adjusted Tomatometer is our special formula which takes into account, among other factors, the movie’s year of release and its number of reviews.) Just about every sport ever played is here: football (Rudy), baseball (Bull Durham), hockey (Miracle), soccer (Bend It Like Beckham), boxing (Rocky), ice skating (I, Tonya). There’s racing: by foot (Without Limits), by car (Talladega Nights), by horse (Seabiscuit). We got fictional sports (Rollerball) and sports we made up through sheer tyranny of will (Murderball). If it’s in the spirit of competition, it’s in this list.

Because this is a movie list, there are no TV movies (we pour one out for Brian’s Song), and nothing rated Rotten — even fan favorites like Any Given Sunday. Please deal with your rage accordingly before continuing.

And with our most recent updates, we welcome in new popular hits like Ben Affleck’s The Way Back, Best Picture nominee Ford v Ferrari, wrestling family drama Fighting With My Family, the vertigo-inducing Free Solo, and Maiden, about the first all-woman crew in a global yacht race.

Ready? For the leisure, life, and love of the game, here are the 150 Best Sports Movies of All Time!

#150

Blue Crush (2002)
62%

#150
Adjusted Score: 65422%
Critics Consensus: The surfing sequences are exhilarating, but the plot is pretty forgettable and trite.
Synopsis: Nothing gets between Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) and her board. Living in a beach shack with three roommates including her... [More]
Directed By: John Stockwell

#149
Adjusted Score: 66004%
Critics Consensus: Despite all the underdog sports movie conventions, the likable cast and lush production values make The Greatest Game Ever Played a solid and uplifting tale.
Synopsis: Blue-collar Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) fights class prejudice while mastering golf, a game guarded by the upper crust. Employed as... [More]
Directed By: Bill Paxton

#148

The Express (2008)
62%

#148
Adjusted Score: 65406%
Critics Consensus: The Express crosses the goal line as an inspirational sports drama, although fans of the genre will recognize many -- if not most -- of its clichés.
Synopsis: Born into poverty, Ernie Davis (Rob Brown) overcomes many obstacles to get into Syracuse University's football program. Under the guidance... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder

#147

Rocky III (1982)
66%

#147
Adjusted Score: 68160%
Critics Consensus: It's noticeably subject to the law of diminishing returns, but Rocky III still has enough brawny spectacle to stand in the ring with the franchise's better entries.
Synopsis: Having become the world heavyweight champion, former working-class boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is rich and famous beyond his wildest... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#146

Cobb (1994)
65%

#146
Adjusted Score: 66804%
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

#145

Bring It On (2000)
64%

#145
Adjusted Score: 67406%
Critics Consensus: Despite the formulaic, fluffy storyline, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch, mostly due to its high energy and how it humorously spoofs cheerleading instead of taking itself too seriously.
Synopsis: The Toro cheerleading squad from Rancho Carne High School in San Diego has got spirit, spunk, sass and a killer... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#144
Adjusted Score: 68227%
Critics Consensus: Though formulaic, this horse story's saving grace is its strong performances.
Synopsis: Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) is a horse trainer who is struggling to connect with his precocious daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning).... [More]
Directed By: John Gatins

#143

Secretariat (2010)
64%

#143
Adjusted Score: 68716%
Critics Consensus: Rousing, heartwarming, and squarely traditional, Secretariat offers exactly what you'd expect from an inspirational Disney drama -- no more, and no less.
Synopsis: Despite her lack of experience, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over management of the family... [More]
Directed By: Randall Wallace

#142

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#142
Adjusted Score: 68719%
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

#141

Race (2016)
63%

#141
Adjusted Score: 71768%
Critics Consensus: Race is nowhere near as thrillingly fleet or agile as its subject, but the story -- and a winning central performance from Stephan James -- are enough to carry it over the finish line.
Synopsis: Young Jesse Owens (Stephan James) becomes a track and field sensation while attending the Ohio State University in the early... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#140

Coach Carter (2005)
64%

#140
Adjusted Score: 69701%
Critics Consensus: Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.
Synopsis: In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Carter

#139

Rollerball (1975)
68%

#139
Adjusted Score: 69687%
Critics Consensus: In Rollerball, social commentary collides with high-speed action -- and the audience is the winner.
Synopsis: The year is 2018 in a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries. A violent futuristic game known as Rollerball... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#138
#138
Adjusted Score: 70003%
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

#137

More Than a Game (2008)
71%

#137
Adjusted Score: 71317%
Critics Consensus: Though the film may not delve as deep as some would prefer, More Than a Game is an inspiring documentary featuring likable youngsters, a positive message, and some exciting in-game footage.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Kristopher Belman chronicles the early career of basketball superstar LeBron James. James and four other talented teammates were a... [More]
Directed By: Kristopher Belman

#136

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#136
Adjusted Score: 71756%
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]

#135

Olympic Dreams (2019)
70%

#135
Adjusted Score: 72491%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's mainly distinguished by its unique setting, Olympic Dreams remains a romcom with a heartfelt story and likable leads.
Synopsis: A young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor in the Olympic athletes village.... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Teicher

#134

Rocky II (1979)
71%

#134
Adjusted Score: 72156%
Critics Consensus: Rocky II is a movie that dares you to root again for the ultimate underdog -- and succeeds due to an infectiously powerful climax.
Synopsis: Although working-class Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) lost his high-profile bout with the cocky world champion Apollo Creed (Carl... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#133

Ali (2001)
68%

#133
Adjusted Score: 72995%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps no film could fully do justice to the fascinating life and personality of Muhammad Ali, Mann's direction and Smith's performance combine to pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: With wit and athletic genius, with defiant rage and inner grace, Muhammad Ali forever changed the American landscape. Fighting all... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#132
#132
Adjusted Score: 72928%
Critics Consensus: Beastie Boy Adam Yauch proves his worth as a director with Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, a fun-filled chronicle of the top high school hoopsters of 2006.
Synopsis: Rucker Park in New York City's Harlem has been host to many legends, such as Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Yauch

#131

The Blind Side (2009)
66%

#131
Adjusted Score: 74361%
Critics Consensus: It might strike some viewers as a little too pat, but The Blind Side has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#130

The Karate Kid (2010)
66%

#130
Adjusted Score: 73968%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as powerful as the 1984 edition, but the 2010 Karate Kid delivers a surprisingly satisfying update on the original.
Synopsis: When his mother's career results in a move to China, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) finds that he is a... [More]
Directed By: Harald Zwart

#129

Tin Cup (1996)
72%

#129
Adjusted Score: 73795%
Critics Consensus: Breezy and predictable, Tin Cup is a likeable sports comedy that benefits greatly from Kevin Costner's amiable lead performance.
Synopsis: Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) was a golf pro with a bright future, but his rebellious nature and bad attitude cost... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#128
Adjusted Score: 75036%
Critics Consensus: Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is far more risk-averse than its thrill-seeking subject, but still provides a reasonably inspiring introduction to her story.
Synopsis: One of the most accomplished athletes of her generation, Bethany Hamilton, became a surfing wunderkind when she returned to the... [More]
Starring: Bethany Hamilton
Directed By: Aaron Lieber

#127
#127
Adjusted Score: 74782%
Critics Consensus: Taking full advantage of the large IMAX screen, Ultimate X is a thrill ride for extreme sports junkies and novices alike.
Synopsis: Bruce Hendricks highlights events of the 2001 Summer X Games, including skateboarding, BMX biking and the street luge.... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Hendricks

#126
Adjusted Score: 75821%
Critics Consensus: Proudly profane and splendidly silly, Dodgeball is a worthy spiritual successor to the goofball comedies of the 1980s.
Synopsis: Average Joe's Gym and its owner, Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), are both down on their luck. A fancy competing... [More]

#125

Personal Best (1982)
73%

#125
Adjusted Score: 74349%
Critics Consensus: Mariel Hemingway has a career-making star turn in this highly physical drama about two Olympic athletes who find each other during competitive training.
Synopsis: Young sprinter Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) is having difficulty reaching her potential as an athlete, until she meets established track... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

#124

Jungleland (2019)
73%

#124
Adjusted Score: 76155%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to muscular work from director/co-writer Max Winkler and his stars, Jungleland punches above its weight in a crowded genre.
Synopsis: When a devastating loss in the ring leaves Lion and his manager/brother Stan in debt to a local crime boss,... [More]
Directed By: Max Winkler

#123

Invincible (2006)
72%

#123
Adjusted Score: 77478%
Critics Consensus: As simple and authentic as the gritty South Philly invirons in which it's set in, Invincible sends a uplifting and heartfelt message packed with an athletic enthusiasm that shouldn't be missed.
Synopsis: Lifelong football fan Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) sees his wildest dreams come true when he becomes a member of the... [More]
Directed By: Ericson Core

#122

Blades of Glory (2007)
70%

#122
Adjusted Score: 78001%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the spirited performances of a talented cast - particularly Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rivals-turned-teammates -- Blades of Glory successfully spoofs inspirational sports dramas with inspired abandon.
Synopsis: Figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) take their intense rivalry too far during the... [More]
Directed By: Will Speck, Josh Gordon

#121
#121
Adjusted Score: 76982%
Critics Consensus: An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it's also well-crafted and features terrific performances.
Synopsis: In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas,... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#120
Adjusted Score: 78908%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights' mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner's circle.
Synopsis: NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is at the top of his game; adored by fans, a trophy wife by... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#119

Caddyshack (1980)
73%

#119
Adjusted Score: 77315%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue.
Synopsis: Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#118

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#118
Adjusted Score: 80126%
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

#117

Cool Runnings (1993)
76%

#117
Adjusted Score: 79073%
Critics Consensus: Cool Runnings rises above its formulaic sports-movie themes with charming performances, light humor, and uplifting tone.
Synopsis: Four Jamaican bobsledders dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#116

The Hammer (2007)
80%

#116
Adjusted Score: 80793%
Critics Consensus: The Hammer perseveres as both an above-average sports comedy and a perfect starring vehicle for Carolla.
Synopsis: On his 40th birthday, chronic underachiever Jerry Ferro (Adam Carolla) loses his carpentry job and his girlfriend. However, all is... [More]

#115
Adjusted Score: 80846%
Critics Consensus: The harder they come, the harder they fall -- this film shows, in raw, gripping detail, that even skater dudes can't resist the life of the rich and famous. It's more poignant than hard-core, and gives us a portrait of a life run over by the whims of the entertainment industry.
Synopsis: This documentary film explores the life of former skateboarding pro Mark "Gator" Rogowski, who, in 1991, was sentenced to 31... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Helen Stickler

#114

Without Limits (1998)
79%

#114
Adjusted Score: 80522%
Critics Consensus: This drama about American track star and hero Steve Prefontaine intelligently looks at the character of this oft mythologized athlete and features a fantastic performance by Donald Sutherland as Prefontaine's trainer.
Synopsis: Before Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) makes it to the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he is an unlikely track star at... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

#113
#113
Adjusted Score: 80431%
Critics Consensus: White Men Can't Jump provides a fresh take on the sports comedy genre, with a clever script and a charismatic trio of leads.
Synopsis: Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a white basketball hustler who banks on black players underestimating his skills on the court.... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#112

Safety (2020)
80%

#112
Adjusted Score: 82046%
Critics Consensus: Fans of uplifting sports dramas will find Safety in this skillfully told fact-based story about an athlete overcoming adversity.
Synopsis: “Safety” is a drama inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), a... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#111

Breath (2017)
80%

#111
Adjusted Score: 82277%
Critics Consensus: A coming of age drama with a surfing twist, Breath navigates seemingly familiar waters -- but has surprising depth below the surface.
Synopsis: In the 1970s, in a remote corner of the Western Australian coast, two teenage boys, Pikelet and Loonie, are hungry... [More]
Directed By: Simon Baker

#110

Rudy (1993)
78%

#110
Adjusted Score: 81459%
Critics Consensus: Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination.
Synopsis: Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) wants to play football at the University of Notre Dame, but has neither the money for... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#109

The Short Game (2013)
84%

#109
Adjusted Score: 75000%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The world's best 7-year-old golfers travel to Pinehurst, N.C., to compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.... [More]
Directed By: Josh Greenbaum

#108
Adjusted Score: 82811%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a soccer fan to enjoy this stylish, breezy slice of 1970s sports history.
Synopsis: This documentary looks back on a time when soccer briefly captured America's attention. The film profiles the North American Soccer... [More]
Starring: Matt Dillon
Directed By: Paul Crowder, John Dower

#107

The Longest Yard (1974)
79%

#107
Adjusted Score: 81967%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts tough and funny, and led by a perfectly cast Burt Reynolds, The Longest Yard has an interesting political subtext and an excellent climax -- even if it takes too long to get there.
Synopsis: An ex-football star doing time is forced by the warden to organize a team of inmates to play against his... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#106

Step Into Liquid (2003)
81%

#106
Adjusted Score: 83142%
Critics Consensus: A perfect companion piece to The Endless Summer.
Synopsis: In a documentary shot in waters all over the globe, director Dana Brown takes on tall waves and surfers who... [More]
Starring: Dana Brown
Directed By: Dana Brown

#105

He Got Game (1998)
81%

#105
Adjusted Score: 83075%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee near the top of his game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.
Synopsis: Jake Shuttleworth (Denzel Washington) has spent the last six years in prison after accidentally killing his wife during a violent... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#104

Seabiscuit (2003)
77%

#104
Adjusted Score: 84129%
Critics Consensus: A life-affirming, if saccharine, epic treatment of a spirit-lifting figure in sports history.
Synopsis: In the midst of the Great Depression, a businessman (Jeff Bridges) coping with the tragic death of his son, a... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#103

Rocky Balboa (2006)
77%

#103
Adjusted Score: 84718%
Critics Consensus: Implausible but entertaining and poignant, Rocky Balboa finds the champ in fighting form for the first time in years.
Synopsis: Now long-retired, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) runs a Philadelphia eatery and mourns the loss of his beloved wife, Adrian. Yearning to... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#102

The Boxer (1997)
80%

#102
Adjusted Score: 84309%
Critics Consensus: The Boxer is a standard drama that packs a true emotional wallop thanks to the highly tuned central performances.
Synopsis: Rising teen boxer and Belfast native Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) was imprisoned for 14 years after getting involved with the... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan

#101

Beyond the Mat (1999)
82%

#101
Adjusted Score: 84448%
Critics Consensus: Even if you aren't a fan, Beyond the Mat provides a riveting, perceptive look into the world of professional wrestling by taking a closer look at the people beneath the personas.
Synopsis: "Beyond the Mat," Barry Blaustein's honest, intimate, revealing, highly entertaining, and critically acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at wrestling, takes viewers beyond... [More]
Directed By: Barry W. Blaustein

#100

Miracle (2004)
81%

#100
Adjusted Score: 85821%
Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.
Synopsis: When college coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) is hired to helm the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, he brings... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#99

Invictus (2009)
76%

#99
Adjusted Score: 85456%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#98

Major League (1989)
83%

#98
Adjusted Score: 84881%
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

#97

Goon (2011)
81%

#97
Adjusted Score: 84987%
Critics Consensus: Goon is a crude slapstick comedy with well-formed characters and a surprising amount of heart.
Synopsis: Though a misfit among his brainy family members, Massachusetts bouncer Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) has a knockout punch that... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#96

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#96
Adjusted Score: 85317%
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]

#95

McFarland, USA (2015)
80%

#95
Adjusted Score: 84954%
Critics Consensus: Disney's inspirational sports drama formula might be old hat, but McFarland, USA proves it still works -- especially with a talented director and eminently likable star in the mix.
Synopsis: Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California's Central Valley. Coach White... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

#94
#94
Adjusted Score: 85172%
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

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 85546%
Critics Consensus: Muddled overall, but perceptive and brutally realistic, North Dallas Forty also benefits from strong performances by Nick Nolte and Charles Durning. Football fans will likely find it fascinating.
Synopsis: A brutal satire of American professional football in which a veteran pass-catcher's individuality and refusal to become part of the... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#92

The Natural (1984)
82%

#92
Adjusted Score: 85281%
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

#91
Adjusted Score: 86433%
Critics Consensus: Overcomes its formulaic storyline thanks to Anthony Hopkins' warm and endearing portrayal of an age-defying thrill seeker.
Synopsis: New Zealander Burt Munro spent years perfecting his classic Indian motorcycle. The year is 1967, and Burt takes his machine... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 85734%
Critics Consensus: Smartly constructed and scathingly sharp, The Armstrong Lie presents an effective indictment of its unscrupulous subject -- as well as the sports culture that spawned him.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Alex Gibney chronicles Lance Armstrong's attempt to return to cycling, his admission of doping and subsequent fall from grace.... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 87152%
Critics Consensus: An acute survey of the football-obsessed heartland that succeeds as both a stirring drama and a rousing sports movie.
Synopsis: A small, turbulent town in Texas obsesses over their high school football team to an unhealthy degree. When the star... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 86380%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy,... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince

#87

Cinderella Man (2005)
80%

#87
Adjusted Score: 87605%
Critics Consensus: With grittiness and an evocative sense of time and place, Cinderella Man is a powerful underdog story. And Ron Howard and Russell Crowe prove to be a solid combination.
Synopsis: During the Great Depression, ex-boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) works as a day laborer until his former manager Joe... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 87506%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The story of Lithuania's 1992 Olympic basketball team whose athletes won the bronze medal.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Marius A. Markevicius

#85

Looking for Eric (2009)
85%

#85
Adjusted Score: 88250%
Critics Consensus: Ken Loach's latest is an uplifting, entertaining and amusing socio-drama featuring a match-winning performance from Eric Cantona.
Synopsis: Ever since his wife (Stephanie Bishop) left him, Eric Bishop's (Steve Evets) life has fallen apart. His two teen sons... [More]
Directed By: Ken Loach

#84

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#84
Adjusted Score: 87870%
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

#83

Slap Shot (1977)
83%

#83
Adjusted Score: 84896%
Critics Consensus: Raunchy, violent, and very funny, Slap Shot is ultimately set apart by a wonderful comic performance by Paul Newman.
Synopsis: In the small New England town of Charlestown, the local mill is about to lay off 10,000 workers. The town's... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#82

Downhill Racer (1969)
85%

#82
Adjusted Score: 85227%
Critics Consensus: Downhill Racer plunges the viewer thrillingly into the action of the sport -- and continues to hold the attention as a thoughtful drama.
Synopsis: A smug and overly self-assured downhill skier, David Chappellet (Robert Redford), joins the American ski team and quickly makes waves... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#81

The Hurricane (1999)
83%

#81
Adjusted Score: 87862%
Critics Consensus: Thanks in large part to one of Denzel Washington's most powerful on-screen performances, The Hurricane is a moving, inspirational sports drama, even if it takes few risks in telling its story.
Synopsis: Denzel Washington is Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a man whose dreams of winning the middleweight boxing title were destroyed when he... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#80

Big Fan (2009)
86%

#80
Adjusted Score: 88740%
Critics Consensus: Featuring Patton Oswalt's sympathetic portrayal, Big Fan humorously and effectively captures the dark and lonely world of a sports fanatic.
Synopsis: Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt), a parking-garage employee, is a huge fan of the New York Giants. He lives at home... [More]
Directed By: Robert D. Siegel

#79

Happy Valley (2014)
89%

#79
Adjusted Score: 88567%
Critics Consensus: Sober, even-handed, and quietly devastating, Happy Valley illuminates the wreckage of a tragedy while leaving viewers room to draw their own conclusions.
Synopsis: In 2011, longtime Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse, rocking... [More]
Starring: Joe Posnanski
Directed By: Amir Bar-Lev

#78

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#78
Adjusted Score: 89300%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he pens a heartfelt company-wide memo that... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#77

Early Man (2018)
80%

#77
Adjusted Score: 90372%
Critics Consensus: Early Man isn't quite as evolved as Aardman's best work, but still retains the unique visuals and sweet humor that have made the studio a favorite among animation enthusiasts.
Synopsis: A plucky cave man named Dug, his sidekick Hognob and the rest of their tribe face a grave threat to... [More]
Directed By: Nick Park

#76

42 (2013)
81%

#76
Adjusted Score: 87776%
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

#75

Fire in Babylon (2010)
91%

#75
Adjusted Score: 90167%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Capt. Clive Lloyd transforms his 1970s-era West Indies cricket team into champions who dominate the sport for many years afterward.... [More]
Directed By: Stevan Riley

#74

Chariots of Fire (1981)
82%

#74
Adjusted Score: 87981%
Critics Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.
Synopsis: In the class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#73

Tyson (2008)
85%

#73
Adjusted Score: 90680%
Critics Consensus: A fascinating, emotional, and frank confessional from Iron Mike that sheds a sympathetic light on one of boxing's most controversial icons.
Synopsis: Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson reflects on his tumultuous life both in and out of the ring. Filmmaker James... [More]
Starring: Mike Tyson
Directed By: James Toback

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 90205%
Critics Consensus: Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.
Synopsis: Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra), the daughter of a strict Indian couple (Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan) in London, is not permitted... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#71
#71
Adjusted Score: 90740%
Critics Consensus: This group of high school girls and their eccentric basketball coach easily win your heart with their unusual humanity and dynamism.
Synopsis: Filmed over a period of seven years, director Ward Serrill profiles Bill Resler, a university professor who coaches a basketball... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Ward Serrill

#70

Warrior (2011)
83%

#70
Adjusted Score: 90315%
Critics Consensus: Warrior relies on many of the clichés that critics of the genre love to mock -- and it transcends them with gripping action, powerful acting, and heart.
Synopsis: An estranged family finds redemption in the unlikeliest of places: the MMA ring. Tommy (Tom Hardy), an ex-Marine with a... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#69

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#69
Adjusted Score: 89569%
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

#68

Eddie the Eagle (2016)
81%

#68
Adjusted Score: 93632%
Critics Consensus: Eddie the Eagle's amiable sweetness can't disguise its story's many inspirational clichés -- but for many viewers, it will be more than enough to make up for them.
Synopsis: Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael "Eddie" Edwards travels to Germany to test his skills at ski... [More]
Directed By: Dexter Fletcher

#67

Whip It (2009)
84%

#67
Adjusted Score: 91770%
Critics Consensus: While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.
Synopsis: Bliss Cavendar lives in small-town Texas and yearns to break free of her mother's world of beauty pageants and conformity.... [More]
Directed By: Drew Barrymore

#66

Meru (2015)
88%

#66
Adjusted Score: 90447%
Critics Consensus: Gripping visually as well as narratively, Meru is the rare documentary that proves thought-provoking while offering thrilling wide-screen vistas.
Synopsis: Three elite climbers fight through obsession and loss as they struggle to climb Mount Meru.... [More]

#65
Adjusted Score: 92277%
Critics Consensus: John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection offers a compelling analysis of what made its subject special - and gives audiences a courtside seat to a pivotal match.
Synopsis: Archival footage showcases top-ranked tennis player John McEnroe competing in the 1984 French Open at Roland Garros Stadium in France.... [More]
Directed By: Julien Faraut

#64

The Karate Kid (1984)
89%

#64
Adjusted Score: 91186%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#63

Up for Grabs (2004)
92%

#63
Adjusted Score: 92144%
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

#62

Girlfight (2000)
88%

#62
Adjusted Score: 91715%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Rodriguez gives a compelling performance, despite lack of a boxing background; Karyn Kusama packs a punch with this directorial debut.
Synopsis: Newcomer Michelle Rodriguez in an astounding performance alongside Jaime Tirelli, Paul Calderon and Santiago Douglas. Nothing comes easy for Diana... [More]
Directed By: Karyn Kusama

#61

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
90%

#61
Adjusted Score: 93172%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
Synopsis: All his life, an ordinary young man (Stephen Chow) has been treated like dirt. Still, he's never given up believing... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

#60

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#60
Adjusted Score: 92115%
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

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 92704%
Critics Consensus: Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is compelling viewing even though it spoils the score of the titular college football matchup - and even if you aren't a fan of the sport.
Synopsis: In November 1968, undefeated Ivy League football teams from Harvard and Yale square off in a historic game in which... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Kevin Rafferty

#58

Heaven Can Wait (1978)
89%

#58
Adjusted Score: 93324%
Critics Consensus: A throwback to the high-gloss screwball comedies of the 1940s, Heaven Can Wait beguiles with seamless production values and great comic relief from Charles Grodin and Dianne Cannon.
Synopsis: Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty), quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, is killed in an auto accident. In the afterlife, Joe... [More]
Directed By: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry

#57

Diego Maradona (2019)
90%

#57
Adjusted Score: 94319%
Critics Consensus: Diego Maradona traces the arc of a standard sports documentary, but illuminates its subject with uncommon clarity and depth.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#56

The Way Back (2020)
84%

#56
Adjusted Score: 97954%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
Synopsis: Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball superstar who suddenly walked away from the game for unknown reasons. Years later,... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#55

The Way Back (2020)
84%

#55
Adjusted Score: 97954%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
Synopsis: Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball superstar who suddenly walked away from the game for unknown reasons. Years later,... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#54

Dream Horse (2020)
88%

#54
Adjusted Score: 94506%
Critics Consensus: Spurred on by an excellent Toni Collette, Dream Horse has a comfortably crowd-pleasing gait that makes the most of the story's familiar formula.
Synopsis: The film tells the inspiring true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely race horse bred by small town bartender, Jan... [More]
Directed By: Euros Lyn

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 93097%
Critics Consensus: That it's inferior to the original goes without saying, but Paul Newman and Tom Cruise are a joy to watch, and Martin Scorsese's direction is typically superb.
Synopsis: Former pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 93718%
Critics Consensus: Dogtown and Z-Boys is a colorful, exhilarating look at the skateboarding subculture.
Synopsis: "Dogtown and Z-Boys," directed and co-written by skateboard legend-turned-filmmaker Stacy Peralta, is the story of a group of accidental revolutionaries,... [More]
Directed By: Stacy Peralta

#51

Riding Giants (2004)
93%

#51
Adjusted Score: 94969%
Critics Consensus: A great addition to the existing surfing documentaries.
Synopsis: Part sports history, part thrill ride, skateboarder Stacy Peralta's documentary pays homage to the brave, foolish surfers who dare ride... [More]
Directed By: Stacy Peralta

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 95112%
Critics Consensus: A Prayer Before Dawn is far from an easy watch, but this harrowing prison odyssey delivers rich rewards -- led by an outstanding central performance from Joe Cole.
Synopsis: The amazing true story of Billy Moore, an English boxer incarcerated in Thailand's most notorious prison. Thrown into a world... [More]

#49

Pumping Iron (1977)
91%

#49
Adjusted Score: 93896%
Critics Consensus: In addition to offering an enlightening early look into the world of future star/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron provides a witty and insightful overview of competitive bodybuilding.
Synopsis: This partly real and partly scripted film documents what many consider to be the golden age of bodybuilding that occurred... [More]

#48

Hoosiers (1986)
91%

#48
Adjusted Score: 94988%
Critics Consensus: It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.
Synopsis: Failed college coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) gets a chance at redemption when he is hired to direct the basketball... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 95221%
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

#46

Red Army (2014)
92%

#46
Adjusted Score: 95522%
Critics Consensus: Fun and fascinating, Red Army delivers absorbing documentary drama for hockey fans and sports novices alike.
Synopsis: Hockey captain Slava Fetisov and four other players form a nearly unbeatable unit known as the "Russian Five," but their... [More]
Directed By: Gabe Polsky

#45

Senna (2010)
93%

#45
Adjusted Score: 96740%
Critics Consensus: Even for filmgoers who aren't racing fans, Senna offers heart-pounding thrills -- and heartbreaking emotion.
Synopsis: Ayrton Senna becomes a three-time Formula One racing champion and Brazil's national hero before his untimely death at age 34.... [More]
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#44

The Crash Reel (2013)
96%

#44
Adjusted Score: 96162%
Critics Consensus: Smart, compassionate, and moving, The Crash Reel uses the familiar sport-doc formula to subvert expectations and ask challenging questions about ambition and achievement.
Synopsis: Snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffers a traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 Winter Olympics. His family stands by his... [More]
Directed By: Lucy Walker

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 97316%
Critics Consensus: Better than your average football pic, Damned United is carried by another star turn from Michael Sheen as Brian Clough.
Synopsis: The story of Brian Clough's 44 day stint as manager of Leeds United Football Club takes place in 1974 England.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hooper

#42

Offside (2006)
94%

#42
Adjusted Score: 97029%
Critics Consensus: A spirited film that explores gender politics with comedy, intelligence, and a variety of interesting characters.
Synopsis: Since women are banned from soccer matches, Iranian females masquerade as males so they can slip into Tehran's stadium to... [More]
Directed By: Jafar Panahi

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 96433%
Critics Consensus: While taking full advantage of its subject's colorful baseball career, No No: A Dockumentary also imparts broader, thought-provoking messages that should resonate with viewers who aren't sports fans.
Synopsis: Baseball pitcher Dock Ellis had a controversial life and career, once pitching a no-hitter while high on LSD.... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Radice

#40
Adjusted Score: 96315%
Critics Consensus: Lagaan is lavish, rousing entertainment in the old-fashioned tradition of Hollywood musicals.
Synopsis: The year is 1893 and India is under British occupation. In a small village, the tyrannical Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne)... [More]
Directed By: Ashutosh Gowariker

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 96373%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: "One Day in September" is a new kind of thriller - one where real lives are at stake and every... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 97498%
Critics Consensus: Gripping even though the outcome is known.
Synopsis: In 1985, two young climbers, Joe Simpson (Brendan Mackey) and Simon Yates (Nicholas Aaron), set out to be the first... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#37

Deep Water (2006)
96%

#37
Adjusted Score: 97638%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts mystery and biography, Deep Water is both an engrossing documentary and an affecting treatise on human folly and obsession.
Synopsis: In 1968, Donald Crowhurst, an inexperienced British sailor, puts up his home as collateral, gains financial backing and enters the... [More]
Starring: Tilda Swinton

#36

Sugar (2008)
92%

#36
Adjusted Score: 97271%
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

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 96296%
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

#34
Adjusted Score: 98360%
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

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 98405%
Critics Consensus: Bigger, Stronger, Faster* is a fascinating, informative, entertaining and especially introspective account of the American 'enhancement' culture.
Synopsis: This documentary presents the pervasive use of steroids in sports as an indication of the American obsession with winning at... [More]
Starring: Christopher Bell
Directed By: Christopher Bell

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 100203%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at arm's length, except his... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#31

Breaking Away (1979)
95%

#31
Adjusted Score: 98175%
Critics Consensus: At once a touching, funny coming-of-age story and a compelling sports film, Breaking Away is a delightful treat.
Synopsis: Dave (Dennis Christopher) and his working-class friends Cyril (Daniel Stern), Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley) and Mike (Dennis Quaid) spend their... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#30

Rush (2013)
89%

#30
Adjusted Score: 97522%
Critics Consensus: A sleek, slick, well-oiled machine, Rush is a finely crafted sports drama with exhilarating race sequences and strong performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.
Synopsis: In the mid-1970s, charismatic English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) share an intense... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#29

The Fighter (2010)
91%

#29
Adjusted Score: 99782%
Critics Consensus: Led by a trio of captivating performances from Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, The Fighter is a solidly entertaining, albeit predictable, entry in the boxing drama genre.
Synopsis: For Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), boxing is a family affair. His tough-as-nails mother is his manager. His half-brother, Dicky (Christian... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#28

Foxcatcher (2014)
87%

#28
Adjusted Score: 97114%
Critics Consensus: A chilling true crime drama, Foxcatcher offers Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum a chance to shine -- and all three of them rise to the challenge.
Synopsis: When wealthy John du Pont (Steve Carell) invites Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) to move to his estate and... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

#27

Creed II (2018)
83%

#27
Adjusted Score: 101857%
Critics Consensus: Creed II's adherence to franchise formula adds up to a sequel with few true surprises, but its time-tested generational themes still pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: In 1985, Russian boxer Ivan Drago killed former U.S. champion Apollo Creed in a tragic match that stunned the world.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Caple Jr.

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 98704%
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

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 99508%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing documentary that's as much about a time and a place as it is about a fight.
Synopsis: On October 30, 1974, perhaps the most famous heavyweight championship boxing match of all time took place in Kinshasa, Zaire:... [More]
Directed By: Leon Gast

#24
Adjusted Score: 101475%
Critics Consensus: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki sidesteps sports biopic clichés with a beautifully filmed, well-acted look at the balance between career fulfillment and personal happiness.
Synopsis: Olli Mäki loses a fight for the world championship in the second round by knockout in front of a packed... [More]
Directed By: Juho Kuosmanen

#23

Racing Dreams (2009)
100%

#23
Adjusted Score: 100148%
Critics Consensus: Racing Dreams offers an absorbing peek at the lives of young NASCAR hopefuls that should resonate with racing enthusiasts as well as viewers with no connection to the sport.
Synopsis: Marshall Curry goes behind the scenes of the World Karting Association, a youth racing league that often serves as a... [More]
Starring: Annabeth Barnes
Directed By: Marshall Curry

#22

The Hustler (1961)
96%

#22
Adjusted Score: 99402%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason give iconic performances in this dark, morally complex tale of redemption.
Synopsis: Story Fast Eddie Felsen (Paul Newman) and his adventures in the world of professional pool. Fast Eddie is a young... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#21

Undefeated (2011)
96%

#21
Adjusted Score: 99394%
Critics Consensus: It covers familiar sports documentary territory, but Undefeated proves there are still powerful stories to be told on the high school gridiron.
Synopsis: Since its founding in 1899, Manassas High School in North Memphis has never had a football team win a playoff... [More]
Starring: Bill Courtney
Directed By: Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin

#20
Adjusted Score: 100573%
Critics Consensus: The King of Kong is funny and compelling with more than a few poignant insights into human behavior. Director Seth Gordon presents the dueling King Kong players in all their obsessive complexity and with perfectly al dente observations.
Synopsis: Named "Video Game Player of the Century" in 1999, Billy Mitchell sets a record score in "Donkey Kong" that many... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon

#19

Win Win (2011)
94%

#19
Adjusted Score: 100625%
Critics Consensus: Rich, wonderful characters and strong performances populate Win Win, with writer/director Thomas McCarthy continuing to emerge as a great American humanist.
Synopsis: Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is a struggling, though not overly ambitious, lawyer. As the court-appointed attorney of Leo Poplar (Burt... [More]
Directed By: Tom McCarthy

#18

Next Goal Wins (2014)
100%

#18
Adjusted Score: 100410%
Critics Consensus: Finding beauty in sports beyond the mere satisfaction of winning, Next Goal Wins is a moving documentary filled with a lovable array of underdogs.
Synopsis: Dutch coach Thomas Rongen attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into... [More]
Directed By: Mike Brett, Steve Jamison

#17

Rocky (1976)
91%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97736%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#16

Horse Feathers (1932)
97%

#16
Adjusted Score: 99863%
Critics Consensus: Horse Feathers finds the Marx Brothers in fine madcap form, taking aim at an array of timely targets while serving up classic set pieces.
Synopsis: The Marx Brothers take on higher education and football in this riotous comedy. The newly minted president of Huxley University,... [More]
Directed By: Norman Z. McLeod

#15

Changing the Game (2019)
100%

#15
Adjusted Score: 101426%
Critics Consensus: Urgent and empathetic, Changing the Game takes an affecting and admirably nuanced look at young transgender athletes.
Synopsis: This intimate story takes us into the lives of three high school athletes from across the US -- all at... [More]
Directed By: Michael Barnett

#14

Murderball (2005)
98%

#14
Adjusted Score: 102299%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn't mean the fun has to end.
Synopsis: This documentary introduces the U.S. quad rugby team -- a team composed entirely of young paraplegic men. Using special wheelchairs... [More]
Starring:

#13

Raging Bull (1980)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 100240%
Critics Consensus: Arguably Martin Scorsese's and Robert De Niro's finest film, Raging Bull is often painful to watch, but it's a searing, powerful work about an unsympathetic hero.
Synopsis: The story of a middleweight boxer as he rises through ranks to earn his first shot at the middleweight crown.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#12

Hoop Dreams (1994)
98%

#12
Adjusted Score: 101752%
Critics Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.
Synopsis: Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St.... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#11

The Endless Summer (1966)
100%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102260%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Documentary filmmaker Bruce Brown, himself a competition-level surfer, follows surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August on an around-the-world surfing adventure.... [More]
Starring: Bruce Brown
Directed By: Bruce Brown

#10

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102355%
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

#9

Maiden (2018)
98%

#9
Adjusted Score: 104748%
Critics Consensus: Enthralling viewing even for audiences with little to no knowledge of or interest in sailing, Maiden pays powerful tribute to a true pioneer.
Synopsis: In 1989 Tracy Edwards leads the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling yachting competition... [More]
Directed By: Alex Holmes

#8

National Velvet (1944)
100%

#8
Adjusted Score: 103403%
Critics Consensus: National Velvet makes the most of a breakout performance from Elizabeth Taylor, delivering a timeless family-friendly tearjerker that avoids straying into the sentimental.
Synopsis: When Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor), an equine-loving 12-year-old living in rural Sussex, becomes the owner of a rambunctious horse, she... [More]
Directed By: Clarence Brown

#7

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#7
Adjusted Score: 104502%
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

#6

Free Solo (2018)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 106087%
Critics Consensus: Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason - and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal.
Synopsis: Alex Honnold completes the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan's 3,000-foot vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.... [More]

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 106889%
Critics Consensus: Much like the sport it celebrates, Fighting with My Family muscles past clichés with a potent blend of energy and committed acting that should leave audiences cheering.
Synopsis: Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Merchant

#4

The Wrestler (2008)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 107601%
Critics Consensus: Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler, a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama.
Synopsis: Aging wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is long past his prime but still ready and rarin' to go... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#3

I, Tonya (2017)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 118226%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong work from Margot Robbie and Alison Janney, I, Tonya finds the humor in its real-life story without losing sight of its more tragic -- and emotionally resonant -- elements.
Synopsis: In 1991, talented figure skater Tonya Harding becomes the first American woman to complete a triple axel during a competition.... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#2

Creed (2015)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106968%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born.... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#1

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 114314%
Critics Consensus: Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect -- and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts.
Synopsis: American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

(Photo by Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox Film Corp, TriStar/Courtesy Everett Collection)

RT Recommends: 68 Inspiring Sports Movies

We’ve put together the ultimate starting lineup of inspiring sports movies! In no time, you’ll be riding horses, climbing rocks, driving powerful race cars, bolting cross-country, and coaching underdog teams to miraculous victory.

Or they’ll at least get you off the couch.

Some of the most esteemed Certified Fresh inspirational sports movies take on MMA (Warrior), boxing (Creed, Cinderella Man), auto-racing (Rush, Senna), basketball (Hoosiers, He Got Game), hockey (Miracle, Goon). Of course, not everything that glitters is strictly critics’ gold. Which is why we included movies like The Cutting Edge, Stick It, or Lords of Dogtown: They may be lower on the Tomatometer, but they’re high on electric inspiration.

Read on for our recommendations of the most inspiring sports movies of all time! (And you can find them all in Vudu’s inspiring sports movies collection, with most on sale!)

#68

42 (2013)
81%

#68
Adjusted Score: 87776%
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

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 98704%
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

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 90205%
Critics Consensus: Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.
Synopsis: Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra), the daughter of a strict Indian couple (Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan) in London, is not permitted... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#65

Blades of Glory (2007)
70%

#65
Adjusted Score: 78001%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the spirited performances of a talented cast - particularly Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rivals-turned-teammates -- Blades of Glory successfully spoofs inspirational sports dramas with inspired abandon.
Synopsis: Figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) take their intense rivalry too far during the... [More]
Directed By: Will Speck, Josh Gordon

#64

Brian's Song (1971)
92%

#64
Adjusted Score: 92568%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by standout performances from James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, Brian's Song is a touching tale of friendship whose central relationship transcends its standard sports movie moments.
Synopsis: Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) are teammates on the mid-1960s Chicago Bears. At a time... [More]
Directed By: Buzz Kulik

#63

Bring It On (2000)
64%

#63
Adjusted Score: 67406%
Critics Consensus: Despite the formulaic, fluffy storyline, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch, mostly due to its high energy and how it humorously spoofs cheerleading instead of taking itself too seriously.
Synopsis: The Toro cheerleading squad from Rancho Carne High School in San Diego has got spirit, spunk, sass and a killer... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#62

The Bronze (2015)
36%

#62
Adjusted Score: 41580%
Critics Consensus: Enthusiastically unpleasant and mostly unfunny, The Bronze fails to stick the landing -- or much else along the way.
Synopsis: A spoiled and largely forgotten Olympic medalist (Melissa Rauch) takes action when a promising young gymnast (Haley Lu Richardson) threatens... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Buckley

#61

Chariots of Fire (1981)
82%

#61
Adjusted Score: 87981%
Critics Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.
Synopsis: In the class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#60

Cinderella Man (2005)
80%

#60
Adjusted Score: 87605%
Critics Consensus: With grittiness and an evocative sense of time and place, Cinderella Man is a powerful underdog story. And Ron Howard and Russell Crowe prove to be a solid combination.
Synopsis: During the Great Depression, ex-boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) works as a day laborer until his former manager Joe... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#59

Cool Runnings (1993)
76%

#59
Adjusted Score: 79073%
Critics Consensus: Cool Runnings rises above its formulaic sports-movie themes with charming performances, light humor, and uplifting tone.
Synopsis: Four Jamaican bobsledders dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#58

Creed (2015)
95%

#58
Adjusted Score: 106968%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born.... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#57

The Cutting Edge (1992)
57%

#57
Adjusted Score: 59396%
Critics Consensus: Part contrived romance, part hackneyed sports drama, The Cutting Edge shows how difficult it can be to figure skate through cheese.
Synopsis: Stuck-up figure skating whiz Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) is denied a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics after a fall.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 97316%
Critics Consensus: Better than your average football pic, Damned United is carried by another star turn from Michael Sheen as Brian Clough.
Synopsis: The story of Brian Clough's 44 day stint as manager of Leeds United Football Club takes place in 1974 England.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Hooper

#55

Downhill Racer (1969)
85%

#55
Adjusted Score: 85227%
Critics Consensus: Downhill Racer plunges the viewer thrillingly into the action of the sport -- and continues to hold the attention as a thoughtful drama.
Synopsis: A smug and overly self-assured downhill skier, David Chappellet (Robert Redford), joins the American ski team and quickly makes waves... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#54

Eddie the Eagle (2016)
81%

#54
Adjusted Score: 93632%
Critics Consensus: Eddie the Eagle's amiable sweetness can't disguise its story's many inspirational clichés -- but for many viewers, it will be more than enough to make up for them.
Synopsis: Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael "Eddie" Edwards travels to Germany to test his skills at ski... [More]
Directed By: Dexter Fletcher

#53

Endurance (1998)
50%

#53
Adjusted Score: 50344%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This docudrama focuses on the life and accomplishments of Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie, who won a gold medal at the... [More]

#52

Fair Play (2014)

#52
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the 1980s, Anna, a Czech sprinter, starts training for the Olympics. After she collapses during training, she learns she... [More]
Directed By: Andrea Sedlácková

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 106889%
Critics Consensus: Much like the sport it celebrates, Fighting with My Family muscles past clichés with a potent blend of energy and committed acting that should leave audiences cheering.
Synopsis: Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Merchant

#50

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#50
Adjusted Score: 114314%
Critics Consensus: Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect -- and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts.
Synopsis: American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#49

Free Solo (2018)
97%

#49
Adjusted Score: 106087%
Critics Consensus: Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason - and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal.
Synopsis: Alex Honnold completes the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan's 3,000-foot vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.... [More]

#48

Girlfight (2000)
88%

#48
Adjusted Score: 91715%
Critics Consensus: Michelle Rodriguez gives a compelling performance, despite lack of a boxing background; Karyn Kusama packs a punch with this directorial debut.
Synopsis: Newcomer Michelle Rodriguez in an astounding performance alongside Jaime Tirelli, Paul Calderon and Santiago Douglas. Nothing comes easy for Diana... [More]
Directed By: Karyn Kusama

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell are thrown together in the double sculls just five weeks before the final of the... [More]
Directed By: David Blair

#46

Goon (2011)
81%

#46
Adjusted Score: 84987%
Critics Consensus: Goon is a crude slapstick comedy with well-formed characters and a surprising amount of heart.
Synopsis: Though a misfit among his brainy family members, Massachusetts bouncer Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) has a knockout punch that... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#45

Gracie (2007)
61%

#45
Adjusted Score: 64453%
Critics Consensus: Gracie can be rousing and touching in spots, but is ultimately undone by its predictable story arc and a lack of nuance.
Synopsis: Gracie Bowen (Carly Schroeder) is the only girl among her parents' four children. Her brothers and father (Dermot Mulroney) eat,... [More]
Directed By: Davis Guggenheim

#44
Adjusted Score: 66004%
Critics Consensus: Despite all the underdog sports movie conventions, the likable cast and lush production values make The Greatest Game Ever Played a solid and uplifting tale.
Synopsis: Blue-collar Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) fights class prejudice while mastering golf, a game guarded by the upper crust. Employed as... [More]
Directed By: Bill Paxton

#43

Happy Gilmore (1996)
61%

#43
Adjusted Score: 63868%
Critics Consensus: Those who enjoy Adam Sandler's schtick will find plenty to love in this gleefully juvenile take on professional golf; those who don't, however, will find it unfunny and forgettable.
Synopsis: All Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) has ever wanted is to be a professional hockey player. But he soon discovers he... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#42

He Got Game (1998)
81%

#42
Adjusted Score: 83075%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee near the top of his game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.
Synopsis: Jake Shuttleworth (Denzel Washington) has spent the last six years in prison after accidentally killing his wife during a violent... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#41

Hoosiers (1986)
91%

#41
Adjusted Score: 94988%
Critics Consensus: It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.
Synopsis: Failed college coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) gets a chance at redemption when he is hired to direct the basketball... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#40

I Am Bolt (2016)
86%

#40
Adjusted Score: 79139%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The career and the legacy of Jamaican runner Usain Bolt.... [More]

#39
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This sequel to "National Velvet" follows Sarah Brown (Tatum O'Neal), a young girl who is sent to England after her... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Forbes

#38

Invictus (2009)
76%

#38
Adjusted Score: 85456%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#37
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this stirring biographical drama, young Native American Jim Thorpe (Burt Lancaster) pursues his dreams of athletic stardom. Mentored by... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#36

The Karate Kid (1984)
89%

#36
Adjusted Score: 91186%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#35
Adjusted Score: 100573%
Critics Consensus: The King of Kong is funny and compelling with more than a few poignant insights into human behavior. Director Seth Gordon presents the dueling King Kong players in all their obsessive complexity and with perfectly al dente observations.
Synopsis: Named "Video Game Player of the Century" in 1999, Billy Mitchell sets a record score in "Donkey Kong" that many... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon

#34

Lords of Dogtown (2005)
55%

#34
Adjusted Score: 59523%
Critics Consensus: Lords of Dogtown, while slickly made and edited, lacks the depth and entertaining value of the far superior documentary on the same subject, Dogtown and Z-Boys.
Synopsis: A drought in 1970s Southern California has an unexpected side effect: as people empty their swimming pools, a group of... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 86380%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy,... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince

#32

Maiden (2018)
98%

#32
Adjusted Score: 104748%
Critics Consensus: Enthralling viewing even for audiences with little to no knowledge of or interest in sailing, Maiden pays powerful tribute to a true pioneer.
Synopsis: In 1989 Tracy Edwards leads the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling yachting competition... [More]
Directed By: Alex Holmes

#31

Major League (1989)
83%

#31
Adjusted Score: 84881%
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

#30

Meru (2015)
88%

#30
Adjusted Score: 90447%
Critics Consensus: Gripping visually as well as narratively, Meru is the rare documentary that proves thought-provoking while offering thrilling wide-screen vistas.
Synopsis: Three elite climbers fight through obsession and loss as they struggle to climb Mount Meru.... [More]

#29

Miracle (2004)
81%

#29
Adjusted Score: 85821%
Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.
Synopsis: When college coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) is hired to helm the 1980 U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, he brings... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#28

Nadia (1984)

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci trains as a child (Leslie Weiner) and wins three gold medals as a teen (Johann Carlo)... [More]
Directed By: Alan Cooke

#27

The Natural (1984)
82%

#27
Adjusted Score: 85281%
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

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 87506%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The story of Lithuania's 1992 Olympic basketball team whose athletes won the bronze medal.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Marius A. Markevicius

#25

Pacific Rim (2013)
72%

#25
Adjusted Score: 84164%
Critics Consensus: It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
Synopsis: Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#24

Personal Best (1982)
73%

#24
Adjusted Score: 74349%
Critics Consensus: Mariel Hemingway has a career-making star turn in this highly physical drama about two Olympic athletes who find each other during competitive training.
Synopsis: Young sprinter Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) is having difficulty reaching her potential as an athlete, until she meets established track... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

#23

Prefontaine (1997)
56%

#23
Adjusted Score: 56692%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Olympic defeat matures a selfish distance runner (Jared Leto) into a sports activist before his 1975 death in a car... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#22

Pride (2007)
47%

#22
Adjusted Score: 50313%
Critics Consensus: Pride features a typically stellar performance from Terrence Howard, but ultimately falls victim to its over usage of sports movie clichés.
Synopsis: In 1970s Philadelphia, Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), who is driven by a love of competitive swimming, fixes up an abandoned... [More]
Directed By: Sunu Gonera

#21

Pumping Iron (1977)
91%

#21
Adjusted Score: 93896%
Critics Consensus: In addition to offering an enlightening early look into the world of future star/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron provides a witty and insightful overview of competitive bodybuilding.
Synopsis: This partly real and partly scripted film documents what many consider to be the golden age of bodybuilding that occurred... [More]

#20

Race (2016)
63%

#20
Adjusted Score: 71768%
Critics Consensus: Race is nowhere near as thrillingly fleet or agile as its subject, but the story -- and a winning central performance from Stephan James -- are enough to carry it over the finish line.
Synopsis: Young Jesse Owens (Stephan James) becomes a track and field sensation while attending the Ohio State University in the early... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#19

Redbelt (2008)
67%

#19
Adjusted Score: 72546%
Critics Consensus: Mamet's mixed marital arts morality play weaves between action and intellect but doesn't always hit its target.
Synopsis: Martial artist Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor) lives by a strict code of no competitions, for he feels that such contests... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 76982%
Critics Consensus: An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it's also well-crafted and features terrific performances.
Synopsis: In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas,... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#17

Rocky (1976)
91%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97736%
Critics Consensus: This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.
Synopsis: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#16

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87870%
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

Rudy (1993)
78%

#15
Adjusted Score: 81459%
Critics Consensus: Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination.
Synopsis: Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) wants to play football at the University of Notre Dame, but has neither the money for... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#14

Rush (2013)
89%

#14
Adjusted Score: 97522%
Critics Consensus: A sleek, slick, well-oiled machine, Rush is a finely crafted sports drama with exhilarating race sequences and strong performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.
Synopsis: In the mid-1970s, charismatic English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) share an intense... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#13

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#13
Adjusted Score: 68719%
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

#12

Senna (2010)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 96740%
Critics Consensus: Even for filmgoers who aren't racing fans, Senna offers heart-pounding thrills -- and heartbreaking emotion.
Synopsis: Ayrton Senna becomes a three-time Formula One racing champion and Brazil's national hero before his untimely death at age 34.... [More]
Directed By: Asif Kapadia

#11

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
90%

#11
Adjusted Score: 93172%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
Synopsis: All his life, an ordinary young man (Stephen Chow) has been treated like dirt. Still, he's never given up believing... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

#10

Space Jam (1996)
45%

#10
Adjusted Score: 48942%
Critics Consensus: While it's no slam dunk, Space Jam's silly, Looney Toons-laden slapstick and vivid animation will leave younger viewers satisfied -- though accompanying adults may be more annoyed than entertained.
Synopsis: Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Pytka

#9

Stick It (2006)
31%

#9
Adjusted Score: 34716%
Critics Consensus: Director Jessica Bendinger is unable to transfer her winning Bring It On formula to the world of gymnastics, despite Missy Peregrym's strong lead performance.
Synopsis: Haley (Missy Peregrym) is a naturally gifted athlete but, with her social behavior, the teen seems intent on squandering her... [More]
Directed By: Jessica Bendinger

#8

Sugar (2008)
92%

#8
Adjusted Score: 97271%
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

#7

Teen Wolf (1985)
42%

#7
Adjusted Score: 44221%
Critics Consensus: Though Michael J. Fox is as charismatic as ever, Teen Wolf's coming-of-age themes can't help but feel a little stale and formulaic.
Synopsis: When high school nerd Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) learns from his father, Harold (James Hampton), that being a werewolf... [More]
Directed By: Rod Daniel

#6

Unbroken (2014)
51%

#6
Adjusted Score: 60996%
Critics Consensus: Unbroken is undoubtedly well-intentioned, but it hits a few too many of the expected prestige-pic beats to register as strongly as it should.
Synopsis: As a boy, Louis "Louie" Zamperini is always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turns... [More]
Directed By: Angelina Jolie

#5

Victory (1981)
63%

#5
Adjusted Score: 32081%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The head of a German POW camp, soccer enthusiast Karl von Steiner (Max von Sydow) organizes a match between Nazi... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#4

Warrior (2011)
83%

#4
Adjusted Score: 90315%
Critics Consensus: Warrior relies on many of the clichés that critics of the genre love to mock -- and it transcends them with gripping action, powerful acting, and heart.
Synopsis: An estranged family finds redemption in the unlikeliest of places: the MMA ring. Tommy (Tom Hardy), an ex-Marine with a... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#3

The Way Back (2020)
84%

#3
Adjusted Score: 97954%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
Synopsis: Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball superstar who suddenly walked away from the game for unknown reasons. Years later,... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#2

Whip It (2009)
84%

#2
Adjusted Score: 91770%
Critics Consensus: While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.
Synopsis: Bliss Cavendar lives in small-town Texas and yearns to break free of her mother's world of beauty pageants and conformity.... [More]
Directed By: Drew Barrymore

#1

Without Limits (1998)
79%

#1
Adjusted Score: 80522%
Critics Consensus: This drama about American track star and hero Steve Prefontaine intelligently looks at the character of this oft mythologized athlete and features a fantastic performance by Donald Sutherland as Prefontaine's trainer.
Synopsis: Before Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) makes it to the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he is an unlikely track star at... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Morgan Freeman Movies Ranked By Tomatometer

Morgan Freeman. Read this sentence in his voice. That familiar sound of authoritative benevolence, that could make an intro paragraph soar like a songbird with world-weariest wings. Freeman has lent his sonorous gift for narration to dozens of documentaries, including March of the Penguins, and to several of his narrative films, like Million Dollar Baby and, to lasting generational effect, in The Shawshank Redemption.

But before the voice of God got to play God (see: Bruce and Evan Almighty), Freeman had to humbly serve the silver screen in bit and seriously secondary parts for two decades. He got his big break performing the the lead villain in Christopher Reeve’s journalism thriller Street Smart, for which he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. That was released in 1987 and is where we’ll start Freeman’s filmography for this guide. Just two years later, he was on the national radar with the Best Picture-winning Driving Miss Daisy, for which he was once more nominated. The Academy has recognized his work three times since: Shawshank, Million Dollar Baby (for which he won), and Invictus.

The Daisy prestige brought in a raft of memorable roles for Freeman, including in Glory, Unforgiven, and Seven. He also seems to have a knack for being in the right comic book movie at the right time: see Red, Wanted, and his turn as Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight trilogy. We’re taking a look back on a celebrated career with this list of all Morgan Freeman movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#68

The Poison Rose (2019)
0%

#68
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A hard-drinking detective takes on what looks to be a routine missing person case, only to be drawn into a... [More]

#67

The Contract (2006)
0%

#67
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman), one of the world's greatest assassins, is handed a lucrative contract to kill a highly secretive... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 4807%
Critics Consensus: A thoroughly unfunny misfire, Just Getting Started manages the incredible feat of wasting more than a century of combined acting experience from its three talented leads.
Synopsis: Duke Diver is living the high life as the freewheeling manager of a luxurious resort in Palm Springs, Calif. He... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#65

Vanquish (2021)
5%

#65
Adjusted Score: 6664%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: From the director of Double Take, Middle Men, and The Poison Rose comes this stylish, glossy action-thriller starring Morgan Freeman... [More]
Directed By: George Gallo

#64

Edison (2005)
13%

#64
Adjusted Score: 4573%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ambitious young reporter Pollack (Justin Timberlake) suspects insidious corruption in his town's elite police unit, known as F.R.A.T., and finds... [More]
Directed By: David J. Burke

#63

Last Knights (2015)
16%

#63
Adjusted Score: 16389%
Critics Consensus: As blandly unimaginative as its title, Last Knights revisits well-worn sword-and-sandal tropes without adding anything new -- or interesting -- to the genre.
Synopsis: A fallen swordsman (Clive Owen) leads a small army against a sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master (Morgan Freeman).... [More]
Directed By: Kaz I Kiriya

#62

The Big Bounce (2004)
15%

#62
Adjusted Score: 19620%
Critics Consensus: Lazily crafted and light on substance, The Big Bounce takes few chances and strands its promising cast in a subpar adaptation that fails to do its source material justice.
Synopsis: Beach bum and petty criminal Jack Ryan (Owen Wilson) gets into a fight while working at a construction site owned... [More]
Directed By: George Armitage

#61
Adjusted Score: 18444%
Critics Consensus: The Bonfire of the Vanities is a vapid adaptation of a thoughtful book, fatally miscast and shorn of the source material's crucial sense of irony. Add it to the pyre of Hollywood's ambitious failures.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the Tom Wolfe novel, powerful Wall Street executive Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is riding with his... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#60

Chain Reaction (1996)
18%

#60
Adjusted Score: 18434%
Critics Consensus: Ironic given the scientific breakthrough at the story's core, Chain Reaction is a man-on-the-run thriller that mostly sticks to generic formula.
Synopsis: At a Chicago university, a research team that includes brilliant Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) experiences a breakthrough: a stable form... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

#59

Transcendence (2014)
19%

#59
Adjusted Score: 28761%
Critics Consensus: In his directorial debut, ace cinematographer Wally Pfister remains a distinctive visual stylist, but Transcendence's thought-provoking themes exceed the movie's narrative grasp.
Synopsis: Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the world's foremost authority on artificial intelligence, is conducting highly controversial experiments to create a... [More]
Directed By: Wally Pfister

#58

Evan Almighty (2007)
23%

#58
Adjusted Score: 31336%
Critics Consensus: Big on special effects but short on laughs, Evan Almighty underutilizes a star-studded cast that includes Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman.
Synopsis: Newscaster Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) leaves Buffalo behind when he wins a seat in Congress. Moving his wife (Lauren Graham)... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

#57