The ups, downs and heartaches of all manner of sports, as well as the culture and politics that are inextricably linked where competition meets commerce, have produced some of the most beloved and thought-provoking movies ever made. Unfortunately, not many of these great sports movies are in Netflix’s current US catalog.
That said, there are still some genuine gems to be found on the service, from goofy comedies to heartwarming biopics and curtain-raising documentaries on sports scandals. (And if none of these are enough, let me cheat and suggest a series: the wildly compelling 2020 Chicago Bulls docuseries, The last Dancewhich is a Netflix original).
So blow the whistle, drop the flag, and kick that pigskin: here are the best sports movies on Netflix.
1. love and basketball
This sports and romantic drama was the directorial debut of Gina Prince-Bythewood, who recently brought you the old guard Y the king woman – from your own script. Inspired by Prince-Bythewood’s own life and his desire to see black love stories along the lines of when harry met sally, love and basketball stars Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps as Monica and Quincy, two aspiring basketball stars who are torn between focusing on the game they love and their love for each other. Across nearly 20 years, from their cute encounter with the boy and girl next door, to heartbreaking adult decisions about their futures, the central couple (who dated in real life during production) have off-the-wall chemistry. series until their climactic confrontation. at your local court, proving that trash talk can be even sexier than pillow talk. But it also stands out for showcasing Monica’s talent as much as Quincy’s, and proving that a man’s ambitions don’t have to be the only driving force in a great sports story.
How to watch: love and basketball(opens in a new tab) It is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
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Credit: Legendary Images/Kobal/Shutterstock
The late Chadwick Boseman got his biggest break yet when he landed the role of Jackie Robinson, the first black man to have a Major League Baseball career, in this 2013 biopic, the first of several black icons he would go on to embody. before its tragically early. death at the height of his powers less than a decade later. The film is a straightforward (if occasionally dramatized) account of Robinson’s early years in MLB, but Boseman’s performance is riveting. Robinson stoically endured the racism and abuse heaped on him as he stepped into spaces previously reserved almost exclusively for white men, and Boseman faces the challenge of playing a man who must maintain his composure at almost all times under one of the brightest spotlights imaginable. while letting the turbulent emotion underneath show.
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It’s also worth noting that, for some reason, “baseball in the 1940s” is one of the most beautiful color palettes ever filmed, filled with dull, dusty uniforms, bright sunshine, and impeccably dressed crowds. if you have seen your own league countless times, the appearance and feelings of 42 will reach the optimal point.
How to watch: 42(opens in a new tab) It is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
It is the other super popular Netflix movie by Adam Sandler. Hustle sees Sandler as Stanley Sugerman, an NBA scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. Being a basketball scout means Stanley is away from his wife, Teresa (Queen Latifah), and his daughter, Alex (Jordan Hull), for a long time, but when his boss (Robert Duvall) promotes him, things get better. Everything falls apart when the boss’s son, Vince (Ben Foster), takes over and Stanley is left behind. Thus, he travels to Spain and discovers Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez), a highly skilled player whose past makes it difficult for Stanley to recruit him for the Sixers or put him in the NBA Draft. wait a batch of gameplay — Shannon Connellan, UK editor
How to watch: Hustle(opens in a new tab) It is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Credit: Imagine Entertainment/Kobal/Shutterstock
Ron Howard’s narrative of the rivalry between legendary Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt brings together two actors you might recognize from a certain cinematic universe, but don’t press play just to see Thor and Baron Zemo in different outfits, do it to delight you the euphoria of a sport often misunderstood. (And yes, it is a sport.)
Chris Hemsworth (who plays Britain’s Hunt but still looks hilariously and irrepressibly Aussie with shoulder-length blonde locks) and Daniel Brühl (compelling as the brilliant and fastidious Lauda) anchor the film with a years-long rivalry that the script (by Peter Morgan, who wrote The Queen Y Frost/Nixon) is overly inflated in the framework of their real-life friendship and mutual respect. But the biggest thrill is the film’s obvious delight in the throbbing sounds and sheer spectacle of driving too fast — whether around the track or in the sun-kissed Italian countryside. Add a soundtrack that gives you a rousing score by Hans Zimmer and ’70s rock hits by Thin Lizzy and David Bowie, and you’ll want to turn up the volume to hear every roar and rev.
How to watch: Rush(opens in a new tab) It is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Is it Will Ferrell’s best movie? No. (That would be stranger than fiction.) Is it Will Ferrell’s funniest movie? Also not. (We’re not going to fight that here.) Is it always fun to watch Will Ferrell play a larger-than-life character in a ridiculous wig in front of an absolute smorgasbord of hey-it-that-guy comedians and actors? (not to mention, here, Woody Harrelson and André 3000 of Outkast)? Much yes.
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Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, a disco-era one-hit wonder who owns, coaches and plays for a semi-pro basketball team, the Flint Tropics. When her league announces that it is being absorbed into the NBA, the Tropics must put their blood, sweat, tears and vomit to go from the bottom of the table to the top four to avoid being shut down. Like Ferrell later Eurovision song contest, semi-professional He actively and lovingly shoots for cheesy over sharp in tribute to the underdog stories that inspired him, and he mostly succeeds.
How to watch: semi-professional(opens in a new tab) It is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Director Bryan Fogel took a colossal risk icarus, one that directed the filmmaker’s life in a way that he and the audience would never suspect. In this Best Documentary award winner, Fogel, an amateur racing cyclist, wants to investigate doping sports by taking performance-enhancing drugs himself, taking steps to evade detection while documenting any changes in his progress. Along the way, he meets scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a crucial part of Russia’s “anti-doping” program, who helps Fogel search for him. But suddenly, things take a serious turn. This is not even half of Icarus, as the dangerous truth rises to the top. Mashable’s Brittany Levine Beckman wrote more about the documentary’s context here.
—SC How to watch:icarus (opens in a new tab)It is now streaming on Netflix.
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asterisks indicate that the entry comes from a previous Mashable list.