The sports movie has always been a popular theme for any film. There’s only one thing that can rank higher than watching a match/ game live – and that’s to go into the movies and see a feature constructed around your favourite sport – and they don’t come bigger than those set in the United States. In this feature, we look at five of the very best American sports movies.


Let’s kick things off with a film that is a fairly recent release, the Brad Pitt-led Moneyball. Co-scripted by The West Wing scribe Aaron Sorkin, the film revolves around the world of sports statistics and the sport of baseball. Pitt plays Billy Beane, the manager of the legendary Oakland A’s, and sets out on a mission to use a less traditional approach to winning by employing he services of Jonah Hill’s Ivy League college graduate, Peter Brand. In this day and age, websites like offers advice on betting, but these guys looked at stats to give them an advantage over their competition which, when used on players with different skills, gained huge results.

McFarland USA

We move on to cross country running for our next movie on the list, McFarland USA from filmmaker Niki Caro. The film sees Kevin Costner play the role of Jim White, a football coach who is relocated to the small town of McFarland, California after losing a much more prestigious job. At the predominantly Latino school, White assembles a boys’ cross-country team after identifying talent amongst the pupils. The film charts the success of the team, a drive which sees them win a total of nine state titles over the following years.

The Blind Side

We focus upon American Football for this 2009 Oscar-winner starring Sandra Bullock. Based on a true story, the film, directed by John Lee Hancock, centers on Quinton Aaron’s Micharl Oher, a homeless boy who rises to fame to become a high-profile, hugely talented American football player after being taken in by Bullock’s character Leigh Anne Tuohy and her family. The film scored Bullock the best actress gong in the year it was released, and rightly so – it’s an unmissable performance in a totally uplifting movie.


Everyone thought that the Rocky franchise was finished after the release of the sixth movie in the series, Rocky Balboa, all the way back in 2006, but nine years later filmmakers found a way to bring the character back to the screen by centering a story of Balboa’s former opponent turned friend, Apollo Creed. Michael B. Jordan plays Creeds son, Adonis, a young boxing protégé who employs the services of Rocky to follow in his father’s famous footsteps. The film won critical acclaim all over the world, and even scored Sylvester Stallone his first Oscar nomination since winning best screenplay for the original nearly four decades before.

Coach Carter

If basketball is your thing then you can’t go wrong with this offering from 2005, Coach Carter. The film sees screen icon Samuel L. Jackson in the title role of Ken Carter and is based on the true story of a high school baseball team who, in 1999 while undefeated, were suspended by their coach due to their terrible academic results. The film made a ton of money at the box-office and attracted huge acclaim, particularly for the performance of Jackson.