In this article I’m taking a look at 21 of the best sports movies available to stream on Netflix. If you love sports or movies featuring sports, you’ll want to add these to your watch list.
Sports movies are inspiring and uplifting. They show us the tenacity behind men and women around the world and how they overcome different obstacles to accomplish their dreams and their goals.
Most of the sports movies are mixed with other genres that help to depict a lot of aspects from human behaviour and its intrinsic relationships.
Family dramas, romances, thrillers, conspiracies, all fit together in the world of sports.
The following 21 titles are a mix of diverse approaches with fictional, biographical, and documentaries films showing this fascinating world. A great way to discover famed world legends and to relive historical moments in different sports disciplines.
Everything is covered: from mainstream sports like baseball and football, going through to horse riding, surf, and less well-known sports such as handball.
Not all Netflix movies are available in all regions. In fact, in some regions, you may get 50% less selection than other regions.
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1. Trouble With The Curve
(2012 – Drama – 111 min)
Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and John Goodman star in this movie about an ageing and ailing baseball scout (Eastwood) who got assigned his last job before retirement.
When his estranged daughter (Amy Adams) joins him in this recruitment trip, their troubled relationship will surface. A different and interesting take on the world of baseball.
This movie is the first acting role for Eastwood in a film he didn’t direct since 1995 and his cameo in Casper.
2. All Work All Play
(2015 – Documentary – 94 min)
The world of professional gamers is like uncharted territory for the people who don’t belong there. Gone are teenagers sat in their bedrooms. For many years this massive industry has been known as eSports and is as large as any other industry.
Big events, leagues, live broadcastings, and professional gamers that have to give everything like any other athlete. This documentary portrays the struggle these gamers go through and it’s an interesting approach to the e-sports world for the people who never have heard about it before.
(2016 – Biographical – Drama – 107 min)
Pelé is a legend. Not only in Brazil, but in the entire world.
It doesn’t matter if you like football or not, it doesn’t matter if you understand what it’s about or not. You have probably heard Pelé’s name and you know that’s a big one.
This biopic portrays Pelé’s rise from the slums of Sao Paulo to taking Brazil into winning its first World Cup. Inspiring and a lot more than just football.
4. GLOW: The Story Behind The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling
(2012 – Documentary – 76 min)
This documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the first all-women wrestling show through the story of its protagonists.
Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.) staged live events that were filmed and then broadcasted on TV. The show lasted for four seasons at the end of the ‘80s. In this movie, original footage from the show is shown along with interviews with the original members.
(2013 – Biography – Drama – 128 min)
The Brooklyn Dodgers signed him and he faced a lot of racism both from fans and players alike. This story is not only about baseball, but it’s also about a part of American history, and how segregation and racism were deeply rooted in society.
(2017 – Documentary – 120 min)
A controversial documentary about doping in sports, winner of the Oscar for the Best Documentary in 2018.
Icarus was initially released at the Sundance Film Festival, and then Netflix acquired the rights to its global distribution. When Bryan Fogel starts exploring the options of doping in a cycling race, he doesn’t know he’s about to unleash a major international doping scandal.
He asks Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, for help. They become friends, and Rodchenkov makes a plan for Fogel to take illegal performance-enhancing drugs in a way to evade the controls. The rest is a scandal.
7. Kiss and Cry
(2017 – Drama – Biography – 95 min)
Based on the true story of Carley Allison, a figure skater and singer who was diagnosed with rare throat cancer.
This movie is a romantic take on the life of this talented girl who at the age of 18 saw her life changing forever due to this rare illness. Sarah Fisher, who plays Carley in the movie, was the best friend of Carley Allison in real life. And it was her idea of paying tribute to her friend in a movie that collects all the experiences Carley had to endure after her diagnosis.
(2010 – Biography – Drama – Family)
This Disney production is based on the true story about Penny Chenery Tweedy and her stallion Secretariat.
Chenery agrees to take over her father’s Meadows Stables even though she knows nothing about horses. In the male-dominated world of horse racing, she manages to win the first Triple Crown in 25 years. It’s an inspiring, uplifting, and exciting movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
9. The Waterboy
(1998 – Comedy – 90 min)
In this comedy, Adam Sandler is Bobby Boucher, a waterboy for a college football team. When the team’s coach discovers Bobby has a great talent tackling people, he signs him as the new star player for the team.
Everything is great except Bobby must keep his new occupation a secret from his controlling and overprotective mother (Kathy Bates).
10. I am Bolt
(2016 – Documentary – 107 min)
This biographical documentary is about the life of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, three times Olympic gold medalist and the fastest man in human history.
Several figures from different sports appear as guests, such as Pelé, Neymar, Serena Williams among others. The film depicts Bolt’s journey in his Olympic career and all the incidents regarding his titles.
11. Raising the bar
(2016 – Family – 93 min)
This Australian family movie tells the story of Kelly, a 16-year-old girl who quits an elitist American gymnastic program and moves to Australia with her mother.
There, she will make new friends and in helping one of them she will get back into the gymnastics world. She would have to face her past and make peace with it to keep moving forward.
12. High Flying Bird
(2019 – Drama – 90 min)
A Netflix original film directed by the Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh. It was released in February, 8th and it instantly became a huge success.
Taking advantage of a lockout in the basketball business, a sports agent pitches a new basketball client into a controversial business opportunity that will shake the basement of the world of sports.
This movie was shot entirely with an iPhone 8 using an anamorphic lens produced by Moondog Labs.
(2010 – Documentary – 106 min)
The story about the Brazilian Formula One racer Ayrton Senna who become a legend winning the world championship three times but tragically died in an accident at the age of 34.
During a whole decade beginning in the mid-‘80s, Ayrton Senna dominated the Formula One world until a tragedy took his life in the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy.
This documentary shows his life, his career, his death, and how a humble man lived between worldwide fame and his love for his country.
(2018 – Drama – 95 min)
A Netflix original Norwegian movie about a young woman who attends a prestigious dance school in Oslo, and her life turns upside down when her rich father goes into bankruptcy.
After moving to a less privileged neighbourhood, Amelie meets Michael, a hip hop street dancer who will change her life and her career.
15. Shaolin Soccer
(2001 – Comedy – Fantasy – Action – 113 min)
This movie has become a classic comedy among Hong Kong movies because of its humour, and the insane way of mixing soccer with kung fu.
Stephen Chow directed and starred in this movie about a master of Shaolin kung fu who wants to spread his practices to modern society.
He meets a retired soccer player to whom he asks to teach him the soccer rules so he can mix them with kung fu. The result is a combination of martial arts, soccer, and epic battles.
16. 1 Mile to You
(2017 – Drama – Romance – 104 min)
Based on the novel Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson, 1 Mile to You is a romantic drama about loss and keep moving.
When Kevin loses his girlfriend in a tragic accident, he finds solace running. The more he wants to keep alive her memory, the faster he runs.
He becomes a star and catches the attention of a new girl. So, he must choose between living in the memories of the past or keep moving into the future.
(2017 – Documentary – 26 min)
This short documentary shows the healing power of surfing on military veterans suffering from PTSD.
After years of depression, seizures, and suicidal thoughts, Iraq war veteran Bobby Lane finds solace in surfing after he meets Van Curaza, a former wave surfer founder of Operation Surf.
Through this organization, Curaza helps war veterans to overcome their traumas with the healing power of the ocean and surfing.
18. Solo (Alone)
(2018 – Adventure – Drama – 91 min)
Based on real events, this Spanish movie is about Álvaro Vizcaíno, a surfer who falls off a cliff and gets seriously injured.
Seeing himself forced to stay in a remote beach in the Canary Islands, he must fight for surviving alone. A Netflix original movie which explores a popular topic: survival alone against the odds of nature.
19. Forever the moment
(2008 – Drama – 124 min)
A South Korean film about a female handball team trying to regain glory from the past. Partly inspired by actual events, the movie is a fictionalized approach to South Korea’s female handball team and their participation in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Kim Hye-kyeong is a retired handball player who has been working as a coach in Japan. When the coach of South Korea’s women’s national team quits, she’s asked to take the place. Forever the Moment was a box office success in South Korea back in 2008, and it’s the first movie made about a low profile sport such as handball.
20. Under an Arctic Sky
(2017 – Documentary – 39 min)
This short documentary shows how six surfers dare to sail in the frozen shores of Iceland when one of the worst storms are about to arrive.
Looking for the best waves to surf under the sky filled with the Northern Lights, these brave surfers are about to embark on a perilous adventure.
21. Mary Kom
(2014 – Drama – Biography – 122 min)
This Hindi movie chronicles the life of Indian boxer Mary Kom and all the hardships she had to endure to accomplish her dream.
The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and it was the first Hindi film to be screened on the opening night of the festival. Mary Kom is considered a hero in India.
She’s the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing Champion six times, and the only woman boxer in winning a medal in each of the seven world championships. She won the bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics, becoming into the only Indian woman qualifying for such competition.