- There are some great sports movies on Netflix this month.
- “The Fighter” is a more well-known choice.
- “Miracle” is a classic.
Even within a single movie genre, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your options on Netflix. Sports films are no exception.
To take the guesswork out of what you should watch next, INSIDER consulted score data from Rotten Tomatoes to round up a selection of sports movies that are worth streaming. From romantic comedies such as “Bull Durham” to biopics like “The Fighter,” there’s something for every kind of viewer.
Here are 12 of the best sports movies currently streaming on Netflix.
“Bull Durham” (1988)
Netflix description: “A perennially pitiful baseball team inks a rookie in hopes he’ll usher the team to victory. But it’s up to his seasoned catcher to keep him in line.”
Critic score: 97%
Audience score: 82%
“Bull Durham,” a romantic comedy about a real-life minor league baseball team in Durham, North Carolina, stars Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon. Partially based on screenwriter and director Ron Shelton’s own experiences in the minors, this baseball flick has endured as a classic through the decades.
Netflix description: “Husband. Father. Fighter. Meet Chuck Wepner, the liquor salesman and self-proclaimed real-life inspiration behind Rocky Balboa.”
Critic score: 80%
Audience score: 62%
If you’re a fan of the “Rocky” series (and its subsequent “Creed” spinoffs), you might be intrigued by the story of Chuck Wepner, the heavyweight boxer from Bayonne, New Jersey, whose 15-round bout against Muhammed Ali in 1975 apparently inspired Sylvester Stallone to create the character Rocky Balboa. Although Wepner later sued Stallone for allegedly using his life story without permission, the two men, who became friendly after the release of “Rocky,” are now on good terms.
In “Chuck,” Liev Schreiber portrays Wepner, with his “Ray Donovan” co-star Pooch Hall playing Ali. Elisabeth Moss and Naomi Watts respectively appear as Wepner’s second and third wives.
Netflix description: “This fast-paced documentary profiles Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One racing, and a hero in his native Brazil.”
Critic score: 92%
Audience score: 95%
For a movie that lives life in the fast lane, look no further than “Senna,” a documentary about the titular Formula One racer. The film centres on Senna’s career, beginning with his 1984 debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix and concluding with his death from an accident 10 years later at the San Marino Grand Prix.
Director Asif Kapadia also helmed “Amy,” the Academy Award-winning doc about Amy Winehouse.
“The Pass” (2016)
Netflix description: “The lives and careers of two professional soccer players are profoundly impacted by a single moment of intimacy that took place between them.”
Critic score: 93%
Audience score: 68%
Based on the play by John Donnelly, who adapted his script for the screen, “The Pass” focuses on two British soccer players (Russell Tovey and Arinze Kene) whose secret relationship forces them to question their identities and the nature of fame. The story unfolds within three hotel rooms, lending an element of urgency to the action.
This affecting indie drama was produced by Duncan Kenworthy, who is known for Brit hits like “Notting Hill” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
“High Flying Bird” (2019)
Netflix description: “When an NBA lockout sidelines his big rookie client, an agent hatches a bold plan to save their careers – and disrupt the league’s power structure.”
Critic score: 93%
Audience score: 53%
Not only was “High Flying Bird” directed by Steven Soderbergh – it was shot by the renowned filmmaker on an iPhone. Set during an NBA lockout (a period when team owners and players fail to reach an agreement), this Netflix original stars André Holland (“Moonlight”), Melvin Gregg (“American Vandal”), and Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”).
“The Fighter” (2010)
Netflix description: “After a string of defeats, a boxer rediscovers his fighting will with help from his trainer and half-brother, a once-talented pugilist.”
Critic score: 90%
Audience score: 89%
Directed by David O. Russell, “The Fighter” is a biopic starring Mark Wahlberg as professional boxer Micky Ward. Christian Bale co-stars as Ward’s half-brother Dicky Eklund, a role that earned him an Oscar for best supporting actor.
In addition, Melissa Leo, who plays Ward and Eklund’s mother, won a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance.
Netflix description: “This biopic focuses on baseball icon Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era.”
Critic score: 80%
Audience score: 85%
Before Chadwick Boseman was Black Panther, he played baseball legend Jackie Robinson in “42,” a film titled after the number on Robinson’s jersey. Harrison Ford also stars as Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey.
Netflix description: “In his Oscar-winning film, an American cyclist plunges into a vast doping scandal involving a Russian scientist – Putin’s most-wanted whistleblower.”
Critic score: 94%
Audience score: 94%
In “Icarus,” director Bryan Fogel’s investigation into the usage of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling escalates into an accidental discovery of an international doping scandal. By talking with the head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Fogel uncovers a state-sponsored Olympic doping program.
“Icarus” took home the Oscar for best documentary feature at the 90th Academy Awards.
Netflix description: “In 1890s India, an arrogant British commander challenges the harshly taxed residents of Champaner to a high-stakes cricket match.”
Critic score: 95%
Audience score: 93%
If you prefer Bollywood musicals, “Lagaan” (Hindi for “taxation”) delivers intricately choreographed dance numbers and an epic narrative leading up to a life-changing cricket match. This modern classic of Indian cinema stars prolific actor, director, and filmmaker Aamir Khan.
Netflix description: “US hockey coach Herb Brooks unites a motley crew of college athletes and turns them into a force to be reckoned with at the 1980 Winter Olympics.”
Critic score: 80%
Audience score: 90%
If you’re in the mood for an uplifting, family-friendly sports flick, “Miracle” fits the bill. Starring Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks, the coach who lead the US men’s ice hockey team to victory at the 1980 Winter Olympics, this Disney film tells the story of how the Americans beat the Soviets in a feat dubbed the “Miracle on Ice.”
Netflix description: “In mid-1970s Australia, two small-town teenage boys befriend an enigmatic middle-aged surfer, who urges them to see the thrill in facing their fears.”
Critic score: 79%
Audience score: 74%
Adapted from Tim Winton’s award-winning novel of the same name, “Breath” is a coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of the Western Australia coast. When the film’s teenage protagonists (Samson Coulter and Ben Spence) befriend an older surfer (Simon Baker, who also directed the movie), they learn to put aside their fears and embrace life’s adventures.
“Shaolin Soccer” (2001)
Netflix description: “A down-and-out ex-soccer player joins forces with a former monk to assemble an unlikely team of players to win the China Super Cup soccer tournament.”
Critic score: 90%
Audience score: 84%
Directed by Stephen Chow, “Shaolin Soccer” is both a martial arts movie and a sports comedy. Chow stars as Sing, a monk who starts a soccer team with his former brothers to pass down kung fu techniques through the sport.
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