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24 Sports Movies to Watch to Get Your Head in the Game

Batter up!

2003 sundance film festival bend it like beckham film stills
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I was an indoor kid growing up. I didn’t even try to play sports. As an adult, I pretty much only watch sports during big events like the Olympics, March Madness, the Super Bowl, the World Series...you get it. I’m not the kind of person who uses words like “sportsball” to convey my disinterest, but it’s not my thing, like, 99 percent of the time! If it’s yours, more power to you? But that doesn’t mean I’m not completely swept away by the epic highs and lows of a good sports movie. There’s nothing like the combination of heightened Hollywood drama and physical competition.

Whether you’re an athlete yourself, a foam finger-waving superfan, or more of a respectfully detached enthusiast like myself, here are some sports movies to put on when you need an adrenaline boost.

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1 ‘I, Tonya’

The Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan “incident” is one of the juiciest sports scandals in history, and we could not have asked for a funnier movie about it. It’s not exactly inspirational, but whatever!

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2 ‘She’s the Man’

Remember when there were a billion movies based on Shakespeare or Jane Austen but set in high school? This one has a sports angle AND a Channing Tatum. Need I say more?

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3 ‘Rollerball’

If you wanna kick it old school, this trippy ’70s movie about a futuristic dystopian sport is a wild ride. It’s kind of like if The Hunger Games had wheels.

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4 ‘The Bronze’

If you like I, Tonya, you’ll love this dark comedy that’s also about an Olympics hopeful. Sebastian Stan plays yet another dick.

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5 ‘Field of Dreams’

Lowkey, this movie made me so scared of choking hazards as a little kid...but it’s a baseball movie classic, so we have to stan.

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6 ’A League of Their Own’

Speaking of baseball classics...DON’T YOU DARE CRY!!

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7 ‘Angels in the Outfield’

Okay, okay, okay...one more baseball movie. Only ’90s kids remember.

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8 ’Bring It On’

I will not be entertaining any arguments today about whether or not cheerleading is a real sport. Try again!

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9 ’Remember the Titans’

Now this is an inspirational sports movie, almost embarrassingly so. You’ll sob. Your heart will grow three sizes. Lean into the cheesiness and pretend a substitute teacher just wheeled a TV set into the classroom because it was ALWAYS this movie.

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10 ’Bend It Like Beckham’

We all know that Jess and Juliette should have ended up together or at least in a throuple with Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character, but that doesn’t make this movie any less of a classic.

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11 ’Hoop Dreams’

If you only ever watch one sports documentary in your life, make it this one. Director Steve James followed two high school basketball players for five years and it’s one of the best filmic records of American economics, society, and education we have.

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12 ’Handsome Devil’

What happens when the only boy at boarding school, who doesn’t care about rugby, is forced to bunk with the team’s star player? Also, they’re both gay but not really into each other because that’s...realistic? They just become good pals? This movie is really sweet, you guys!!

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13 ’Love & Basketball’

Gina Prince-Bythewoo’s directorial debut is a cult classic that deserves to be in your romance rotation. Let the wine flow.

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14 ‘Caddyshack’

Oh yeah...this goofy ’80s comedy is technically about golf.

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15 ’Ford v. Ferrari’

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you this movie is just for dads. It’s far from boring and you may/may not become obsessed with endurance racing...I make no promises.

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16 ’Space Jam’

I mean, does it really need an introduction or an explanation??? Double up with the 2021 LeBron James reboot to truly settle the GOAT conversation once and for all for a fun movie night.

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17 ’The Mighty Ducks’

Who needs the Disney+ reboot when you have the original? (JK, the reboot is actually really cute.)

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18 ’Coach Carter’

This classic basketball film starring the iconic Samuel L. Jackson takes you on an entire emotional journey, but thankfully at the end, you only feel so, so good. Plus, there’s a star-studded cast (we see you, Ashanti and Channing Tatum!) that makes it even more engaging to watch.

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19 ’Stick It’

There’s nothing better than the OG gymnastics movie get you inspired and have you cracking up along the way.

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20 ’42’

The late-great Chadwick Boseman won us over (as if he ever did anything else) with this heart-wrenching portrayal of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson and his journey through the MLB.

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21 ’The Sandlot’

You’re killin’ me, Smalls, if you’ve never seen this movie. A group of boys come together through their shared love of baseball...and their fear of a terrifying “beast” next door. From chewing tobacco for the first time to a fake drowning to making s’mores in a treehouse, the shenanigans with these boys abound!

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22 ’Like Mike’

Lil Bow Wow plays a 13-year-old orphan who finds magic “M.J.” sneakers that turn him into the NBA’s hottest new thing. The adorable Calvin Cambridge slowly but surely melts the icy heart of his star teammate Tracy Reynolds and they develop the sweetest relationship of all. Plus, there are some awesome cameos in the film from NBA legends like Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, and Dirk Nowitzki.

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23 ‘The Waterboy’

Sure, we know Uncut Gems was highly acclaimed and whatnot, but The Waterboy is truly some of Adam Sandler’s finest—and funniest—work. Adam plays Bobby Boucher, a water specialist for a renowned Louisiana college football team. After they fire him, Bobby becomes a tackling phenom for the rival school. Come for the Bayou accents, stay for the pure hilarity...and also Kathy Bates as Bobby’s momma.

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24 ‘Rocky’

I knew I was forgetting one...just the most famous sports movie of all time, NBD. At the very least, it’s the most famous sports montage. Make sure you pair it with Creed on your sports movie night.

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