Today, let’s take a look at the very best family sports movies ever.
I will confess to usually being the least sporty person in the room, but when it comes to sports movies? Heck, yeah, I absolutely love them.
There’s something so great about a film the whole family will love that pushes all of our happy buttons.
But when it also teaches (subtly, but powerfully) some great life lessons, might be a classic, might be modern, is inspirational, or maybe even an Academy Award winner? Bring it on!
I am here for all the best family sports movies. Even if I can’t catch a ball to save my life.
Best Family Sports Movies
These are our top picks for great sports movies for families.
Not only because they are family-friendly, but because they also pack in a lot of heart, good values, and life lessons that make an impact.
Not to mention some of them chronicle the greatest moments in sports history!
1. The Rookie / G
When you’re looking for a film for the whole family that would be a great gateway to other sports movies (is there such a thing? we think so) then look no further than The Rookie!
Even the youngest in the room will be enthralled with the based-on-the-true-story baseball tale that is directed by the same director as another of our favorite sports movies, The Blind Side!
If there was a poster child for a good sports movie, it’d be The Rookie.
When a Texas coach, played by Dennis Quaid (he is just so all-American, isn’t he?) leads his team to victory, they convince him to go out for the major leagues.
Can a 39-year-old father of three pitch a 98 mph fastball? And can he do it all the way to Tampa?
Find out in this charming, thrill-a-minute family movie that will have everyone up and tossing a ball in the backyard as soon as the credits roll!
2. Chariots of Fire / PG
Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama that follows the journeys of two athletes, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, as they prepare for and participate in the 1924 Paris Olympics.
Abrahams, a Jewish sprinter, faces discrimination and seeks to prove himself by winning a gold medal. Liddell, a devout Christian from Scotland, wrestles with his faith’s clash with his passion for running.
The film highlights their determination, beliefs, and dedication to their sports. With an iconic score by Vangelis, Chariots of Fire has become an inspirational classic in the halls of sports history, exploring themes of faith, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence on the Olympic stage.
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, this film is widely considered one of the best sports movies of all time.
3. Radio / PG
Starring a young Cuba Gooding, Jr., and the incomparable Ed Harris, this is a football movie with a ton of heart!
Full of invaluable life lessons (that the film won’t beat you over the head with), it’s a feel-good, all-around great movie that will encourage everyone in the family to go out and make a difference in their community.
Set in the 1970s, Radio follows a coach who befriends a young black man with developmental disabilities. Who is “helping” whom exactly, though?
This excellent movie will gently teach your family about the importance of reaching and befriending those who don’t look exactly like you, talk like you, or have the same abilities that you do. How cool is that for a family movie night?
And, did you know that on September 2, 2016, James Robert ‘Radio’ Kennedy was inducted into the T. L. Hanna Hall Of Fame? Wow!
4. The Mighty Ducks / PG
Emilio Estevez plays the hilarious Gordon Bombay in this classic Disney hit. Young hockey lovers will adore this film: be prepared to hear it on repeat for the next long while!
Full of humor and wit and a cast of talented youngsters, it may be the family’s newest favorite, no matter how old they get.
In The Mighty Ducks, a hot-shot lawyer gets busted for drunk driving and for his community service is ordered to coach a ragtag group of peewee hockey players! Already, we have a great premise, right?
Can Gordon put to rest some of his old ghosts when he goes up against his childhood rival? There’s only one way to find out: stream The Mighty Ducks!
5. Secretariat / PG
Horse movies were always my daughter’s favorite films! While other kids played with Barbies and dolls, she attempted riding her Breyer horse collection around the house. It didn’t work well…
This great film was an instant classic for all horse lovers and sports enthusiasts. It tells the true story of the most amazing horse and rider, Penny Tweedy, and how they won the Triple Crown in 1973.
Getting there is an edge-of-your-seat ride that lasts much longer than 8 seconds, thankfully!
With John Malkovich (how much do we love him?) and Diane Lane, plus Margo Martindale, Secretariat has lots of fun trivia you and your kids can look up at the end credits.
Things like how Secretariat’s record still stands after 50 years! Also, the jockeys in the movie are actually real jockeys! How cool! Horse lovers and equine sports fans around the globe can unite over this masterpiece.
6. Ice Princess / G
There’s something about ice skating that really captures little girl’s hearts! Ice Princess is a sweet little gem of a movie that your whole family will get into as you follow Casey as she reaches for her dreams.
Written by popular YA author Meg Cabot, who also wrote The Princess Diaries!
Can a high school bookworm, who is a bit nerdy and never really fits in, transform into an ice skating diva and still maintain her kindness?
Find out and enjoy the journey as you watch this with your little one. A fun little fact to motivate your daughter: Michelle Trachtenberg had never skated before this film! She had to learn in a mere ten months.
And since Ice Princess revolves around the winter and holiday season, why not add it to your Christmas movie rotation?
Related: Family New Years Movie Guide
7. The Greatest Game Ever Played / PG
A movie set in the 1930s about golf? Can it be thrilling? It can when it’s The Greatest Game Ever Played!
This historical, based-on-a-true-story film will have you on the edge of your seat, the way only a Disney classic can do. Starring a stellar cast including a young Shia LaBeouf, and is directed by Bill Paxton.
A struggle for acceptance and fitting in is at the heart of this film; both Harry and Francis are fighting for the same things really. Learn about classism and judgments, revenge, and hard-won victories when you watch The Greatest Game Ever Played with your family.
Besides, haven’t you always wondered who coined the phrase, “Easy peasy lemon squeezy?” Now you know!
8. Overcomer / PG
You can find umpteen movies about football and baseball and even a rag-tag basketball team, but finding one that will warm the cockles of your heart that is about cross country? Well, here’s one! Overcomer is a little-known gem of a film that will make you feel good.
When a manufacturing plant shuts down, the whole little town is in chaos. People are leaving and the town is dying. Enter in Coach John Harrison. Can they do the impossible and keep the town and everyone’s spirits from dying by racing in the biggest race of the year? Survey says, YES!
A lot of the runners in this movie actually are runners in real life, too, which makes this film even more inspirational. Not getting pulled out of the story by big-name actors, you can really get lost in this movie, which also has some Christian themes sprinkled throughout.
9. Remember the Titans / PG
Likely my very favorite movie on this list, Denzel Washington leads the way in this true story about a football coach, racial equality, small-town tensions, and ultimate victory.
You’ll be laughing and crying before the midway point! And it’s very quotable, which makes it even better! Oh, and did we mention a very young Ryan Gosling?
There’s just too much to love about this film! We introduced our girls to this movie when they were really just toddlers, and it was lovingly rotated alongside Cheaper by the Dozen, Beauty and the Beast, and others, until they knew a lot of the dialogue (and a lot about football, too) by heart.
A tiny little Hayden Pannetierre steals the show in all of her scenes as the daughter of Coach Bill (Bill Patton), and of course, when is Denzel ever bad? Um, never.
This inspirational story will gently teach your family about racial issues, including integrated sports, but is never preachy about it. And the “where are they now” real-life bits during the ending credits always bring more tears to my eyes!
10. Hoosiers / PG
Were all the best movies made in the 1980s? Sometimes I think so!
Hoosiers is one of the reasons why. It stars Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, and Dennis Hopper, and will become the movie your family turns to when they need a movie everyone adores.
Based in the 1950s, Hoosiers tells the story of a local drunk and a coach with a checkered past. Sounds like a recipe for great things, right? You betcha!
Small-town life and uplifting inspiration lead the way in this feel-good film that you totally won’t mind watching again and again until you know all the “quotable” parts.
The movie was renamed “Best Shot” in some international markets because most people outside the US wouldn’t know what a Hoosier was…like Yours Truly. As I said, I love sports movies, but I don’t do sports, okay?
Sports Movies Rated G
If your family includes really little ones who might not understand or could get frightened by more intense contact sports, this selection of G-rated films is what you’re looking for.
They’re just as entertaining, but dial down the intensity a notch or two!
11. The Black Stallion
It’s an exhilarating and beautiful story of survival and the love shared between a horse and his boy.
But from there it escalates into a horse racing story. And believe me, it features some of the best, most exciting horse racing scenes ever filmed.
This fun Pixar animated film follows Lightning McQueen, a race car who gets stranded in a small town and learns enduring life lessons while befriending its quirky inhabitants.
My son watched this movie every morning at 6 a.m. for more months than I care to admit to.
13. Air Bud
What can I say? It’s a movie about a dog who plays basketball. If your kids are into basketball or dogs, they’re going to love it. It really is that simple!
14. The World’s Greatest Athlete
If you’re looking for high-class critical darlings, move along. But if you’re up for some good old-fashioned corny fun, then look no further than this 1970s Disney live-action classic.
The World’s Greatest Athlete follows coach Sam Archer as he discovers a young African tribesman with incredible athletic abilities.
The tribesman named Nanu becomes a sports sensation, but their journey is not without challenges (and plenty of silly humor) as they aim to win competitions and capture the title of “The World’s Greatest Athlete.”
Related: Best Family Movies from the 70’s
15. The Love Bug
Want a race car movie but don’t think the Littles are quite ready for the Fast and the Furious franchise?
Yeah, we hear that! Then reach for The Love Bug and get ready to laugh aloud.
This classic Disney film ages well, and it will have everyone contently munching their popcorn and wishing they owned a VW bug like the Love Bug.
16. Ride Like a Girl
What does it take to be a female jockey? Find out with a viewing of Ride Like A Girl!
This instantly inspiring film will fire up the imaginations of your daughters and nieces (and the boys will like it, too, pinky promise).
This great family film displays the value of hard work and sportsmanship as 12-year-old Kyle Cooke learns how to overcome adversity and strive to be the best player on the baseball diamond!
18. The Mighty Macs
So inspiring, this basketball movie will have you cheering along with the whole family!
A Catholic school that doesn’t even have a gym will become a force to be reckoned with when underdog coach Cathy Rush (played by Carla Gugino) steps in to save the day.
19. Seven Days in Utopia
An eccentric and somewhat cranky rancher (played by Robert Duvall of course) takes under his gruff wing a struggling golfer in this underrated film.
If you love Texas, golf, or just a fabulous story that will tug on your heartstrings, then this movie is the one for you!
When I want to laugh and be transported to my childhood, then I want a Don Knotts film!
This one is no exception — you’ll be giggling yourself silly as you follow the antics of a lovable donkey who joins a football team. Because, why Knott?
21. National Velvet
A movie and book that imprinted on my heart when I was young, National Velvet stars the talented Elizabeth Taylor and a young Mickey Rooney.
For the first minute, your kids might think this is just another “old movie,” but give them a couple more and they will be on the edge of their seats with each and every horse race!
22. Double Teamed
Got a sister? Got two daughters? Are they basketball obsessed? Then Double Teamed is the movie for you!
Pop some corn, pass the candy, and get ready to be inspired by this fun movie about sisters on their way to becoming world-famous basketball players.
23. Everyone’s Hero
A sports movie that isn’t live-action? This is the one we love the most!
Everyone’s Hero will get your littlest sports fan into the action as the cutest little animated boy tries to return Babe Ruth’s bat before the World Series finishes.
24. Herbie: Fully Loaded
We gotta love Herbie! He’s on his way to NASCAR with Lindsey Lohan at the wheel in this super fun and funny family movie that also stars Michael Keaton and Cheryl Hines.
Related: Best Non-Animated Family Movies
25. The Jesse Owens Story
Every family should know the story of Jesse Owens.
This oft forgotten sports hero represented the United States in the 1936 Summer Olympics, winning four gold medals, breaking prejudices, and setting an Olympic record in the process.
Inspirational Sports Movies for Kids
Have you been wanting to inspire your kiddos to get up and move? Take up a sport?
Increase their physical activity in general?
Then one of these inspirational flicks should be just the thing.
26. Iron Will / PG
Will Stoneman is a young man who has just lost his father, and is about to lose his family’s property as well.
His only hope to save the family farm from foreclosure is to enter — and win — a grueling cross-country dog sled race.
It’s the perfect adventure film for anyone who loves dogs, sled dogs, and underdogs alike!
27. Cool Runnings / PG
How can such a fun and funny movie be based on a true story? Well, the best ones always are!
Cool Runnings became an instant classic thanks to its inspiring story of a Jamaican bobsled team. Talk about underdogs!
We also get to see a washed-up coach (one of John Candy’s most wholesome roles) get a second chance at doing what he loves.
Related: The Best Olympic Movies
28. Little Giants / PG
Can a peewee football team inspire even the big kids? We say YES!
Rick Moranis leads the way in this hilariously fun movie that has the cutest cast of characters ever.
It’s not always easy to find a movie that the kids will adore as much as the parents, but this one is an easy choice!
29. Here Comes the Boom / PG
I absolutely love Kevin James (in fact, when my son was a toddler he would see him on TV and shout, “Daddy!”).
His movies are always good for a serious chuckle, and Here Comes the Boom is no exception: he stars as a biology teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts fighter to save the school.
Also stars Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler.
30. The Karate Kid / PG
Starring ‘80s darling, Ralph Macchio, The Karate Kid is a total classic of a sports movie!
If your kids discovered the viral, mega-hit on Netflix of the same name, you absolutely MUST introduce them to the film that started it all.
31. The Miracle Season / PG
Based on a tragic, yet inspiring true story, this basketball film stars the incomparable Helen Hunt and will have all of your girls up on their feet, cheering the team on!
A totally rad option for a girl’s night sleepover with the whole team of BFFs.
32. The Rocket / PG
A hockey movie that won 9 Canadian Academy Awards, The Rocket is a wonderful film that will move your heart!
Not “just” a sports movie, there is also an element of racial injustice that will get you thinking.
33. Turbo / PG
Can a garden snail win the Indy 500? We say, why not? This fun animated movie is full of grins and giggles.
34. Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story / PG
With the littlest Dakota Fanning and the star power of Kurt Russel, this true story will have cowgirls everywhere watching this again and again!
When your copy of Black Beauty wears out, try this one!
35. The Pistol: Birth of a Legend
Another inspiring true story? Bring it on!
This one brings to the silver screen the story of “Pistol” Pete, who shot to fame as a basketball legend before his untimely death.
More Family Sports Movies Rated PG
Nothing caught your eye so far?
Don’t give up the search yet, because we have more than 45 fantastic movies to go!
36. The Natural
Does Robert Redford make bad movies? Survey says, nope!
The Natural is a fan favorite and for good reason: there’s so much heart and soul in this great family sports movie.
The 1980 Winter Olympics and an epic battle against the Soviet Union (aka reigning champs of the rink) are the backdrop for this classic Kurt Russel tale — again, based on a true story!
We love this one for its on-the-edge-of-your-seat, will-they-or-won’t-they-win suspense and inspiration.
Ah, how much do I love Greg Kinnear?! In this wonderful movie, he’s paired up with a young Mark Wahlberg and the results are superb!
39. We Are Marshall
This movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox became an instant classic, thanks to its heartfelt content that is based on a true story.
Toss Friday Night Lights and opt for this inspiring film instead.
Is there any other sports character more inspiring than Rocky Balboa? Yeah, we thought not.
This classic movie ages so well — even your bored teen will put down their phone and get sucked into this thrilling triumph in which Sylvester Stallone stars!
41. A League of Their Own / PG
“There’s no crying in baseball!!!” This fun and funny movie about an all-girls baseball team stars Tom Hanks and Geena Davis (Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell star, too).
42. Field of Dreams
Kevin Costner has ruled the silver screen for so long, and here’s one of the reasons why!
Field of Dreams is the perfect father/son movie, so pop up that corn and get to watching! (Obviously, you need popcorn…the cornfield, remember?)
43. Angels in the Outfield
A Disney movie that the whole family can love! Angels in the Outfield will delight every age, from great grandpa all the way down to the young toddler.
44. Space Jam
What do you get when you cross Michael Jordan with Bugs Bunny? You get the kind of mayhem only Looney Tunes can provide!
We’re having a hard time realizing this movie is old enough to be a “classic” now, but don’t let that deter you!
Related: Best List of Family Adventure Movies
Ready to introduce your kids to some important historical facts and feelings? But you still want a sports theme, too?
Never fear, you have Victory! This inspiring story will be your new family favorite, especially if you’re soccer lovers!
46. Rookie of the Year
The early ‘90s! Ahhhh, it smells like teen spirit! This classic film about America’s favorite pastime wears well and your kids will love it.
Have the whole team over for some hot dogs, apple pie, and a showing of this fun baseball movie.
47. More Than a Game
Want less Hollywood drama and just a really good sports documentary? Then look no further than More Than a Game!
Starring LeBron James, you’ll learn so much you’ll want to rewatch it again and again.
48. The Sandlot
“You’re killing me, Smalls!” This huge family hit has so much heart and so many witty one-liners.
Not to mention an unforgettable storyline and a cast that ages like a fine wine.
49. Soul Surfer
Following the inspiring story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, this true tale will mesmerize those viewers who want a little bit of suspense in their sports story!
50. Ice Castles
Go back, wayyyy back, all the way to Ice Castles!
For the girls and boys who get swept away by the magic and beauty of ice skating, this film from 1978 (hey, the year I was born! Good things are made in ‘78) takes the cake.
51. The Game Plan
Tutus and footballs? Um, heck yeah!
This funny and heartwarming story tells the tale of a football player (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) and the little bitty lady he never knew he fathered until now.
52. Million Dollar Arm
Hard pressed to find a cricket playing movie? They just don’t make a lot, do they? That’s okay, we have Million Dollar Arm!
This fun gem stars Alan Arkin and Jon Hamm. A fun duo that I could watch for days on end!
53. McFarland USA
Kevin Costner loves a chance to play in a great sports film, and McFarland USA is just that — a great sports film!
Cross-country fans will be on the edge of their seats as they follow this inspiring story.
Who says size matters? Not Rudy! This is one of the most beloved and watched football movies of all time. We love a good underdog story!
55. American Underdog
And speaking of underdogs…American Underdog flew under the radar a bit due to Covid, but that’s such a shame!
Pick it up now and enjoy one of the greatest American football heroes and his story, Kurt Warner!
56. Chasing Mavericks
Want less football and baseball, and well, anything with a ball?
Then reach for Chasing Mavericks! Young and old surfers will love this rad film with Gerald Butler.
57. Back of the Net
This fun volleyball movie doesn’t have a lot of big names or star power, but it still packs a punch! Your young volleyball players will totally dig it.
A great family night movie, or one for a sleepover!
58. A Mile in His Shoes
Starring Dean Cain (Superman!), this fun baseball movie brings to life the story of an autistic pitcher and the team who comes to love him.
A great way to introduce differently-abled people to your family!
59. Surf’s Up
Oh come on, it is too a sports movie!
There’s something about a fun animated film that just tugs at our heartstrings and Surf’s Up is right up there with the other classics.
And who doesn’t love a good penguin movie?
60. Dark Horse
Breeding a great racehorse is no small feat! Good thing we have Dark Horse to watch as a tutorial.
Just kidding! Sit back, relax, pass the snacks, and let this good movie just wash right over you.
Love the heart and the stories behind college ball more than the money-grabbing NFL? Then this film is for you!
It follows the story of the greatest walk-on in football history, Brandon Burlsworth.
62. The Perfect Game
Forget the big guys! We want a movie about Little League!
The Perfect Game is here to deliver. Such a fun tale that the whole family will get behind and root for.
63. The Art of Racing in the Rain / PG
Except, wait, there’s more! Kevin Costner, too? You had me at Jess, but whatever.
This tear-jerker will have you fighting an attack of “allergies,” as you snuggle with your kids and fur babies alike.
64. When the Game Stands Tall
Legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) takes his team to a 151-winning streak in this remarkable true story!
Also stars Laura Dern and Michael Chiklis.
Best Family Sports Movies Rated PG-13
All of the films below are still pretty squeaky as far as content is concerned, but may include higher sports intensity or more adult themes like discrimination, domestic violence, or war.
That makes them better suited to an older audience, but they are still incredible films worth a watch.
Coming from a mom of a daughter who did swim team competitively, there just aren’t enough swim movies out there! Hooray for Pride!
Starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac, it tells the story of a determined man named Jim Ellis who begins a swim team for troubled youth in Philly.
66. Forever Strong
Rugby is a no-joke, no-holds-barred sport, and Forever Strong represents it well! Starring Penn Badgley, Sean Faris, Sean Austin, and Gary Cole, this movie has so much heart and grit.
It also has a lot of life lessons for teens, but won’t beat them over the head with them, making it a great choice for a family movie night.
67. The Blind Side
Sandra Bullock leads an all-star cast in this inspiring true-life tale about a neglected teen who is taken in and led to victory by a loving family.
Based on the story of Michael Oher, who later became a first-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens, this movie has been widely loved, despite some later documented inaccuracies or exaggerations that came out years later.
68. Catching Faith
Even “perfect” families have demons to fight and Catching Faith is a great film to remind you of that!
A football film with Christian values, this movie deals with the angst of teenagedom with heart, humor, and life lessons.
69. The Last Champion
John Wright is a former Olympian whose life just hasn’t panned out the way he hoped.
Can he wrestle his way back into his small town’s heart again? Or will his past come back to haunt him? Find out in this film starring Cole Hauser.
In WWII, Louis Zamperini spent 47 days in a raft before being caught by the Japanese.
This inspiring true story will have you in turns cheering and wiping tears from your eyes.
The real-life Louis managed to watch a rough-cut edition of the film on director Angelina Jolie’s laptop right before he passed away.
71. Swimming Upstream
Yay, another swim movie!
This one stars the always fabulous Geoffrey Rush, and tells the true story of a young man determined to win his stern father’s heart and affection by becoming a swim champion.
72. Free Solo
Free climb El Capiton? Sure, why not?! At least that’s how real-life Alex Honnold feels about the question.
I watched this intriguing, best documentary feature one day when I was tired of scrolling endlessly, and was so glad I did!
73. Cinderella Man
Can a washed-up boxer come back to win the heavyweight championship of the world?
Find out, alongside Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger, who lead the cast in this heartwarming and edge-of-your-seat movie.
Definitely a top pick for boxing movies, this Ron Howard directed film is set during the Great Depression and based on the life story of James J. Braddock.
One of Brad Pitt’s best, Moneyball also stars Jonah Hill and Robin Wright!
How do you assemble a winning team when you have next-to-no budget? Find out with this winner of a tale!
42 tells the true story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play on the Major League Baseball field.
Starring the late Chadwick Boseman, this historical sports movie depicts the breaking of baseball’s color barrier in a dramatic, entertaining, and humorous way.
76. Pelé: Birth of a Legend
Perhaps the most popular football, er … I mean soccer player, of all time.
77. Bang the Drum Slowly
A baseball movie with tons of heart, Bang the Drum Slowly stars Robert de Niro as a star pitcher.
His friendship with Henry is at the heart of this sports movie that also deals with terminal illnesses and dying on your own terms.
78. King Richard
Ever wonder how Venus and Serena became the powerhouses they did? A lot was thanks to their father, who in this movie is played by Will Smith.
Two of the greatest sports legends of all time, the Williams sisters, come to full color life and glory in this inspiring movie.
More Clean Sports Movies
- Believe in Me
- Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
- Chang Can Dunk
- Dream Horse
- The Express
- Facing the Giants
- Fantasy Football
- The Final Season
- The Game of Their Lives
- Glory Road
- Goal! The Dream Begins
- Home Team
- If I Had Wings
- Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
- Like Mike
- Little Big League
- My All-American
- Skater Girl
- Tommy’s Honour
Read Next: The Best List of Clean Comedy Movies