Nowadays, there is a large variety of movies available on the internet. But, if you’re looking for some great sports biopics that don’t involve poor characterizations of real people, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten best sports biopics. Take your pick!
1. The Pride of the Yankees (1942):
This 1942 film, was nominated for 11 Oscars, told the story of New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig. “Iron Horse” played a record 2,130 consecutive games until his physical decline from motor neurone disease, which is still referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” in the United States. In the lead role, Gary Cooper learned to throw and bat left-handed, and there were cameos from teammates such as Babe Ruth. Gehrig died a year before the film’s release, at the age of 37.
2. Ali (2001):
The original GOAT receives an unconventional biopic from master filmmaker Michael Mann, which begins with Muhammad Ali’s backstory as he prepares to weigh in for his life-changing 1964 fight with Sonny Liston. It’s a mesmerizing sequence that sets the tone for a reflective retelling of his rise and fall, culminating with his incredible knockout of George Foreman to reclaim the heavyweight title in 1974.
It tells the extraordinary story of the 1976 Formula One season, which was dominated by the battle between dashing British playboy driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and austere Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). After a near-fatal crash at the Nürburgring, Lauda returned just six weeks later to defend his world title, his horrific scalp burns still bandaged and bleeding. Peter Morgan wrote the script, and he’s made a career out of dramatizing true events in films like The Queen and Frost/Nixon.
4. The Damned United (2009):
“I wouldn’t consider myself the best manager in the country. But I’m near the top.” Director Tom Hooper warmed up for the all-conquering The King’s Speech with this 2009 gem based on David Peace’s novel: a fictionalized account of abrasive genius Brian Clough’s doomed 44-day tenure as Leeds United manager. The boozy bromance between Old Big ‘Ead (Michael Sheen in a superb performance) and longtime sidekick Peter Taylor was at the heart of the film’s emotional core (Timothy Spall). Like Rush, it was adapted for the screen by Peter Morgan, marking his fifth collaboration with Sheen.
5. Bend It Like Beckham (2002):
Caught between her Indian family’s old-world traditions and the need for new-world assimilation in Britain, first-generation immigrant teen heroine Jesminder “Jess” Bjamra only wants one thing in life: to play soccer for her country’s national team, just like her idol David Beckham. There are a few roadblocks in her path, the most significant of which is a disapproving mother who would never allow her daughter to participate in such a ruffian’s sport. But, with a little help from a local team player (Keira Knightley) and a cute coach, Jess might be able to achieve her goals.
6. The Fighter (2010):
This David O. Russell film, ostensibly a biopic about light welterweight boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, works best when it focuses on Micky’s brother, Dicky, who is brought to vibrantly addled life by Christian Bale. Bale won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. It’s one of the most agonizingly realistic depictions of a failed pugilist ever made on film.
7. Moneyball (2011):
This exemplary 2011 film is based on Michael Lewis’ seminal book of the same name. It detailed how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane built a competitive Major League Baseball team on a shoestring budget by employing an analytical, percentage-based “sabermetric” approach to player scouting – and then went on to win a record 20 consecutive games. The screenplay was co-written by Aaron Sorkin, Brad Pitt starred as Beane, Jonah Hill played his number-crunching Yale graduate deputy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman played a skeptical old-school coach. It was nominated for six Oscars despite being unexpectedly funny for a film primarily about statistics.
8. 42 (2013):
In the 2013 film written and directed by Brian Helgeland, Chadwick Boseman wore Jackie Robinson’s titular No. 42 jersey. Boseman, in collaboration with Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, and others, brought Robinson’s heroic story to life, demonstrating how the Brooklyn Dodgers infielder endured and fought racism on his way to breaking baseball’s color barrier. The movie was a commercial and critical success.
9. Foxcatcher (2014):
After “Moneyball,” Bennett Miller returned to sports biopics with this unsettling account of John E. du Pont’s relationship with wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz. In the film, Steve Carell plays the wealthy du Pont, who invites the young men to train at his estate. It’s about as depressing as a sports film can get
10. Unbroken (2014):
Long-distance runner Louis Zamperini was known as the Torrance Tornado because of his athletic achievements at USC and in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but his remarkable life story was just getting started. “Unbroken,” directed by Angelina Jolie, begins with Zemperini’s sporting exploits but devotes the majority of its running time to his unthinkable ordeal during World War II. The man had been at sea for 47 days in shark-infested waters, and the worst was yet to come. And he stayed with it until 2014, when he died at the age of 97. That right there is a life.
Choose any of the films listed above, and I guarantee you won’t regret it. What do you think about these amazing sports Biopics?
Also checkout: 10 Good Movies With Terrible Endings