Sports movies often go much further than simply telling the story of the sport; they’re about how humans come together to triumph over adversity or metaphors for the little guy taking on the giants and beating them at their own game. Sports movies are often all about team spirit, perseverance, and belief in oneself. From fictional tales to real-life stories of tremendous sportspeople and teams, here are some of the best sports movies to consider watching this weekend:

Chariots of Fire

If you are looking for an old yet classic sports movie, you can’t go wrong with Chariots of Fire. This Oscar-winning sports drama is based on the true story of two track and field athletes in the 1920s in Britain. One’s a Christian and the other is Jewish, and in the lead-up to the 1924 Olympics, the film focuses on the story of the two men in between the world wars.

Bend it Like Beckham

This 2002 film is a story of perseverance and friendship. Caught between old-fashioned Indian family traditions and the need to fit into a new world and life in Britain, Jesminder ‘Jess’ Bjamra is an immigrant teen who wants to play football for England just like her idol David Beckham. The film follows her as she battles the obstacles in the way with a local player and coach.

Rocky

This drama follows the story of Rocky Balboa, a broken-down boxer who gets one very last chance to prove himself to the world against the current World Heavyweight Champion. If you’re looking for a sports film that is full of symbolism and hidden meanings, it doesn’t get much better than this, with the driven and determined Rocky continuing to go for round after round.

Any Given Sunday

This 1999 film is a fast-paced story about the world of American football, starting with twenty minutes of action where you can almost feel every hit. Watch each of the key players on the team learn a series of valuable lessons as they battle to make the play-offs.

A League of Their Own

‘There’s no crying in baseball’, say the members of the All-American League in this beloved comedy by Penny Marshall. This film is a key reminder of how far women’s sport has come since the time where the film was set. It tells the story of how the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was formed after World War II took most of the men’s team players and threatened the sport.

Coach Carter

With Samuel L. Jackson in the leading role, Coach Carter is a story of using sports as a way to ignore some of the darker realities in life. However, it is also a story of the role of sports in education and why discipline and integrity shouldn’t be sacrificed just to win. Jackson’s role as a basketball coach focuses on the responsibilities both on and off the sports pitch. If you can’t get enough of basketball after watching this film, you can stream NBA online to watch the latest live games.

What’s your favourite sports film?

About The Author

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle