15 Best Basketball Movies Of All Time

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by

We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.

What are the benefits of watching a movie? Yeah, there is certainly entertainment. It also gives you relief from a stressful day to day life. Meanwhile, there is a message delivered to you. They pass the simple little truths of life to you. That plays a big part in your life than what you’d expected.

There is almost everyone who wants to watch something that somehow relates to their life. Even if that means you are a basketball lover, you probably wish to see the transformation of your hero from an ordinary guy to a chosen one and all in your eyes. These movies about basketball should motivate you to do greater things shortly. Your perception of the game will be changed forever. It would help if you realized the true value of being yourself.

Over the decades, we have been really blessed with a number of sumptuous basketball movies. Therefore, we have enlisted some movies that will always have a special place in our hearts. So, check out all our picks in this basketball movies list and let us know which one we forgot to mention here. Here goes the list of best basketball movies of all time and also, don’t call yourself a basketball freak if you have not watched any.

1. Hoosiers

Directed by: David Anspaugh
Written by: Angelo Pizzo
Acting: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Running time: 115 minutes
Distributed by: Orion pictures
Release: November 14, 1986

In 1986 David Anspaugh directed “Hoosiers” the sports film. The story narrates how a small town basketball team Indiana high school wins the state championship. Actually, in real life Milan high school team won the 1954 state championship. The movie is based on those events. The details, the characters, excellent performances made this movie special. Chicago Sun-times critic Roger Elbert commented then “ it’s a movie that is all heart”.

2. Hoop Dreams

Directed by: Steve James, Frederick Marx
Acting By: William Gates, Arthur Agee
Languages: English
Running time: 170 minutes
Distributed by: Fine line Features
Release: October 14, 1994

Critics say that it is one of the greatest documentary films of all time. Directed by Steve James and produced by James, Marx and Peter Gilbert. It tells the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dreams to play as a professional basketball player.

3. White Men Can’t Jump

Directed by: Ron Shelton
Written by: Ron Shelton
Acting: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Running time: 115 minutes
Distributed by: 20th Century, Fox
Release: March 27, 1992

A movie about a white guy and a black one who cons some of them and is conned by the others. Clearer script and charismatic leads were praised.

4. Blue Chips

Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: Ron Shelton
Acting: Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell, Ed O’Neill, Alfre Woodard, Shaquille O’Neal
Languages: English
Running time: 108 minutes
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release: February 18, 1994

An American basketball drama film. It starred many star Basketball characteristics.

5. Glory Road

Directed by: James Gartner
produced by:
Jerry Bruckheimer
Josh Lucas, Derck luke, Jon Voight
Running time:
106 minutes
Distributed by:
Buena Vista Pictures
January 13,2006

If you talk about basketball movies based on true stories, this movie glory road tops the chart for sure. Yeah, Based on a true story to the events that led to 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Championship. A coach inspired his underdog team to win the battle.

6. He Got Game

Directed by: Spike Lee
produced by: Jon Kilik
Acting: Denzel Washington, Ray Allen
Languages: English
Running time: 136 minutes
Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures
Release: May 1,1998

An American sports drama film that follows the dynamic father and son relationship. The chemistry, the love, and care of a father for his son have been expressed so splendidly.

7. Love and Basketball

Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Written by: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Acting: Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Alfre Woodard
Languages: English
Running time: 124 minutes
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Release: April 21, 2000

Love, romance and basketball all in one film. While two athletes love each other and at the same time they try to make a career out of the game.

8. The Basketball Diaries

Directed by: Scott Kalvert
Written by: Jim Carroll(novel), Bryan Goluboff(screenplay)
Acting: Leonardo Dicaprio, Bruno Kirby, Lorraine Bracco, Jams Madio, Emie Hudson
Languages: English
Running time: 104 minutes
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Release: January 27, 1995

A basketball movie with drug addiction, sexual abuse and violence. The scene when Jim locked out and his mother chained him still hurts me badly.

9. Space jam

Directed by: Joe Pytka
Written by: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick, Timothy harris, Herschel Weingrod
Acting: Michael Jordan. Billy West, Wayne Knight
Languages: English, French
Running time: 88 minutes
Distributed by: Warner Bros, Family Entertainment
Release: November 15, 1996

An alternate history of what happened between Michael Jordan’s initial retirement from the NBA and then his comeback. The combination of the greatest NBA superstar with cartoon legends makes it hard to resist.

10. Coach Carter

Directed by: Thomas Carter
Written by: Mark Schwahn
Acting: Samuel L Jackson, Rob Brown, Ashanti
Languages: English
Running time: 136 minutes
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release: January 14, 2005

Thomas Carter directed this American biographical sports drama film. The story narrates how the coach learns about his athletes' characteristics and quickly understands that they are in dire need of discipline both in the academic and sports sections.

11. Semi Pro

Directed by: Kent Alterman
Written by: Scot Armstrong
Acting: Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Andre Benjamin
Languages: English
Running time: 92 minutes
Distributed by: New Line cinema
Release: February 19, 2008

You can fulfill your long time dream if you have the courage to face the tough situation and move on after that. This is what Jackie Moon’s team showed us by plotting this film where they had the worst team in the league. But they eventually overcame everything and won the title.

12. The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

Directed by: Gilbert Moses
Written by: David Dashev, Gary Stromberg, Jaison Starkes
Acting: Julius Erving, Jonathan Winters, Stockard Channing
Languages: English, French
Running time: 102 minutes
Distributed by: United Artists
Release: November 6, 1979

Believe me, before watching this movie, I too was not 100% sure whether I will be able to take some lesion from it or not. But when I was done with the film, thereafter, my whole conception changed. A struggling basketball team was looking forward to finding some solutions. But they could not find any. Then an astrologer told a water boy/ ball boy to match players to his basketball team’s star, whose sign was Pisces.

13. Once Brothers

Directed by: Michael Tolajian
Written by: Michael Tolajian
Acting: Viade Divac ( narrator)
Languages: English, Serbo-croatian
Music Composed by: Joel Goodman
Release: October 12, 2010

A film described what the Yugoslavian civil war did to the friendship, relation among various individuals, and the great Yugoslavia national basketball team particularly.

14. The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend

Directed By: Frank C Schroder
Written by: Darrel Campbell
Acting: Tom Lester, Millie Perkins, Boots Garland, Adam Guier
Release: January 17, 1991
Music: Brent Havens
Language: English
Running Time: 104 minutes

Oops! How can I forget this biographical film of professional basketball player Pete Maravich? His whole life was about basketball. It was only his dad who had faith in him. The movie is one of the best inspirational basketball movie, we must recommend it.

15. Above The Rim

Directed by: Jeff Pollack
Produced by: James D Brubaker
Acting: Duane Martin, Leon, Tupac Shakur
Languages: English
Running time: 96 minutes
Distributed by: Newline Cinema
Release: March 23, 1994

How loyalties tear a high school basketball star to a drug dealer is shown here. Criminals exploit the athletes in many ways. Good storyline indeed, and you won’t regret it after watching the movie.

Wrapping Up

Relax, have a good time, watch and enjoy these greatest basketball movies of all time. In all films mentioned above, you will find too many motivational lessons to digest. How so called normal people like us can become superheroes simply by working hard, a great awareness of the game, and remaining persistent in reaching new heights, you gotta see this for sure.

Maybe all these little things are enough to change you as a person and a player. It can be the start of something new, something different than ever before. We wish you very good luck.

Related Articles: