In the wake of suspended sports, finished seasons, and uncrowded stadiums, sports fans have basically rotted in their homes watching drama series after drama series. Don’t fret, however, if you’re one of those sports fans––Netflix has a plethora of sports movies for you to watch.
During quarantine, Netflix has released the likes of sports documentaries such as The Last Dance, Sunderland ‘Til I Die, and Drive to Survive––but nothing hits home like a good movie on your couch, does it?
As sports slowly, but surely, come into the scene once again, here’s a good list of the best sports movies to enjoy on Netflix if the team you’re rooting for has the night off. Sorry, basketball fans, you’re going to have to be on Netflix for a little longer than other sports.
The Top 10 List:
10. Iverson (2014)
One of the best players to ever play in the league, Allen Iverson. This 2014 documentary takes a dive into what was a fruitful career of the Philadelphia 76er alongside the criticism and perception the media, the people, and the players had for him.
For all ‘The Answer’ fans out there, consider this one of your idol’s fan services.
9. The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)
Who could’ve possibly known that Kurt Russell’s dad, Bing Russell, would own a baseball team in the minor leagues. To add to the facts, Kurt even played for the team.
The Netflix movie revolves around the story of the Portland Mavericks and their team of rejected baseball players. As the team was heavily under fire, receiving criticisms of failure––they rose to the ranks and proved how far they could get with an impressive record.
8. Ali (2001)
Will Smith in a sports movie? Count everyone in! With a handful of boxing movies on Netflix, make sure to add this one on the list. With a different perspective on one of the most iconic sport careers and icons in the world, you wouldn’t want to miss this one.
Muhammad Ali, as you may know, is known for his voice outside the ring and his lightning speed inside it. Ali has proven to be one of the most swagger-filled athletes in the whole world, and Smith has just enough to recreate Ali’s life between 1964 and 1974.
7. Undefeated (2011)
Sports isn’t just entertainment for the people, it has also served to be the ticket into the success of the players who work the hardest. However, the success of the players may also be attributed to an equally hard working coach––one who inspires and motivates his team.
Undefeated is a story of three underprivileged football players trying to make a name for themselves. As they were mentored on and off the field by their volunteering coach, they’ve overcome all odds––a true masterpiece from the sports library of Netflix considering it won the Oscar for Best Documentary.
6. The Water Boy (2011)
It stars Adam Sandler––need I say more? The Water Boy is a sports comedy featuring Bobby Boucher, played by Adam Sandler. Often bullied by the team, he stands up for himself one day and tackles the quarterback. To the team coach’s surprise, he quickly takes advantage of Bobby’s strength and trains him from a water boy to a gridiron monster.
Sandler isn’t new to sports movies on Netflix as he even stars in a LeBron James-produced movie titled Hustle!
5. Goon (2011)
Sean William Scott isn’t just the star you see in American Pie, he’s also the star of Goon named Doug Glatt. Glatt, who’s only known for his fighting, was approached by a minor league hockey coach who eventually got him to play for the team.
From a disrespected street brawler to one of the most inspirational characters in any Netflix sports movie, Glatt’s self-improvement has been a testament to his team––taking them as far as he could lead them.
4. Space Jam (1996)
The thing is, Space Jam on Netflix isn’t really one of those movies that you would watch to leech off inspiration. However, because of it being a classic and one of the most original soundtracks in film history, it deserves to be on the list. How could you not include the collaboration between Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny on a list?
Who was once the best player in the world (and arguably still is) going into the most mainstream cartoon vortex with the most famous cartoon characters to ever be created, people are in love with that.
3. Raging Bull (1980)
This Jake LaMotta biopic is one of the best sports classic movies on Netflix––and it isn’t even close. This has to be one of Robert De Niro’s better performances, and alongside Martin Scorsese directing? No wonder the movie won Oscars.
The story of Raging Bull revolves around Jake LaMotta’s decline after becoming a temper-filled champion.
2. First Match (2018)
It’s not a ‘best sports movies on Netflix’ list without a Netflix Original film now, is it? First Match is a story of a young girl named Monique who grew up in foster care. Her father, who is a champion wrestler, is not in her contact book anymore as certain situations led up to certain consequences.
At a very young age, the environment she was raised on made her tough despite the violence she’s experienced. She believes that wrestling will be the key to her father’s heart––and so she tried. As the only girl in the wrestling team, will she be able to succeed just like her father? More importantly, will she be back in her father’s arms?
Watch Elvire Emanuelle’s beautiful representation of Monique and all of the character’s attributes. Alongside director Olivia Newman, this Netflix Original is one to watch. Next to Netflix’s Jordan and the Bulls’ The Last Dance, make sure you have your eyes on this one.
1. Miracle (2004)
The coveted match between the 1980 United States men’s hockey team against the Soviet Union during the Winter Olympics is arguably still the best game in the history of the Winter Olympics. Despite everyone knowing what the outcome is, the title of Miracle speaks for itself. What happens when a USA hockey team grinds its way into the gold-medal game against the Soviet power house? Miracles––and as Al Michaels says it in the most famous sports call in history: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”
Netflix offers a variety of sports films, but those of which inspire the masses are the best ones. From ground-up stories to redemptional ones, sports movies are the best way to spend your quarantine in the absence of sports––or in your case, the schedule of your favorite teams.
If you’re done with this list, make sure to read on the top sports documentaries on Netflix!