Soul Surfer is an American sports film that was released in 2011. It featured the story of Bethany Hamilton, an American professional surfer who survived a shark attack, leaving her left arm bitten off. Directed by Sean McNamara, the film specifically centered on the struggles that Bethany had to go through as an athlete following the incident.
Written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant, Finding Forester is a 2000 American drama film that centered on the life of a black American teenager named Jamal Wallace, who befriended William Forrester who happened to be an antisocial writer. The film received generally positive response from critics and was given a score of 73% by Rotten Tomatoes.
A League of Their Own
Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell, A League of their Own was released in 1992 as an American comedy-drama film telling a fictional account of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). It was directed by Penny Marshall and was generally a commercial success, grossing more than $107 million in the United States alone. It was preserved by the Library of Congress in the US National Film Registry because of its historical and cultural significance.
A 2005 American drama film, Cinderella Man was titled after the nickname of James J. Braddock, an Irish-American heavyweight boxing champion. The movie was inspired by the story of his life, which began to turn around after he had been forced to give up his boxing career because of his broken arm.
Remember the Titans
Directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Remember the Titans is an American sports movie that was released in 2000 and was inspired from a screenplay written by Gregory Allen Howard. The film was a retelling of the story of African American coach Herman Boone, who struggled to unite the racially divided team of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The movie explored significant social issues such as racism among athletes and grossed more than $115,000,000 in the United States with about $140,000,000 internationally.
Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights is an American sports drama film released in 2004. It was based on an H.G. Bissinger book entitled Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream which told the story of 1988 football team popularly known as Panthers. Directed by Peter Berg, the movie got an 81% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and ranked 37th on the list of Best High School Movies of all time.
An American biographical sports movie that was released in 2004, Miracle was based on the story of a men’s hockey team in the United States led by Herb Brooks. It was directed by Gavin O’Connor and featured the events that had taken place before the team bagged the Winter Olympics gold medal in 1980.
A 2005 American documentary film, Murderball was about the story of a group of quadriplegic athletes who were engaged in wheelchair rugby. Directed by Henry Alex and Dana Adam Shapiro, the film centered on the rivalry between the United States and Canadian teams and also featured the 2004 Paralympic Games. The movie was produced by Jeffrey V. Mandel and garnered generally positive reviews, with a rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature during the 78th Academy Awards.
Bend it Like Beckham
Starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, Bend it Like Beckham is a British comedy-drama film that was released in 2002. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, it was first released in the United Kingdom and was met with mostly positive reviews. It got its title from the infamous football player David Beckham and his unparalleled skill in gaining scores through his free kicks by bending the football past a wall of defenders. The film challenged homophobia and the role of women in the society.
Eight Men Out
A 1988 American dramatic sports film, Eight Men Out was based on a book that was published in 1963 entitled 8 Men Out. Directed and written by John Sayles, the movie was a dramatization of the legendary Black Sox Scandal of the Major League Baseball. This event in the history of baseball involved eight members of the Chicago White Sox team who collaborated with gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series. It was considered as the saddest chapter in the history of professional American sports.
Starring Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy, Warrior is an American sports drama movie that told the story of two brothers who were forced to join a mixed martial arts tournament despite their strained relationship. Released in 2011, the movie received positive reviews from critics and got an Academy Award nomination.
Million Dollar Baby
A 2004 sports drama film, Million Dollar Baby revolved around the story of an underrated boxing trainer, his life, and his pledge to help an amateur boxer achieve his dream of becoming a professional boxer. Directed, scored and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, the movie won a total of four Academy Awards in 2004. It was originally published under the title Rope Burns and was based on the short stories written by Jerry Boyd.
Brian’s Song is the remake of Brian’s Song, a 1971 television film which featured the life story of American football player Brian Piccolo and his good and bad encounters with Gale Sayer, a Hall of Fame African American football player from the Chicago Bears team. The movie was released in 2001, starring Sean Maher and MekhiPhifer.
An American romantic comedy sports film that was based on the experiences of Ron Shelton in the minor league, Bull Durham was written and directed by Ron Shelton himself and featured the players and fans of the minor league baseball team Durham Bulls. Starring Kevin Costner, the movie centered on his life as a veteran catcher who was tasked to teach a rookie pitcher played by Tim Robbins. Having grossed over $50 million in North America alone and ranked #1 on Rotten Tomatoes’ best sports movies of all time, the movie was undeniably a commercial success.
Directed by David Anspaugh, Rudy is an American sports film that depicted the life of Daniel Ruettiger, a man who chased his dream of playing football despite several obstacles. Most of its scenes were shot inside the campus of the University of Notre Dame, while the rest were shot in Indiana and Illinois. It starred Sean Astin who played Rudy, together with Charles Dutton, Jason Miller and Ned Beatty.
Field of Dreams
An adaptation of the novel of W.P. Kinsella entitled Shoeless Joe, Field of Dreams is an American fantasy drama film released in 1989. It was directed and written by Phil Alden Robinson and starred Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, Burt Lancester, Amy Madigan and James Earl Jones. The movie was generally received positively by critics, with a rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
The Pride of the Yankees
Starring Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright and Walter Brennan, The Pride of the Yankees is an American sports film released in 1942. Directed by Sam Wood, the movie was a tribute to Lou Gehrig, a former first baseman of the New York Yankees who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1941. Though the movie was released as a sports film, it focused less on the sports biography of Gehrig but focused more on his relationship with his family, his “companion for life” and his fellow athletes.
Released in 2008, The Wrestler is a sports drama film that was written by Robert D. Siegel and directed by Darren Aronofsky, who considered this his masterpiece companion piece to his 2010 movie entitled Black Swan. The film centered on the story of Rouke, an aging professional wrestler who continued to join matches despite his weakening health. The Wrestler won the Golden Lion Award during the Venice Film Festival in 2008 and received a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Released in 1994, Hoop Dreams is a documentary film that was originally intended as a 30-minute production for the Public Broadcasting Service. It featured the story of African-American high school students who dreamed of becoming a professional basketball players in Chicago, USA. The movie won the Audience Award for Best Documentary during the 1994 Sundance Film Festival and grossed over $11 million worldwide.
Starring Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield, Caddyshack is an American sports comedy film that featured Danny Noonan, a man who worked as a caddy to earn enough for his college education. The movie was the first feature film of director Harold Ramis. Grossing over $40 million at the domestic box office, it was ranked as the 17th highest box office movie of 1980.
A baseball movie that was based on a 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud entitled The Natural, the movie was about the life of a baseball prodigy named Roy Hobbs whose career detoured when he suffered a certain disability after he was shot by a mysterious woman, but was able to play for the New York Knights as the “Wonder Boy” later in his life. The film was released in 1984 and was directed by Barry Levinson. It currently holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Chariots of Fire
Featuring the real-life story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics, Chariots of Fire is a British historical sports drama film released in 1981. Written by Colin Welland and directed by Hugh Hudson, the movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and ranked 19th in the list of Top 100 British films of the British Film Institute. Its title was inspired by the line “bring me my chariot of fire” from a popular British poem.
Based on the story of Milan High School, Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film that told the story of an Indiana high school basketball team that won the state championship in 1954. Starring Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper, it was written by Angelo Pizzo and directed by David Anspaugh. It got overwhelmingly positive reviews and was rated 88% by the Rotten Tomatoes.
Produced by Robert Chartoff and directed by Martin Scorsese, Raging Bull is an American sports drama film released in 1980. An adaptation of the memoir of Jake LaMotta entitled Raging Bull: My Story, it starred Robert De Niro as the main character, an Italian American boxer whose rage and animalistic appetite ruined his familial relationship. The film grossed $23 million in US theatres and was nominated for eight Academy Awards.
Directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Sylvester Stallone, Rocky is a 1976 American film that told the “rags to riches” story of Rocky Balboa, an illiterate but kindhearted debt collector based in Pennsylvania. The movie was shot in just a month but was able to gross over $225 million. It became the highest grossing film of 1976, won three Oscars and received positive reviews from critics.