Sports movies have become one of the most popular genres in cinema, with real-life tales of sporting achievements seemingly readymade for the big screen. The most inspirational stories tell of triumph over adversity, and teach us that anything is possible if you want it badly enough and are willing to put in the hard work. The films on this list don't just inspire us to reach for the stars, but they also touch us on an emotional level. These are the most inspiring sports movies of all time.
It's difficult to think about inspirational sports movies without thinking about Rocky. Silvester Stallone's iconic portrayal of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa went on to have five sequels and won Stallone numerous Academy Award nominations. The story of Rocky is the ultimate underdog story. An everyman boxer from the cold streets of Philadelphia, Balboa wants success in the ring so badly that he fights against all odds to achieve the ultimate - a shot at the heavyweight championship. The storyline of the movie is compelling and captivating, and the soundtrack has become almost as iconic as Stallone's Rocky himself.
Directed by Oliver Stone, Any Given Sunday is an electric portrayal of professional American Football. With a blockbuster cast, - including Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx - complex character development, and an inspiration storyline, Stone's hit movie captures the attention from minute one. Like the best sports movies, the genius of Any Given Sunday is that it doesn't only appeal to sports fans. No prior knowledge of American Football is required to be completely captivated by this rollercoaster ride of a movie. Watch out for Al Pacino's character, Tony D'Amato, who gives one of the most inspirational speeches in sports cinematic history.
Chariots of Fire arguably has the most iconic theme tunes in all of sports cinema. Based on a true story, the movie is an adaptation of two Olympians from contrasting backgrounds competing against each other in 1924. A timeless classic, Chariots of Fire perfectly captures the raw emotion of competitors giving their all, fighting through blood, sweat, and tears to achieve eternal glory. Released in 1981, the inspirational movie won four Academy Awards, including the award for Best Picture.
Released in 2000, Remember The Titans transcends sport to tell the remarkable story of Herman Boone, a black coach in Virginia, fighting against racism and social injustice to bring together a multiracial high school football team and lead them to glory. A true-to-life adaptation, the movie tackles profound themes and offers a depressing, yet triumphant, portrayal of a county divided. Denzel Washington won a slew of awards for his portrayal as Coach Boone, and the movie's iconic soundtrack features music from the likes of Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and Marvin Gaye.
Starring Brad Pitt as protagonist Billy Beane, Moneyball tells the extraordinary story of a Major League Baseball manager who changed the face of the modern game. Beane realized that his modest budget at the Oakland A's could never compete with the league's big-hitters, so he turns to computer-generated analysis and statistics to assemble a team of overperformers. The plot may sound geeky, but Moneyball is a well-written, inspirational story of winning against all odds.