Some of the best movies ever draw from real-life events. And one of the best avenues to recreate a story and bring it to life on the big screen is from the sporting world.
We’ve had countless films retelling magnificent games, teams, and players over the decades, but the best sports movies based on true stories reign supreme.
There’s no shortage of amazing non-fiction football films, but the one that stands out the most is Rudy.
Some folks may be sour on Rudy because Notre Dame football is one of the most polarizing sports teams in the country. Nevertheless, the story, the cinematography, and the music make Rudy hit you right in the feels. You might not have a heart if you didn’t get a lump in your throat when he read his acceptance letter on the bench with the score behind it.
Plus, you get to see a babyface Vince Vaughn as a disgruntled running back and Jon Favreau as Rudy’s helpful tutor.
For the best basketball flick, we will stay in the Hoosier state with—well, Hoosiers. Basketball is a way of life in Indiana, and this film depicts the sport’s influence in the state. The film landed the legendary Dennis Hopper his second Oscar nomination, although he lost to everyone’s favorite “Alfred,” Michael Caine. Jerry Goldsmith also got a nom for his beautiful score.
Related: 10 Awesome Basketball Movies
While everyone’s favorite hockey movie may be Slap Shot, sadly, that’s not a true story. What is 100 percent accurate and an excellent portrayal of America’s ability to overcome adversity is Miracle. It’s difficult to find the words to describe how monumental it was when a team full of college kids defeated the Soviet Union in hockey.
Al Michaels, when he was still one of the best broadcasters rather than going through the motions on Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts, summed it up perfectly when he asked the viewing: “Do you believe in miracles?”
- Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
- Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Actors)
When Hollywood announced they were going to adapt the excellent Michael Lewis book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, there was skepticism from fans that it wouldn’t translate on the silver screen. But that pessimism faded when we learned of Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Aaron Sorkin’s involvement.
Moneyball tells a beautiful story of a baseball team accomplishing very little in the grand scheme of things. There was no World Series trophy at the end of Oakland’s season, surprising many moviegoers who didn’t know the facts. Instead, the story was about the journey, such as turning a catcher into a first baseman, winning 20 games in a row, and the stress of baseball’s trade deadline.
The only gripe with the movie was that it brushed over the fact that Miguel Tejada won the MVP award, and Oakland had three monsters leading their rotation, but there’s no need to let facts get in the way of a good narrative.
There’s something for everyone to love in the best sports movies based on true stories. Whether it is unforgettable championship victories or acquiring Ricardo Rincon in a trade, you will be on the edge of your seat.
- 8 Netflix Football Movies Based on True Stories
- 10 Football Movies Based On True Stories
- 10 True Crime Shows on Netflix
- The Best Sports Documentaries of All Time