Special Report

The Greatest Sports Movies of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

20. Hoosiers (1986)
> Starring: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
> Director: David Anspaugh
> IMDb rating: 7.5 out of 10
> Tomatometer score: 89%
> RT audience score: 88%

“Hoosiers,” the story about a longshot Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship, was lauded by the Washington Post for its “fast-break cinematography that catches the pace of the game.” The film was also buoyed by the performances of Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, and Dennis Hopper.

Source: Courtesy of 30WEST

19. I, Tonya (2017)
> Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
> Director: Craig Gillespie
> IMDb rating: 7.5 out of 10
> Tomatometer score: 90%
> RT audience score: 88%

“I, Tonya” is a comedy drama about the rise and fall of competitive ice skater Tonya Harding, whose legacy was forever tarnished by her alleged involvement in one of the biggest scandals in sports history — the attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Margot Robbie got her first Oscar nomination for playing Harding and Alison Janney won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Harding’s mother.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

18. Queen of Katwe (2016)
> Starring: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o
> Director: Mira Nair
> IMDb rating: 7.4 out of 10
> Tomatometer score: 94%
> RT audience score: 87%

“Queen of Katwe” is a Disney movie telling the story of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess prodigy, who went from selling corn on the streets to winning international chess tournaments. Her mother was portrayed by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”). Nikita Pearl Waligwa, the child actress who played a friend of Mutesi, died in February 2020 at age 15 from brain cancer.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

17. The Harder They Fall (1956)
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling
> Director: Mark Robson
> IMDb rating: 7.5 out of 10
> Tomatometer score: 100%
> RT audience score: 80%

Unlike many of the greatest sports movies, “The Harder They Fall” does not focus on an athlete. In the film, down on his luck newspaper reporter Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by a corrupt promoter to hype up his up-and-coming boxer, even though he has no boxing talent. Willis must decide whether or not to tell the boxer he could be in danger when he comes up against a skilled fighter.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

16. Moneyball (2011)
> Starring: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill
> Director: Bennett Miller
> IMDb rating: 7.6 out of 10
> Tomatometer score: 94%
> RT audience score: 86%

“Moneyball,” nominated for six Oscars and based on the book by Michael Lewis, told the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who tried to build a winning team in a small market by using computer-based analysis and data. The movie was sharply written and keenly observed by Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin.