Movies

Countdown to Gold: The best sports movies to watch ahead of the Olympics

It's a (movie) marathon!
The Iron Claw

As the excitement for the 2024 Olympics reaches a fever pitch, there’s no better way to get into the spirit than by indulging in some of the best sports movies ever made. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just love a good underdog story, these cinematic gems will have you cheering, laughing, and maybe even shedding a tear. And what better way to get into the Olympic spirit than by binging on some of the greatest sports movies ever made?

So, grab your popcorn, settle into your favourite spot on the couch, and get ready to be swept away by these nine cinematic gems that celebrate the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. From heartwarming underdog tales to adrenaline-fueled adventures, there’s something here for everyone.

The Best Sports Movies to Stream in Australia

challengers movie
Challengers premiered in April 2024.

01

Challengers (2024)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino and featuring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist, Challengers serves up a compelling blend of romance and sports drama. The film chronicles the intricate love triangle spanning thirteen years, focusing on Zendaya’s character, an ex-tennis star turned coach, torn between her passionate yet struggling ex-boyfriend (O’Connor) and her ambitious tennis champion husband (Faist). As tensions simmer and emotions run high, their intertwined journeys culminate in a high-stakes showdown at the ATP Challenger Tour, where personal ambitions collide with the pursuit of athletic glory.

Available to rent via Prime Video

the iron claw
Harris Dickinson, Zac Efron, Stanley Simons and Jeremy Allen White in The Iron Claw

02

The Iron Claw (2023)

The Iron Claw, a gripping 2023 biographical sports drama by Sean Durkin, delves into the tumultuous world of the Von Erich family, renowned professional wrestlers haunted by tragedy. Led by Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany), the film traces the poignant journey of his sons, portrayed by Zac Efron (Kevin Von Erich), Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, and others, as they navigate the relentless pressures of their father’s legacy from 1979 through the early 1990s. Named after their iconic in-ring maneuver, the “iron claw,” the film captures the emotional highs and devastating lows as the Von Erichs strive to fulfill their destined paths amidst the unforgiving world of wrestling.

Available to rent via Prime Video

next goal wins
Next Goal Wins is a sports comedy-drama directed by Taika Waititi.

03

Next Goal Wins (2023)

Next Goal Wins, the 2023 sports comedy-drama directed by Taika Waititi, brings to life the inspiring true story of Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen’s extraordinary journey. Michael Fassbender stars as Rongen, determined to transform the American Samoa national football team, often dubbed the underdogs of soccer, into a formidable force worthy of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Alongside a talented ensemble including Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, and Elisabeth Moss, the film captures Rongen’s unorthodox methods, heartfelt camaraderie, and the sheer resilience of a team striving against all odds to redefine their destiny on the world stage.

Available to stream via Disney+

Bend it Like Bekham
Caught between her traditional Indian family’s expectations and her passion for football, Jess navigates cultural clashes and societal norms to pursue her dreams.

04

Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Bend It Like Beckham, the beloved 2002 British sports comedy-drama, directed by Gurinder Chadha, follows the aspirations of Jess Bhamra, played by Parminder Nagra. Caught between her traditional Indian family’s expectations and her passion for football, Jess navigates cultural clashes and societal norms to pursue her dreams. With the guidance of her coach (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and against the backdrop of a supportive friendship with Juliette Paxton, played by Keira Knightley, Jess learns to defy stereotypes and challenge conventions.

Available to rent via Prime Video

Cool runnings
Cool Runnings is loosely based on the debut of the Jamaican national bobsleigh team at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

05

Cool Runnings (1993)

Cool Runnings, the iconic 1993 American sports comedy directed by Jon Turteltaub, takes audiences on a thrilling ride inspired by true events. The film centres on former Olympian Irving Blitzer, played by the late John Candy, who coaches a determined but inexperienced Jamaican bobsleigh team aiming to make history at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Led by the charismatic sprinter Derice Bannock, portrayed by Leon Robinson, the team’s journey from sunny Jamaica to the icy slopes of Calgary is filled with hilarious mishaps, heartfelt camaraderie, and the unwavering spirit of underdogs defying the odds.

Available to stream via Disney+

Eddie the Eagle.
Is Eddie the Eagle movie a true story?“It’s about 80% true and I think they did an excellent job with the film,” Eddie said.

06

Eddie the Eagle (2016)

This heartwarming 2016 biographical sports comedy-drama directed by Dexter Fletcher, tells the inspiring story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards. Played by Taron Egerton, Eddie defies all odds as he becomes the first British ski jumper to compete in the Olympics since 1928, capturing the world’s imagination with his fearless determination and infectious optimism. Alongside a stellar cast including Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Iris Berben, and Jim Broadbent, the film premiered to acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Available to stream via Disney+

I, Tonya.
I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, and Sebastian Stan.

07

I, Tonya (2018)

I, Tonya, dives deep into the tumultuous life of figure skater Tonya Harding. Played by Margot Robbie, Harding’s journey is depicted through a lens of contradictory truths and darkly comedic interviews that challenge viewers to discern fact from fiction. The film casts a critical eye on Harding’s connection to the infamous 1994 assault on her rival Nancy Kerrigan, presenting her as both protagonist and unreliable narrator alongside her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, portrayed by Sebastian Stan. Allison Janney shines as Harding’s tough-as-nails mother, LaVona Golden, in a narrative that confronts societal perceptions and reclaims Harding’s story amidst controversy and complex personal struggles.

Available to rent via Prime Video

Chariots of Fire
The film is based on the true story of two British athletes in the 1924 Olympics.

08

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire, the acclaimed 1981 British historical sports drama directed by Hugh Hudson, immortalizes the inspiring true story of two remarkable athletes at the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross stars as Harold Abrahams, an English sprinter driven by a quest to overcome societal prejudice, while Ian Charleson portrays Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian sprinter who competes for the glory of God. Their paths intersect in a narrative rich with themes of faith, determination, and the pursuit of excellence against the backdrop of cultural and religious tensions. Supported by a stellar ensemble including Nigel Havers, Ian Holm, and John Gielgud, the film’s poignant portrayal captures the enduring spirit of triumph and personal conviction that resonates through generations.

Available to stream via Disney+

Blades of Glory
After being stripped of their medals and banned from single-men events, two Olympics ice skaters decide to team up and compete as an all-male pair.

09

Blades of Glory (2007)

Blades of Glory, the uproarious 2007 American sports comedy directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, spins a tale of redemption and hilarity in the world of figure skating. Starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as the unlikely duo of banned figure skaters, the film follows their uproarious journey to team up and compete again after discovering a loophole in the rules. With a supporting cast that includes Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, William Fichtner, Jenna Fischer, and Craig T. Nelson, Blades of Glory delivers a whirlwind of absurdity, sharp wit, and dazzling performances on and off the ice.

Available to stream via Binge

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