50 Best Sports Movies Of All Time in New Zealand

in-New Zealand

Everyone loves stories about the unbreakable human spirit, hard work, and perseverance. Sports movies are full of all that and even more. We have listed compelling, moving stories about underdogs finally making it big or underestimated teams working together to prove their worth.

This article mentions the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand. You must check out these top 50 tales of sportsmanship and perseverance, and they will surely leave you with a certain warmth as the final credits roll by. Here are the best movies on Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.

1. Hoop Dreams (1994)


Director: Steve James
Writer: Steve James, Frederick Marx
Cast: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates
Genre: Documentary, Sports
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Run Time: 2h 50m

Arthur Agee and William Gates are two young high schoolers who dream of playing in the NBA. They are both coached by Gene Pingatore, the coach of an NBA Hall of Fame player. However, at the end of the year, Agee is kicked out of the predominantly white schools.

Despite going to different public schools, the story of the two boys runs parallel for most parts. Both of their performances improve consistently till their senior year, and they overcome obstacles to make their way to college.

2. Raging Bull (1980)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter
Cast: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 2h 9m

The Raging Bull is the self-written story of Jake LaMotta, the Italian-American Boxer. His jealous nature and destructive rage destroyed most of his relations. While it won him many laurels in the ring, he found himself alone in life.

He not only lost his first wife while pursuing another woman but also the second wife, who left him because of his rage. Even his brother, Joey LaMotta, was estranged from him. His temper and, later, his illegal activities resulted in him serving some time in prison.

3. Rocky (1976)


Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h

This movie is a work of fiction and centers around an amateur boxer Rocky. Rocky is currently working as a loan collector. He also participates in fights around Philadelphia and one day hopes to make it big as a boxer.

When a boxing world champion, Apollo Creed, unexpectedly invites Rocky for a match, he accepts. The boxing match was to take place in Philadelphia during the United States Bicentennial. It looks like this might be what Rocky needs to enter the bigger boxing world.

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4. Bull Durham (1988)


Director: Ron Shelton
Writer: Ron Shelton
Cast: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson
Genre: Romance, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 1h 48m

Annie Savoy is an ardent baseball fan who religiously follows her home team- Durham Bulls. Moreover, she picks up one player from the group every season and has a season-long fling with him. The said player then has the best year of their career yet.

In the current year, Annie is torn between Ebby Calvin LaLoosh and Crash Davis. Despite the initial animosity between Annie and Crash, she still cannot seem to choose one of them. As the season progresses, we see the three evolve in baseball and personal life.

5. The Wrestler (2008)


Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Robert Siegel
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 1h 49m

Randy Robinson was a revered wrestler in the past, but now he is way past his prime. Now he barely gets any kind of matches and has been working in a grocery store. Randy has problems accepting the fact that his wrestling career is almost over.

As he struggles to fit into his life outside the ring, he undergoes a major medical procedure. The surgery ends his wrestling career for good. Randy develops anger problems with the frustration of his failing personal life and lack of wrestling. Randy tries to fight his long-time rival in one last attempt at stardom.

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6. Moneyball (2011)


Director: Bennett Miller
Writer: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 13m

This movie is based on real-life events during the 2002 season for the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Despite being low on funds, manager Billy Beane and assistant general manager Peter Brand want to assemble a competitive team.

By scouting, they manage to form a team of undervalued players such that it fits their budget. The team does not have a very strong start that season, but they catch up quickly. Many teams in the future go on to use the new model of working designed by Beane.

7. Foxcatcher (2014)


Director: Bennett Miller
Writer: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave
Genre: Biography, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 2h 14m

Philanthropist and wrestling enthusiast John E. du Pont has been putting together a team called “The Foxcatchers” for the World Championship. He invites Olympic wrestling champions, Mark Schultz and Dave Schultz. While Dave initially declines the offer, Mark joins the team.

Later on, Dave also joins the team, but Mark has grown distant from John and decides to start training alone. Mark and Dave set out to find themselves in this complex tale of money, family relations, and repeated failures.

8. Chariots of Fire (1981)


Director: Hugh Hudson
Writer: Colin Welland
Cast: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Run Time: 2h 5m

This movie is based on real-life events during the 1924 Paris Olympics. The story revolves around two British sprinters- Britons Harold Addams and Eric Liddell, both of whom have significantly different lives. The movie shows how the two overcome their obstacles and approach running.

While their lives may not intersect socially, running at the Paris Olympics ties them together. They both try to make their country proud. However, they must first deal with issues and favoritism rampant in sports.

9. Slap Shot (1977)


Director: George Roy Hill
Writer: Nancy Dowd
Cast: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Strother Martin, Jennifer Warren
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 3m

Hapless Chiefs is a Federal League hockey team past its prime and does not have much of an audience for its matches. To make up for funds, the team manager has to do cheap publicity stunts. However, they don’t seem to be working lately.

When the players receive the news of the team having to shut down, they are distraught. The team’s aging player decides to try one last plan to save the team and implements certain changes in what is supposed to be the team’s last game season.

10. The Way Back (2020)


Director: Gavin O’Connor
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
Cast: Janina Gavankar, Ben Affleck, Michaela Watkins, Al Madrigal
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 1h 48m

Jack Cunningham had been nothing short of a basketball prodigy when he was in high school. However, he decided not to continue the game and consequently destroyed any future he might have had as a professional basketballer.

However, it seems like his basketball days weren’t behind him. When teachers from his previous school contact him to coach their struggling team, he reluctantly agrees to it. As he puts his all into building up the team, they learn to respect his unusual methods, and in turn, Jack starts getting his personal life back on track.

11. Pride of the Yankees (1942)


Director: Sam Wood
Writer: Jo Swerling, Paul Gallico
Cast: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth, Walter Brennan
Genre: Biography, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 8m

This movie follows the career and personal life of Lou Gehrig- one of the most famed baseball players ever. More than just a sports biopic, the film is an honor and homage to the sports figure who died way too early.

Gehrig started his baseball career at university when he signed up with the New York Yankees. Babe Ruth, who was also his hero, was at first dismissive of the young player but later warms up to him. Gehrig goes on to play multiple matches and make a name for himself.

12. Any Given Sunday (1999)


Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Daniel Pyne, John Logan
Cast: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Wood
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Run Time: 2h 42m

The Miami Sharks, a football team, have been struggling to get any wins lately. The new, aggressive owner of the team, Christina Pagniacci, is bent on making the Sharks great again. She wants to prove her worth in the male-dominated field.

When their quarterback is injured and knocked out of the game, Coach Tony D’Amato reluctantly ushers in a young third-stringer. Willie Beaman, however, turns out to be a better bet than the coach had thought. Billie starts looking like a new hope for the Sharks after proving his worth over the next few games.

13. A League of Their Own (1992)


Director: Penny Marshall
Writer: Kim Wilson, Lowell Ganz
Cast: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 8m

During World War II, like all other fields, baseball teams and management was also mostly dominated by women. With the men being deployed to fight the war and the other option being dormancy, the owners of baseball teams started making teams with women.

The plot revolves around the two sisters, Dottie and Kit Hinson, selected by a scout passing through Oregon. The two sisters help the team to get off the ground and take up the attention of the masses.

14. When We Were Kings (1996)


Director: Leon Gast
Writer: Leon Gast
Cast: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Don King, James Brown
Genre: Documentary, Sport
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 28m

At age 32, most people thought Muhammad Ali was past his prime. However, Don King wanted him to fight George Foreman and offered the men five million dollars each. When Ali and Foreman agreed to the fight, King had to come up with the money.

However, the way he arranged for the money was frowned upon by many. He had found a sponsor in the brutal dictator of Zaire- Mobutu Sese Seko. King had even arranged the fight in Zaire.

15. The Blind Side (2009)


Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: John Lee Hancock, Michael Lewis
Cast: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Jae Head
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 9m

This biographical masterpiece is based on the true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy’s adopted son, Michael Oher. Not only is he provided a safe home, but Leigh and Sean also hire a tutor to help him raise his grades. They also encouraged him to pursue his interest in football.

Michael later goes on to secure an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. He was also picked up by the Baltimore Ravens during the 2009 NFL draft, thus launching his professional career in this game.

16. The Natural (1984)


Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: Bernard Malamud, Roger Towne
Cast: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 18m

Roy Hobbs had learned to play baseball when he was a kid and was supposed to try out for the Chicago Cubs when he was 19. However, following a fatal accident, Hobbs never made it to the tryouts and let his dream of playing baseball go.

However, sixteen years later, Hobbs was signed up with the New York Knights, who could see that he was a natural at the game. However, his problems weren’t over yet. Hobbs must overcome corrupt owners, bookies, and personal issues to come out at the top and secure a win for his team.

17. Coach Carter (2005)


Director: Thomas Carter
Writer: Mark Schwann, John Gatins
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Rick Gonzalez, Robert Ri’chard, Rob Brown
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 16m

This movie is based on the real-life events of a basketball coach- Ken Carter and streams on the best streaming service of 2022. He coached at the Richmond High School, and the plot centers around the contract conditions he sets for all his players.

All the teachers and parents find the conditions to be too harsh. However, Carter refuses to let anyone stay on the team if they do not fulfill his requirements. While he remains adamant about his tough love regimen throughout the movie, it is shown that his players adore and respect him incessantly.

18. Caddyshack (1980)


Director: Harold Ramis
Writer: Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis
Cast: Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, Sarah Holcomb
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Run Time: 1h 38m

The plot of this movie centers around the exclusive and posh Bushwood Country Club and its golfing brethren. Danny Noonan works as a caddie, or golfing assistant, in the club, hoping to earn enough to turn his life around and put himself through college.

Simultaneously, two golfers realize something fishy is happening in the club. Danny starts planning for the Caddie Day tournament, a golf match held by the club. Danny hopes to get the scholarship awarded to the tournament winner and start his new life.

19. The Sandlot (1993)


Director: David Mickey Evans
Writer: David Mickey Evans, Robert Gunter
Cast: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur, Patrick Renna
Genre: Comedy, Family
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 41m

There is the best family movie on Disney Plus to watch with your family. The story follows Scott Smalls who is a shy boy who moves into a new neighborhood with his mom and stepfather.

It is his dream to learn how to play baseball, but when he tries to join the group of boys in the neighborhood, he is embarrassed by his inability to play the sport.

Despite this, the leader of the boys invites him to play with them and teaches him the basics of the game. When he learns of the famed yard with the “Beast,” Smalls is curious but decides to let it go. However, he has no choice when one of his prized possessions ends up in the yard, and he decides to retrieve it.

20. Million Dollar Baby (2004)


Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Paul Haggis, F. X. Toole
Cast: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h 12m

Maggie Fitzgerald is a waitress from the Ozarks looking toward building a career in boxing. She approaches Frankie Dunn, a gym owner in Los Angeles and a trainer. Initially, Frankie rejects her and refuses to train her, but over time relents and agrees to give her a chance.

Maggie quickly proves skilled and talented at boxing and earns a reputation with quick knock-outs. Frankie signs her up for a match in Las Vegas, but the game turns her life around unexpectedly.

21. Field of Dreams (1989)


Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writer: W. P. Kinsella, Phil Alden Robinson
Cast: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan
Genre: Drama, Family
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

Ray Kinsella owned a cornfield in Iowa, his primary income source. He also had a wife and daughter, who later supported his decisions and choices. After having multiple visions and sightings, Ray is convinced that he needs to build a baseball field on his farm.

As he gets on with the project, he is reprimanded by his wife’s brother, who is convinced that the entire family is delusional. He fears that Ray might go bankrupt since he plowed down his only source of income.

22. Murderball (2005)


Director: Henry Alex Rubin
Writer: Dana Adam Shapiro
Cast: Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan, Robert Soares
Genre: Documentary, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 28m

The movie centers around the paraplegic American football team members that played in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Greece. Despite being wheelchair users, these young men still hold onto their love for the game.

It discusses their personal lives, professional setbacks, team spirit, and other themes. The animosity between the Canadian and American grudge, especially the personal grudge, is also touched upon in the documentary. One of the best sports movies to watch with your friends.

23. 42 (2013)


Director: Brian Helgeland
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, T. R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 2h 8m

Jackie Robinson was the first black athlete to play in Major League Baseball. This biographical movie revolves around Robinson and his rise to fame despite all the odds against him. He started his career playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

With support from his fellow baseball players and managers, Robinson can maneuver through the discriminatory practices. He focuses on his game and becomes a crucial member of the team. He was the reason behind a lot of the wins secured by the Dodgers during his time.

24. Hoosiers (1986)


Director: David Anspaugh
Writer: Angelo Pizzo
Cast: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper, Sheb Wooley
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 1h 54m

Hoosiers is based on a true story about a basketball team from a small town in Indiana. The coach of the team, Norman Dale, is dedicated, but his personal life is less than perfect. He has a spotty past and a current title of the town drunk.

Despite these odds, he does his best to coach the high-school team. Under his rigorous training, the team goes on to qualify for the state championship. It is one of the greatest sports movies of all time and shows that despite all odds, hard work and team spirit can pay off well.

25. Glory Road (2006)


Director: James Gartner
Writer: Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois
Cast: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols, Jon Voight
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Run Time: 1h 58m

Based on a true story, the movie revolves around the head coach of Texas Western University, later renamed the University of Texas at El Paso. This great sports movie touches upon the themes of racism, discrimination, and the world of student-athletes.

Coach Don Haskins came up with a team of seven black and five white players and started their training. As his team went on to win competitions, the hate his team faced kept increasing. However, they hold on to their spirit and try their best to have an awarding season.

26. Remember the Titans (2000)


Director: Boaz Yakin
Writer: Gregory Allen Howard
Cast: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harriis, Ryan Hurst
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 53m

This movie is based on the true events that took place in 1971 in suburban Virginia. The schools of Virginia had been segregated for generations, but according to a new mandate, it is compulsory for the integration of students.

Herman Boone was a black basketball coach chosen to be the new head coach at the newly integrated high school. Selected over the famous white coach Yoast, Boone was surprised. Now he must overcome the racial obstacles and train the students the best he can.

27. King Richard (2021)


Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Writer: Zach Baylin
Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Saniyya SidneyGenre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 2h 24m

This biographical film follows the life of the great Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams. He had always been keen on getting his daughters the fame they deserved. Incessantly, he trained them in tennis with whatever resources they had.

It also talks about the mother of the legendary tennis player and Richard’s wife- Brandy Williams. The plot follows the girls overcoming impossible odds to make a name for themselves. Richard is considered to be the driving force and biggest supporter of the two greatest players in the history of tennis.

28. He Got Game (1998)


Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Spike Lee
Cast: Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich, Ray Allen, Rosario Dawson
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Run Time: 2h 16m

Jesus Shuttlesworth is a top high-school basketball player in the United States. The ultimate college basketball programs are keen on signing Shuttlesworth up with their colleges. However, his life is upended when his convicted father is temporarily released.

As he manages to build his career and maneuver through his failed relationship with his dad, Shuttlesworth grows personally. Watch the unfolding of family, relationships, and profession amongst corrupt officials and legal battles in one of the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand.

29. Miracle (2004)


Director: Gavin O’Connor
Writer: Eric Guggenheim
Cast: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West, Noah Emmerich
Genre: Biography, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 15m

Herb Brooks is the head ice hockey coach for the United States Olympic team. His unusual methods of starting the team and selecting the candidates put off the hockey officials. In addition, the team was not playing up to its full potential.

Brooks starts rigorous training of the team to instill a feeling of belonging and patriotism in the players. The team begins coming together despite their problems and agendas. Against all odds, they manage to make their country proud during the 1980 Winter Olympics.

30. The Longest Yard (2005)


Director: Peter Segal
Writer: Albert S. Ruddy, Sheldon Turner
Cast: Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Chris Rock, Nelly
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Run Time: 1h 53m

Once a revered football superstar, Paul Crewe is now serving time in jail relating to a drunk driving incident. Warden Hazen, a duplicitous guard, intends to use Paul’s expertise to train a team of guards to play football.

However, Paul challenges him to a game between the inmates and the guards. Expecting an easy game, Hazen agrees to the match. However, the inmates come together better than any guard had expected, and they realize that it might not be such an easy win.

31. Rudy (1993)


Director: David Anspaugh
Writer: Angelo Pizzo
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty, Greta Lind
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 54m

Rudy, despite being of short stature and not academically inclined, dreams of playing for the Notre Dame football team. Rudy seems to make up for his lack of built-in grit and determination. After unexpected help, Rudy improves his academic score considerably.

However, he still fails to get into Notre Dame and enrolls in a college near it, hoping for a chance to transfer. Though he faces numerous obstacles, Rudy manages to overcome them to achieve his one dream in life.

32. The Color of Money (1986)


Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Walter Tevis, Richard Price
Cast: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 1h 59m

This dramatic adaptation of a novel by Walter Tevis is one of the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand. Eddie Felson was once a pool hustler but has since retired from the game. However, when he sees Vincent play the pool, he is convinced that he possesses a great talent for the game.

He offers to coach Vincent, who eventually agrees to go pool hustling with him. While taking Vincent to pool houses, Eddie comes to certain self-realization. He decides to jump back into the pool-hustling world after years of “retirement.”

33. I, Tonya (2017)


Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Steven Rogers
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Walter Hauser, Allison Janney
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 59m

This movie is based on the real-life story of Tonya Harding, the Oregon-born former figure skater. Tonya had been skating since she was just three years old. While she did not lack the skill and talent required for the sport, her personal life never allowed her to be the best.

Brought up by an abusive mother and later marrying an abusive husband, life was hard for Tonya. She goes on to take extreme steps to help her career grow. However, she finds she keeps jeopardizing her career instead of allowing it.

34. The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)


Director: Bill Paxton
Writer: Mark Frost
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas. James Paxton
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h

It comes among the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand and is based on real-life events. This story revolves around Francis Ouimet, a gifted golfer. However, since Ouimet came from a lower-class family, it was unorthodox for him to participate in competitions.

Ouimet begins his career as a caddie, or golf assistant, at a posh club. While his talent is recognized and invited to play in the U.S. Open held at the club, life is not completely fair. He must overcome the class difference and his father’s anger to participate in the competition.

35. Uncut Gems (2019)


Director: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Writer: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
Cast: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel, Tommy Kominik
Genre: Crime, Drama
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 15m

Howard Ratner is an American-Jewish jeweler in New York. He once had a booming business but lost almost everything to his gambling addiction and had huge debts. During this, Howard learns that a rare black opal has been mined in Ethiopia.

Believing that the opal could turn his luck, he smuggles the opal into the USA. He plans to sell the opal at an auction and use the money to pay all his debts. The plan starts going sideways when nobody seems to value the opal at Howard’s expected price.

36. All The Right Moves (1983)


Director: Michael Chapman
Writer: Michael Kane, Pat Jordan
Cast: Tom Cruise, Leas Thompson, Craig T. Nelson
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 5.9/10
Run Time: 1h 31m

Stefen is exceptionally skilled in football and aims to bag a scholarship to college to escape the little town of Empire in Pennsylvania. He wants to become an electrical engineer after graduating from college. He is aware that football might be his only ticket to freedom.

In one of the season’s biggest games, Stefen gives it his all to win. However, the coach had his plan in mind and did not have the team’s best interest at heart. Enraged, Stefen is unsure of how to proceed.

37. Ali (2001)


Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Gregory Allen Howard, Christopher Wilkinson
Cast: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles
Genre: Biography, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 2h 37m

It is a biography of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and his life between 1964 and 1974. Unapologetically, he portrayed his unwavering belief that he was the greatest boxer of all time. His agility and style earn him numerous laurels in the ring.

His personal life was also under scrutiny because of his association with the Nation of Islam and the controversial Malcolm X. He was also tried in the U.S. court for refusing to cooperate in the Vietnam War when he was drafted. Consequently, his profession suffers. It’s surely one of the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand.

38. Breaking Away (1979)


Director: Peter Yates
Writer: Steve Tesich
Cast: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 41m

In the college town of Indiana, four boys- Dave, Mike, Cyril, and Moocher, are locals that have graduated from school a year earlier. Unsure of what to do with their lives, they mostly waste their time. The main protagonist of the movie is Dave.

Dave is obsessed with cycling and is thrilled when he is invited to the university for a cycling competition by the president.

However, the professional cycling team from Italy finds it humiliating that a mere local can keep up with them. They try to sabotage Dave’s race, but his grit and determination come through. You can watch this movie on American Amazon Prime in New Zealand easily.

39. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)


Director: Ron Shelton
Writer: Ron Shelton
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 55m

Billy Hoyle and Sidney Dean are two of the greatest basketball players in their town. When Sidney proposes a partnership with Billy, the latter agrees, thinking they’d make an unbeatable duo. However, he realizes that Sidney just double-crossed him.

The two men get to know each other better as the movie progresses. They decide to team up again, but their life problems persist. Watch as the two grow as humans on the court and off it, too, struggling not to let one interfere with the other.

40. Senna (2010)


Director: Asif Kapadia
Writer: Manish Pandey
Cast: Ayrton Senna, Reginaldo Leme, John Bisignano, Neyde Senna
Genre: Documentary, Sport, Drama
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

Ayrton Senna was one of the most legendary Brazilian motor-racing champions. The story follows his arrival at Formula One competitions and his consequent struggles. The story follows his rise to fame as the greatest motor racing driver of all time.

It also shows him contemplating a life outside of racing. However, in a sudden turn of events and the saddest weekend in the history of Formula One, Senna gets into an accident. The death of Senna was witnessed by 300 million people and mourned across the globe.

Aside from this, you can watch other drama movies on Netflix too with the help of the best Netflix VPN.

41. Eight Men Out (1988)


Director: John Sayles
Writer: Eliot Asinof, John Sayles
Cast: John Cusack, Clifton James, Jace Alexander, Gordon Clapp
Genre: Drama, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Run Time: 1h 59m

During the 1919 World Series, a Black Sox Scandal occurred around the Chicago White Sox team. The movie is a semi-fictionalized account of the said scandal, wherein the actual events have been partly dramatized.

The main anti-hero of the movie is Charles A. Comiskey, the team owner of the White Sox. While he publicly gloats about the team’s superiority, there are scandals behind the scenes. It leads to events that are traced back to gambling circuits and set-up games.

42. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)


Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writer: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges
Cast: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Anupam Kher, Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
Genre: Comedy, Sports
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 1h 52m

An Indian family tries to raise their daughters per their culture and traditions. However, their younger daughter Jess has her heart set on being a professional football player, much to their horror. They try to dissuade her ambitions, but she is set to follow the oath of her star, David Beckham.

Considered to be one of the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand, Bend It Like Beckham tells a heartwarming story of a culture clash. It also shows how Jess grows as a human- romantically, personally, and professionally.

43. The Fighter (2010)


Director: David O. Russell
Writer: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
Genre: Biography, Action
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 56m

It is an action movie on Netflix based on the lives of professional boxers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund, who also were half-brothers. Micky rose to fame as a boxer after being trained by his older half-brother. His mother also managed him.

After being defeated in a fight rigged against him, Micky wants to retreat from the boxing world. However, he bonds with an unexpected stranger he relates to. He is roped back into the world of boxing and makes a name for himself.

44. Tin Cup (1996)


Director: Ron Shelton
Writer: John Norville, Ron Shelton
Cast: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin
Genre: Comedy, Sports
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Run Time: 2h 15m

The plot revolves around a failed golfer Roy’ Tin Cup’ McAvoy, and his run-ins with his weakness of gambling. He had been training a female psychiatrist at golf and, in turn, fell for her. He also became her patient to gain her respect.

Later he realizes that the pupil was dating his once-partner and later rival, David Simms. Roy is now very determined to make Molly fall for him. When David challenges him to play a match against him, Roy cannot resist and agrees, not knowing what is coming after.

45. Creed (2015)


Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Aaron Covington, Ryan Coogler
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Phylicia Rashad, Tessa Thompson
Genre: Action, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 13m

The story revolves around Rocky Balboa and Adonis Johnson’s mentor-mentee relationship. Adonis is the son of the late boxing champion Apollo Creed. Wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps, he seeks out the mentorship of a former boxing champion, Rocky Balboa.

Despite briefly rivaling Apollo in their early days, Rocky agrees to train Adonis. He becomes his mentor and starts training him to fight some of the most dangerous boxers. Now Adonis must prove himself to be a worthy student.

46. Goon (2011)


Director: Michael Dowse
Writer: Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Eugene Levy
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 32m

Doug Glatt was born into a family of successful physicians and has always felt shunned due to his lesser intellect. He used to work as a bouncer in the town. However, he was soon invited to be the enforcer or ‘goon’ for his hometown’s hockey team.

As he accepts the offer, he feels even more excluded from his family. Despite this, he soon rises to fame and manages to become an important part of the team. However, not all is good, and he must overcome jealous teammates and balance his love life.

47. Varsity Blues (1999)


Director: Brian Robbins
Writer: W. Peter Iliff
Cast: James Van Der Beek
Genre: Comedy, Drama
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

It is one of the best movies that deal with adapting to last-minute changes and responding to immense pressure placed on high school athletes. In the small town of Texas, these seventeen-year-old kids carry the hopes and dreams of the town folk.

Their coach Bud Kilmer has a great track record of training the high school football team. Bud must find a suitable replacement when the main quarterback suffers an injury and keep the team morale high. He must lead them to their 23rd division title as the community pins their hopes on all of them.

48. Talladega Nights (2006)


Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Run Time: 1h 48m

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a great movie that centers around the life of the famous, number one NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby. It is a fictional account and not a true story.

Since he was little, Bobby dreamed of making his name in racing. He got his unexpected debut when Terry Cheveaux abandoned his race, and Bobby had to be the replacement driver for him. From there started his life of stardom and all the ills it brings.

49. Major League (1989)


Director: David S. Ward
Writer: David S. Ward
Cast: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton
Genre: Comedy, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Run Time: 1h 47m

Cleveland, Indiana, is a baseball team that has recently had a new manager. When her rather nefarious plans about the team are uncovered, the teammates realize that she had intentionally put together a team she believed was doomed from the start.

After this realization, they decide to train such that they can win, mostly just to spite the new manager. In this compelling tale of team spirit and crushing wrong-doers, watch the team as it trains for the most important winnings of its lives.

50. Friday Night Lights (2004)


Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Buzz Bissinger, David Aaron
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Jay Hernandez, Derek Luke, Lucas Black
Genre: Action, Sport
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Run Time: 1h 58m

A small town in Texas, Odessa, is struggling in the socio-economic sense. However, all the town folk is looking forward to the town’s football team- Permian Panther, winning a prestigious state competition. This movie is one of the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand and shows great team spirit.

Their coach- Gary Gaines, believes in his team and thinks they can win the tournament. Even though they lose their tailback, and the team is not optimal, they make a huge season comeback.


Sports movies are well known for the grit and perseverance they show on the screen. Whether based on true life events or a fictionalized account, they never fail to move the audience deeply and instill a sense of belonging in them.

This article lists some of the best sports movies of all time in New Zealand and includes various titles such as Rocky (1976), Goon (2011), Ali (2001), etc. Watching a sports movie is a good start if you want to witness human spirit, teamwork, and impressive individuality all in one place.


Jane Davies

Jane Davies

Meet Jane Davies, your friendly guide to all the cool stuff on Paramount Plus. She's got the inside scoop on the best shows, movies, and sports. Watching with Jane means getting the best picks, like having a friend who knows all about what to watch next. She loves hiking, snapping beautiful photos, and trying out new foods. Her adventures off-screen are just as fun as the ones on it. So, if you're looking for what to watch or just want to hear about cool experiences, Jane's got you covered. Let's dive into the fun world of streaming together!

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