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Top 50 Best Basketball Movies To Watch [2022]

AishwaryaAishwarya-Posted Oct 1, 2022


Top 50 Most Popular Basketball Movies

 

Basketball is more than a sport; it is a religion in America. The NBA is one of the most followed sports in America and around the world.

 

It is only natural for Hollywood to make movies about Basketball. Whether it is inspirational movies, biographies, comedies, romantic movies, or nail-biting thrillers, we can find all kinds of movies on Basketball.

 

The basketball players or ballers are also quite famous. They inspire youth away from crime, depression, drugs, and all kinds of social evils.

 

They give us hope that we can rise above our situation in life and achieve greatness if we have talent.

 

Most of them have lived a life that movies are made of. With such a loaded topic, it is expected to have a list of favorite basketball movies.

 

ENTOIN is back with a list of the 50 best basketball movies of all time. You can have a look and pick your favorites to binge-watch, so get yourself acquainted with the sport.

 

Let's rush and start the list.

 

 

50. Eddie (1996)

 

Eddie (1996)

 

Eddie is a sports comedy that was directed by Steve Rash. The film was panned by critics and Whoopi Goldberg received a nomination for the Golden Razzie award.

 

However, the audience had a good laugh and gave the film an A- rating. Eddie is an ardent fan of the New York Knicks and attends every match of theirs.

 

At one of their matches, she wins a chance to become the assistant coach of the team for half a season.

 

She immediately grabs the chance and runs with it. Impressed with her work, the team owner fires the head coach and appoints Eddie as the coach for the rest of their matches. Will the team win under Eddie?

 

 

49. Celtic Pride (1996)

 

Celtic Pride (1996)

 

Celtic Pride is a sports comedy that was written by Judd Apatow and Colin Quinn. The film was intended as a spoof on the madness of sports fans.

 

However, it was not appreciated by the fans. They felt that the jokes were lackluster, and the plot fell short.

 

Mike and Jimmy are two sports fans from Boston. They root for every Boston team, and during the NBA season, they are fanatical about the Boston Celtics.

 

Their madness reaches a peak as the playoffs between Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz reach game 7. They kidnap the star Shooter Guard of the Utah Jazz to ensure that the Celtics win the match.

 

 

48. Like Mike (2002)

 

Like Mike (2002)

 

Like Mike is a sports comedy with a bit of fantasy involved. The film was produced by NBA Productions and many NBA players made cameo appearances in the film.

 

It received a few negative reviews from critics, but the fans loved the film. It was declared a moderate hit with box office earnings of up to $62 million.

 

Calvin is an orphan and loves basketball. During one of their home games, Los Angeles Knights (a fictional team) donate free tickets to Calvin.

 

He happens to wear a pair of old sneakers used by Michael Jordan to the match and impresses the coach with his skills during half-time.

 

This lands him a chance to play for the Knights and to help his favorite team win.

 

 

47. Playoff (2011)

 

Playoff (2011)

 

Playoff is a biographical sports drama about the work of Ralph Klein. The film was directed by Israeli director Eran Riklis and was released in German, English, and Hebrew.

 

Max Stoller is a legendary basketball coach who trained the Israeli team to become the European champions in the late 1970s.

 

This made him a national hero and he was praised by all but it was all lost when his next job assignment was to coach the West German basketball team.

 

He managed to coach the mediocre team, and made them the next European champion, and earned the ire and curses of all Israelis.

 

 

46. The Basketball Fix (1951)

 

The Basketball Fix (1951)

 

The Basketball Fix is a sports drama that depicted the CCNY Points Shaving Scandal that rocked the college basketball league during the early 1950s.

 

This film is an account of the nexus between organized crime and basketball players to fix matches to influence gambling odds.

 

The film follows an investigative journalist who uncovers a scandal involving college basketball teams and organized crime bosses. He tries his best to dissuade a young player from shaving his points and throwing away his game.

 

He tries to constantly bring the guilty player back on the path of righteousness. The film was praised for its effort to expose the scandal and offer an alternate path.

 

 

45. Streetballers (2009)

 

Streetballers (2009)

 

Streetballers is a sports drama about two junior basketball players. The film is an independent film with a small budget, but it earned a lot of respect from audiences.

 

It earned high per-screen viewership despite the lesser number of screens where it showed. Two friends from different racial and ethnic backgrounds meet on the street during basketball games and help each other through many tough times.

 

Despite their own dysfunctional families and financial and personal problems, they stand for each other, both on the court and off-court. It is a beautiful film about friendship through sports.

 

 

44. Game Day (1999)

 

Game Day (1999)

 

Game day is a sports drama about a coach who has been branded as unsuccessful. He needs to build his career and possibly, his life from the ground up.

 

The film was written and directed by Steve Klein. Richard Lewis was a high-profile college basketball coach who was at the top of his game.

 

But he lost it all after losing five consecutive championship matches. He is haunted by his losses and ends up in a small town.

 

He is forced to take up the job of coaching a ragtag team of players for a small community college.

 

Lewis manages to get the team up to the finals of the league but can he win the final match?

 

 

43. The Air Up There (1994)

 

The Air Up There (1994)

 

The Air Up There is a sports comedy film that made it to the Dishonorable Mention list on the Staten Island Advance.

 

The film was panned by critics as yet another movie of cultural imperialism and a formulaic plot line. An assistant coach of a basketball team at a university hopes to get a promotion when he brings in fresh new talent.

 

He views the tapes of a player from Kenya and plans to recruit him for the college team, but he gets more than what he bargains for when he lands in Kenya.

 

Both the coach and the player learn the new cultures and adjust to the new challenges to find the winning solution.

 

 

42. The St. Tammany Miracle (1994)

 

The St. Tammany Miracle (1994)

 

The St. Tammany Miracle is a film about a coach who comes to train a cash-strapped school basketball team to win matches.

 

It is a sports comedy and an inspirational movie. A small episcopalian all-girls high school hires a new female coach for their basketball team.

 

The team is high on hopes and fervor but low on funds. The school has to work from scratch to build the basketball team, equipment, and infrastructure as they have no precedent.

 

This uphill task falls on the new coach. After a few brick walls and bumps along the way, the team starts to function and show promise.

 

 

41. The Old Music (1985)

 

The Old Music (1985)

 

The Old Music is a sports drama from Spain. The film is based on the story from Mario Camus, who also directed the film.

 

The Old Music was nominated for the performance of the lead pair of actors and received praise and accolades.

 

The film opens with a new coach arriving in the town of Lugo to teach basketball. He comes from Uruguay with the promise of making the local team basketball champions, but he hides a secret.

 

The coach has no clue about basketball and has his own agenda to find his lost love in the town.

 

He retains the old coach and bids time by learning about the sport from videos and books.

 

 

40. The Sixth Man (1997)

 

The Sixth Man (1997)

 

The Sixth Man is a sports comedy-drama starring Marlon Wayans. The film was panned by critics with negative reviews and the audiences were not too impressed either.

 

The film was described as a mild success. Two brothers, Antoine and Kenny are basketball players. They are very close to each other and work as a team on the court.

 

Sadly during one of their matches, Antoine suffers a heart stroke and dies by the time the match ends.

 

This devastates the team leading to poor performance. Unable to watch his brother lose, Antoine comes back as a ghost and helps the team win.

 

 

39. Uncle Drew (2018)

 

Uncle Drew (2018)

 

Uncle Drew is a sports comedy with a star cast from the NBA men's and women’s teams. The film was criticized as being formulaic and weak.

 

However, the audience appreciated it. They made the film a hit and praised the performance of Kyrie Irving in a comedy role.

 

Dax is a kind-hearted coach of a basketball team, but neither his team nor his girlfriend appreciates him. He also has a rival, Mookie, who has haunted him since his young days and ruined all his attempts at winning.

 

When Mookie strikes again and takes away Dax's team and girlfriend, Dax turns to the legendary Uncle Drew to get his game back.

 

 

38. Drive, He Said (1971)

 

Drive, He Said (1971)

 

Drive, He Said is an independent film based on the novel of the same name by Jeremy Larner. It was also the directorial debut of Jack Nicholson, who co-wrote the screenplay with Larner and Terrence Mallick.

 

Although the performances of the cast were good, the plot lacked direction. The film revolves around a laconic basketball player, Hector.

 

He has a natural talent for the game, but he has many distractions as well. He is having an affair with his professor’s wife, and his college roommate is crazy and single-mindedly wants to avoid being drafted into the army.

 

Hector is also concerned about the draft and his family situation, so his game takes the last place on the priority list.

 

 

37. Semi-Pro (2008)

 

Semi-Pro (2008)

 

Semi-Pro is a sports comedy film about an ABA team that is set to be dissolved. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics but the performance of Will Farrell was praised by all.

 

The film failed at the box office and did not recover the budget. Semi-Pro is about the ABA team Flint Michigan Tropics, who will be decommissioned at the end of this season.

 

ABA is set to merge with NBA, and only the top four teams will survive the merger. The team owner, head coach, and power-forward of Tropic, Jackie Moon, decides to make the most of the final season and try to salvage his team.

 

 

36. Heaven Is A Playground (1991)

 

Heaven Is A Playground (1991)

 

Heaven Is A Playground is a film based on a novel with the same name, written by Rick Telander.

 

It is a feel-good film where a pair of a basketball coach and a lawyer devise a way to scout for talent and keep kids away from bad habits like drinking, drugs, crime, etc.

 

Byron is scouting for talent at a local playground where kids come to play ball. He picks all the talented players and sponsors them on college basketball teams, while the untalented or troublesome ones are ignored.

 

Zack, a lawyer, approaches the playground to play ball, but Byron mistakes him for a drug pusher. Later, they decide to work together to help the kids use basketball as a means to keep out of trouble.

 

 

35. Sunset Park (1996)

 

Sunset Park (1996)

 

Sunset Park is an inspirational tale of a white school teacher who takes over a black basketball team and turns them into a winning team.

 

The film did not garner much critical praise or negative reviews. It flew under the radar of most award panels.

 

Phyllis Saroka is a P. E. teacher at Sunset Park High School in New York. She is saving up money to open her own restaurant, so she views the opportunity of a male basketball team coach as a chance to earn and save more.

 

After taking up the role, she has to whip up discipline into a group of talented individuals and make them work as a winning team.

 

 

34. The Harlem Globetrotters (1951)

 

The Harlem Globetrotters (1951)

 

The Harlem Globetrotters is a sports drama about the professional basketball team, The Harlem Globetrotters. The film stars the members of the Globetrotters team and was released by Columbia Pictures to be telecast on television.

 

Billy Townsend is a college basketball player, who is scouted by the Globetrotters team coach Abe Saperstein. He advises Townsend to finish college and then come to join the team.

 

However, in his impulsiveness, Townsend quits college and follows the team. Although the coach is disappointed, he takes Townsend into the team.

 

Townsend’s independent streak, his disregard for team decisions, and his impulsiveness lands him in trouble and forces him out of the team.

 

He has to learn an important lesson in teamwork before he can come back.

 

 

33. Fast Break (1979)

 

Fast Break (1979)

 

Fast Break is a sports comedy that was the movie debut of Laurence Fishburne and Gabe Kaplan, who had appeared mostly in TV series till that point.

 

The film was labeled as a fun but forgettable fare by many critics. However, it made a decent profit at the box office.

 

David Greene is a part-time basketball coach and a delicatessen manager. He hopes to become a big-shot head coach someday.

 

His dream is given wings when a small-town Nevada college offers him the post of the head coach and a promise of a bigger role if the team wins against the Nevada state team.

 

To help him achieve his dream, his best friend and a few other dubious players accompany him to Nevada to coach the college team.

 

 

32. American Citizen (1992)

 

American Citizen (1992)

 

American Citizen is an Israeli sports drama. The film was written and directed by Eitan Green, and it is about a friendship between an Israeli journalist and a professional basketball player.

 

An American citizen comes to Israel to play professional basketball. He loves the game but is new to the culture and the country.

 

He befriends an Israeli sports journalist who loves basketball as much as he does. Their friendship develops, and he slowly learns about the culture and comes to love the country through the sport.

 

 

31. Blue Chips (1994)

 

Blue Chips (1994)

 

Blue Chips is a sports drama that proposes to expose the dark underbelly of college basketball tournaments. However, it was panned by critics for not delivering what it promised.

 

The performance of Nick Nolte as the head coach was spirited but wasted on a weak plot. Shaquille O’Neal was named the worst new actor at the Razzie Awards.

 

Pete Bell is the head coach of the Western University of LA college basketball team. He is desperate to bring back the glory days of the team but all the talented players are being paid secretly by other colleges.

 

So to beat their game, Bell also indulges in illegal means to get star players with inducements. As the team gets more successful, Bell’s conscience won’t let him rest.

 

 

30. Just Wright (2010)

 

Just Wright (2010)

 

Just Wright is a romantic comedy starring Queen Latifah and Common in the lead roles. The film was successful with the audience, but the critics found the film to be formulaic and predictable.

 

Leslie Wright is a physical therapist who is finding it difficult to find a boyfriend as she often gets friend-zoned.

 

After watching a basketball match, she runs into the star player at a gas station and gets invited to his birthday.

 

Wright’s friend starts to date the player and requests Wright to be his physical therapist. Slowly their friendship strengthens, and love blossoms. Will it lead anywhere?

 

 

29. Home of the Giants (2007)

 

Home of the Giants (2007)

 

Home of the Giants is a sports crime drama. It takes a look at the dark underbelly of fame, sports, and fan worship.

 

The film was given positive reviews by magazines and review websites. Gar is a high school journalist who loves his town’s basketball team, just like everyone in the town.

 

His best friend Matt is the star player in the team and Gar loves and worships him. One day, Matt and the team talk Gar into doing something illegal, and now a drug dealer is stalking the team and Gar.

 

This puts a lot of pressure on Gar to protect his best friend and the team. At the same time, his own future is precarious due to their actions.

 

 

28. O (2001)

 

O (2001)

 

O is a modern retelling of the Shakespearean play, Othello. It is set against the backdrop of high school basketball tournaments.

 

The film was received positively by the audience despite the delayed release. It was scheduled for release in 1999 but was postponed due to the Columbine HighSchool Massacre.

 

The plot of the movie is similar to Othello, with Odin as the star basketball player and Hugo Goulding as the envious and scheming Iago.

 

Desi Bramble is the innocent and supportive Desdemona. The film was a box office hit, and it earned close to $19 million on a budget of $ 5 million.

 

 

27. Teen Wolf (1985)

 

Teen Wolf (1985)

 

Teen Wolf is a supernatural comedy about a high school basketball player who turns into a werewolf due to a family curse.

 

The film stars the teen sensation Michael J. Fox, and it became a superfit film that spawned an animated series and sequels.

 

Scott is a high school basketball player. He often gets bullied by the opposite team player Mike who is also dating the girl of his dreams.

 

One day when he starts to experience weird changes and turns into a werewolf, he expects his life to be over.

 

However, it is just the start of his fame and a new phase of his life. It leads to him getting his girlfriend, his game, and his life back into perspective.

 

 

26. High Flying Bird (2019)

 

High Flying Bird (2019)

 

High Flying Bird is a sports drama about the backdoor negotiations, agents, media, and sports agents that control the game.

 

The film is a Steven Soderbergh film that was shot entirely on an iPhone 8. It was received well by the audience and the critics, who praised the gripping drama.

 

Ray is a sports agent who is at risk of losing his job due to a lockout. This brings the game to a standstill as all games are canceled and no one will get paid until the team owner and media outlets can negotiate a settlement.

 

The deals made by sports agents and agencies along with players could get voided. In such a scenario, Ray plays a dangerous gamble that could unlock a new future or spell disaster for him.

 

 

25. Jumping for Joy (2002)

 

Jumping for Joy (2002)

 

Jumping For Joy is a sports comedy-drama. It is a story set in 1964 when girls did not play basketball or participate in men’s sports.

 

The film was written and directed by Timothy J. Nelson, and it was the debut film of Lindsey Pulsipher, who played Bobbie Dean.

 

Bobbie Dean is a natural talent at basketball. She can teach a few tricks even to the pros of the game.

 

The only problem is that she is a girl and the game is a man’s game, so her talent goes unrecognized.

 

One day, a group of boys mistake her for a boy and invite her to play with them. Watching her talent, they are impressed, and soon, she starts to play at the college level until the truth is revealed that she is a girl.

 

 

24. Wo ist Fred? (2006)

 

Wo ist Fred? (2006)

 

Wo Ist Fred? is a German sports comedy about a fan rivalry. The film was directed by Anno Saul and starred the German superstar Til Schweiger in the titular role.

 

Fred is a basketball fan and plans to propose to his girlfriend at a packed basketball arena. His girlfriend decides to leave the decision to her spoiled brat of a son, Linus.

 

To bribe Linus, Fred tries to catch the basketball. And in his attempt to do so, he pretends to be a disabled man.

 

All goes well until a director observes this and decides to recruit him for a PR commercial. This ignites a rivalry between a disabled fan Ronnie and the faker Fred.

 

 

23. The Mighty Macs (2009)

 

The Mighty Macs (2009)

 

The Mighty Macs is a sports drama about the work put in by the head coach Cathy Rush into training the basketball team at Immaculata college.

 

The film received mixed reviews for having the heart of a great film but a weak and bland script.

 

Cathay Rush is assigned as the head coach for the students of a small catholic college for girls. The college is on the verge of being sold, and Rush needs to train the girls to win matches without any equipment.

 

The film follows the work of the Hall of Fame coach Rush, who coached the girls to win three consecutive AIAW national titles.

 

She led the Mighty Macs to six consecutive final four appearances.

 

 

22. Forget Paris (1995)

 

Forget Paris (1995)

 

Forget Paris is a romantic comedy film co-written, directed, produced, and starring Billy Crystal. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with some feeling that the comedy was bland and sparse.

 

It can be considered a relationship drama set against the backdrop of the NBA. Mickey is an NBA referee.

 

When his father passes away, he goes to Paris to bury his father and meets the love of his life, Ellen.

 

After a brief courtship, they realize their love for each other and get married. However, constantly moving due to his refereeing job takes a toll on their marriage, and all their plans to reconcile seem for naught.

 

 

21. Slam (2008)

 

Slam (2008)

 

Slam is a Chinese sports drama. The film follows the travails of three young high schoolers struggling to win the affection of the girl and their pride before school reopens.

 

Mouth and Monkey are two students getting ready to enter high school. While Mouth is a silent, insecure and shy kid, Monkey is a loudmouth, undersized, energetic kid.

 

They meet their cousin Jason who comes to Beijing and stirs up trouble with the local bullies. These bullies monopolize the basketball court and challenge the three to a match in the Adidas annual 3-on-3 street basketball tournament.

 

 

20. The Winning Season (2009)

 

The Winning Season (2009)

 

The Winning Season is a sports comedy-drama. It is written and directed by Jim Strouse and stars Sam Rockwell.

 

The film received a limited release in the United States and the United Kingdom. Bill Greaves is a washed-up has-been coach.

 

As his life hits an all-time low point, his best friend offers him a job at a girls' high school as a basketball coach.

 

Bill hopes to turn his life around but realizes that it is not easy. Slowly, he teaches the girls to play basketball as they teach him to be a better person and a father.

 

He attempts to mend his relationship with his daughter.

 

 

19. Guarding Eddy (2004)

 

Guarding Eddy (2004)

 

Guarding Eddy is a sports drama like no other. It is inspired by the real-life incident that has been written into a story by Paul David Stewart.

 

The film was directed by Scott McKinsey in his feature film debut. Eddy is an autistic young man with developmental issues.

 

He has a strong desire and dream to play basketball for the Los Angeles Clippers as a professional game.

 

He takes a bus and comes to LA with no money or contacts. After landing in a homeless shelter, he meets a kind lady who runs the shelter.

 

She introduces Eddy to a former basketball player and convinces him to take Eddy under his wing.

 

 

18. Believe In Me (2006)

 

Believe In Me (2006)

 

Believe In Me is a sports drama that is based on the real-life experiences of Jim Keith. The film was based on the novel Brief Garland, written by Harold Keith, the uncle of Jim Keith.

 

The film is set in the early 1960s in Oklahoma, where Clay Driscoll is hired to coach a high school basketball team.

 

After coming to the town, he realizes that the corrupt head of the school board uses his influence to relegate Driscoll to coach the girls' team and appoints his man to the boys' team.

 

With no other alternative, Driscoll and the girls' team learn to work together with discipline and hard work to build a winning team.

 

 

17. Finding Forrester (2000)

 

Finding Forrester (2000)

 

Finding Forrester is a heartwarming tale of friendship. The film was directed by Gus Van Sant and starred Sean Connery as William Forrester.

 

Connery accepted that he portrayed the character based on J. D. Salinger’s life. Jamal Wallace is seen playing basketball with his friends in his neighborhood park.

 

After a dare from them, Jamal enters the apartment of the reclusive Mr. Forrester. Soon, an unlikely friendship forms between them, and Forrester helps Jamal with his writing.

 

Meanwhile, Jamal earns a Basketball scholarship to study at a prestigious University. However, Jamal’s professor gets inquisitive about the rapid improvement in Jamal’s work and blames him for plagiarism, and threatens to revoke his basketball scholarship.

 

 

16. Go Man Go (1954)

 

Go Man Go (1954)

 

Go Man Go is a sports drama about the world-famous basketball team, The Harlem Globetrotters. The film tracks their genesis, humble early days, and their rise to fame.

 

Most of the Globetrotters team members star in the film as themselves, with Dana Clark as Abe Saperstein and Sydney Poitier as Inman Jackson.

 

The film was written and produced by Alfred Palca. He was one of the Hollywood writers that were blacklisted by the FBI and the House UnAmerican Committee.

 

Palca could not release the film in his own name, so he gave writing credit to one of his cousins, Arnold Becker, and the producing credits to Anton Leader.

 

 

15. Space Jam (1996)

 

Space Jam (1996)

 

Space Jam is a live-action /animated sports comedy. The film combined the animated characters from Warner Bros’ The Looney Toons show and the live-action characters like Michale Jordan, Bill Murray, Wayne Knight, etc.

 

The film was criticized by a few critics for mixing the two worlds but audiences loved the film. A squad of aliens, including The Martian from Looney Toons, plots a coup to get their alien friends into this world and take over Looney Toons.

 

They challenge Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and all the toons to a match of basketball. Secretly, the Martians steal the skills of NBA players like Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and the group.

 

So in retaliation, Bugs Bunny pulls Michael Jordan into the Looney Toons World to win the basketball match.

 

 

14. Above the Rim (1994)

 

Above the Rim (1994)

 

Above The Rim is a sports crime drama starring Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, and Leon. It is the directorial debut of Jeff Pollack.

 

The film was a bit with the audience appreciating the plot. The critics loved the performances, especially that of Tupac Shakur.

 

Kyle is a young high school basketball player. He is hoping to get a scholarship to play basketball for Georgetown University.

 

As he plays with his neighborhood team, his good-natured coach, Mike Rollins, tells him about his plan to bring Shep to coach them.

 

Initially, Kyle thinks Shep is merely the security guard at the school, but later finds out that Shep was a star basketball player in his young days, and Birdie, the local drug dealer and thug is his brother.

 

 

13. The Pistol: The Birth Of A Legend (1991)

 

The Pistol: The Birth Of A Legend (1991)

 

The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend is a biographical sports film about the initial years of Pete Maravich.

 

The film is an inspirational story that has a message of Joie de Vivre and tells us about the simple beginnings of a basketball player who grew up to be Pistol Pete.

 

Pete Maravich receives training from his father, Press Maravich, on the right attitude for the game and a series of drills and training routines to keep him sharp and alert.

 

Maravich joined the D. W. Daniel High School varsity team as an eighth grader but was kept on the bench for ten games before he got to play.

 

Maravich’s unusual style of game and his approach to the game caused his coach to doubt his skill. However, Pistol Pete shot hoops from his hip, earning the nickname Pistol.

 

 

12. Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975)

 

Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975)

 

Cornbread, Earl and Me is a drama about a promising life that was cut short. The film stars the NBA player Jamaal Wilkes as Cornbread.

 

Nathaniel Cornbread Hamilton is an African American youth with a promising future. He is a star basketball player who is set to join university with a basketball scholarship.

 

He is the hero of his neighborhood and an inspiration to all. His young friends Earl and Wilford play street basketball at a nearby park and get caught in the rain.

 

As they plan to run back home, Cornbread is shot dead. The film is about the fallout.

 

 

11. Coach Carter (2005)

 

Coach Carter (2005)

 

Coach Carter is a biographical sports drama that depicts the events that took place at Richmond High School in their basketball team.

 

The film was a hit, with the audience loving the inspirational tale and the efforts of the coach. However, the critics called the film formulaic, despite them being true life events.

 

Coach Carter is appointed the head basketball coach at Richmond high school to train the Richmond Oilers. However, he finds the players are all rude, indisciplined, and lacking proper grades.

 

He immediately suspends the entire team and makes them sign the contract. It stipulates that they maintain a minimum 2.3-grade average and sufficient attendance.

 

Although the entire community is shocked, they slowly come around and see the benefit of the decision.

 

 

10. Hustle (2022)

 

Hustle (2022)

 

Hustle is a sports drama about the NBA scouts who draft talented players from around the world. The film was released on Netflix in June 2022 and has garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences.

 

The performance of Adam Sandler as the scout has received special praise. Stanley is the international scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, and his frequent travel has affected his family life.

 

To salvage his marriage, Stanley takes up the job as assistant coach to stay closer to family, but Rex, the co-owner, is against Stanley and demotes him back to a scout.

 

On his trip to Spain, he discovers a talented player Bo Cruz with a difficult past of jail time.

 

With tremendous support from Stanley, his family, and friends, Bo Cruz proves his talent despite the hardship created by Rex.

 

 

9. White Men Can't Jump (1992)

 

White Men Can't Jump (1992)

 

White Men Can’t Jump is a sports comedy about a pair of streetball hustlers. The film received good reviews from critics, calling it a fresh take on sports comedy with a clever script.

 

The film is not just a basketball movie but a fun entertainer. Billy and Sydney are two basketball hustlers who earn money in street ball games.

 

Billy’s girlfriend is against this job, but Billy persists. He also has a gambling debt that is a constant sword hanging over his head.

 

On the other hand, Sydney is stuck in an unsafe neighborhood and wants a better life for himself and his girlfriend.

 

They both team up to hustle and make money while also helping each other.

 

 

8. One On One (1977)

 

One On One (1977)

 

One on One is a sports drama that has a lot of heart. The film was written by Robby Benson and his father Jerry Segal.

 

The film received positive and good reviews from critics who praised the lead character for his naivete that hides a good moral backbone.

 

Henry Steele is a basketball player from a small town who comes to the Western University of Los Angeles on a basketball scholarship.

 

He hopes to impress his coach with his improvising gameplay, but his coach is not impressed. He insists on tying down Steele’s talent with a strict system.

 

He even benches the player and deals out harsh punishments hoping to force him to forfeit his four-year scholarship.

 

A lucky break comes when the star player is injured in a losing match, which forces the coach to send Steele out to play.

 

Defying the coach’s orders, Steele shoots the ball and wins the match for the team.

 

 

7. He Got Game (1998)

 

He Got Game (1998)

 

He Got Game is a Spike Lee movie about a father who has to convince his son to take up the basketball program at “Big State”, one of the top universities.

 

The film boasts top acting from Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, and Rosario Dawson. Jake is in prison for murdering his wife, and his son holds deep resentment toward him.

 

The governor of the state offers a deal to Jake to convince his son, a star basketball talent, to join the Big State University’s basketball program.

 

In exchange, the governor will give him a reduced prison sentence. Jake tries his best to convince the son that the program is beneficial for him.

 

He also has a one-on-one match with a bet that he should go to BigState if he loses.

 

 

6. Glory Road (2006)

 

Glory Road (2006)

 

Glory Road is a biographical sports drama. It is about the events leading up to the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Championship.

 

Glory Road is based on the novel of the same name written by Don Haskins and Daniel Wetzel. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but the audience made the film a hit with approximate earnings of $43 million.

 

Don Haskins is appointed as the head coach of Texas Western College, which has an all-black starting line-up for their basketball matches.

 

They have to contend with discrimination, racial tensions, and hurdles of student-athletes at every step before they can reach the finals.

 

 

5. Love & Basketball (2000)

 

Love & Basketball (2000)

 

Love & Basketball is a cult classic film about a romance that centers around basketball. The film received favorable reviews from critics who praised the performance of Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan as the lead pair.

 

The audience also gave it a thumbs Up. Quincy McCall and Monica Wright are neighbors who love basketball with a passion.

 

Since childhood, they have had a fierce attraction toward each other that is complimented by their talent in basketball.

 

However, where Quincy has a relatively easy path towards achieving his dream, Monica has to struggle with gender stereotypes, lack of opportunities, and her attraction for Quincy.

 

As they each stumble through life being together and apart, they learn and grow. They finally get their happy ending.

 

 

4. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

 

The Basketball Diaries (1995)

 

The Basketball Diaries is a biographical drama about the writer Jim Carroll. The film is inspired by a novel of the same name, written by Jim Carroll about his failed childhood dream of becoming a basketball player.

 

The film received mixed reviews as critics felt that the plot is not clear about the message it wants to send.

 

Jim Carroll was a talented basketball player with bright prospects. His dreams slowly turn to naught as Carroll develops an unhealthy addiction to heroin.

 

His life and future are jeopardized. The film courted controversy and was named in multiple lawsuits after the school shootings in Heath High School and Columbine High School.

 

The dream sequence where Carroll dreams of shooting six of his schoolmates was eerily similar to those events.

 

 

3. Hoosiers (1986)

 

Hoosiers (1986)

 

Hoosiers is a biographical sports drama about the rise to fame of the Milan High School team who won the 1954 state championship.

 

The film was critically acclaimed for the performances of the cast and the screenplay. It earned Academy Award nominations for Dennis Hopper and the music score by Jerry Goldsmith.

 

In the rural town of Hickory, the school principal hires Norman Dale as the teacher of civics, history, and head coach of the basketball team.

 

The previous coach was highly regarded but passed away, leading the star player to exit the game. Dale has a questionable history in coaching teams, and his techniques also raise doubts in the mind of the town people.

 

Yet, with the help of a local drunk who loves basketball, Dale coaches the team to the finals and victory.

 

 

2. Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault (1996)

 

Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault (1996)

 

Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault is a television movie made for HBO by Eric La Salle and starred Don Cheadle in the titular role.

 

The film is a biographical sports drama about the life of Earl Manigault and the 25th anniversary of the tournament named after him.

 

Earl Manigault was a highly talented basketball player in his high school years. However, he roamed with the wrong crowd and became addicted to drugs.

 

He was expelled by the school and had trouble in his college years as well. Yet, Manigault could not shake off the addiction.

 

He was a streetball player who played with many of the greatest basketball talents of that age, and they considered him the greatest player of all time.

 

In his later years, Manigault returned to campaign against drugs and encouraged youth to live clean lives.

 

 

1. Hoop Dreams (1994)

 

Hoop Dreams (1994)

 

Hoop Dreams is a sports documentary about two inner-city Chicago youth who dream of an NBA career but are bogged down by financial troubles and lack of opportunities.

 

The film was originally intended as a 30-minute PBS documentary. However, in the end, the makers had five years' worth of filming.

 

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won the best documentary award with praise from critics and audiences.

 

It was nominated for several other awards and an Academy Award as well. The documentary follows the struggles and progress of William Gates and Arthur Agee.

 

They come from poor families and face financial hardships, lack of sponsorship, the weight of expectations, and more. By the end of the documentary, we see Gates and Agee have entered colleges and are still hoping to be drafted into the NBA.

 

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