Figure 1 High school and college sports teams feature regularly in movies
Sports are a perfect subject for movies. There is the natural drama, passion, and excitement that can be neatly packaged into all kinds of films. You can have rags-to-riches stories like Rocky. Or a classic underdog tale, such as The Mighty Ducks. Or you could go a little bit more serious and use sports to denounce racism – as in Remember the Titans.
Some of the best sports movies are based on real-life stories. Although screenwriters tend to exaggerate for dramatic effect, these kinds of stories have everything you would want in a film. They don’t always feature the kinds of teams you would find at an online sportsbook like BetOnline – but you end up rooting for them all the same.
We thought we would profile some of the best sports teams released in the last few years. So you should be able to find them on your favorite streaming sites.
King Richard (2021)
Telling the story of the upbringing of tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams, King Richard stars Will Smith as the women’s father. A desire to turn his daughters into world champions – and to give them a better life – meant Richard William’s methods ended up being seen as controversial by some.
This movie, short-listed for an Academy Award, follows the girls from the underfunded courts of Compton, California to the training academies of Florida. We all know how successful the Williams sister ended up. But this is a fascinating look at what it takes to become a champion.
American Underdog (2021)
Another classic underdog sports story – as the title more than suggests – this film tells the story of how Kurt Warner went from stacking shelves in his native Iowa, to leading the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl. Zachary Levi stars as Warner as he struggles to get his dream career going.
Warner’s college football career is anything but successful and he then fails when given a chance to play Arena Football as well. But the love of a good woman and her family spur him on to fulfill his childhood dreams. We don’t want to give the ending away if you don’t know the story – but you should have a good idea how this one pans out.
This film has been out for a little longer than the others. But we wanted to mention it as it picks up the story from an earlier classic and has now re-ignited a movie franchise. Creed stars Michael B Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, the original opponent for Rocky in one of the biggest sports movies of all time.
Director Ryan Coogler manages to pay homage to that great piece of cinema, while also telling Creed’s own story. It fits perfectly into the timeline of the franchise and shows the difference – and similarities – between the fighters from the past and present. There has now been a further sequel.
Figure 2 Battle of the Sexes is based on a true story – like many of the best sports films
Battle of the Sexes (2017)
This drama is based on the tennis match of the same name that brought together Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973. Former champion Riggs had a history of taunting female tennis players and had already beaten Margaret Court before King relented and agreed to play him in a televised game.
This movie dovetails that story into the history and forming of the WTA. But it is when we get to the historic match itself that it really takes off. Emma Stone and Steve Carrell are the main reason why this film is so good. Battle of the Sexes is still incredibly relevant and a must-watch for tennis fans especially.
The Way Back (2020)
We’ll finish off with a non-biographical movie starring Ben Affleck as an alcoholic who is recruited to become the head coach of the high school basketball team that he was once a star of. Affleck has struggled with alcoholism himself and brings a raw realness to the role.
As with many of the best sports films, The Way Back is more about the personal battles of Affleck’s character than the basketball. The film itself was released just before the start of the COVID pandemic – and that severely affected its chances of reaching a larger audience. But you should do your best to seek it out to catch Affleck in another stellar role.