8 sports films worth watching on Netflix right now: from 'I, Tonya' to 'Happy Gilmore'
If you're looking for a film or documentary with plenty of action, here are our recommendations
Whether it's the inspiring true story of an athlete overcoming the odds or just a thrilling documentary that offers a look behind the scenes, there's no denying the power of a great sports film.
So, with that in mind, here are eight of the best you can stream on Netflix in the Mena region right now.
'I, Tonya' (2017)
This film is a biographical black comedy based on the rise and fall of American figure skater Tonya Harding. Starring Margot Robbie as the disgraced athlete, the movie charts Harding's rise in the figure skating world as she becomes the first American to complete a triple axel, to her eventual downfall due to her role in the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics. Robbie and Allison Janney (who plays Harding's abusive mother) were both nominated for a number of awards for their performances.
This award-winning documentary follows director and cyclist Bryan Fogel and Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov as they show how to evade detection when taking performance-enhancing drugs. That is only the start of the story, however, as it features a major twist. We won't spoil it for you, though. Suffice it to say, it's well worth watching, as the documentary won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 2018 Academy Awards.
This biographical drama follows the story of Indian amateur wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat (played by Aamir Khan), who is disappointed at having to give up the sport after failing to win a medal for his home country. He vows he will teach his future son to pick up the sport and succeed where he failed. However, he instead ends up with four daughters and gives up hope. After his two eldest come home one day after beating up two boys for making derogatory comments, he sees their potential. Despite societal stigmas and backlash from villagers, he goes on to train them for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Dangal won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor at the Filmfare Awards.
'Team Foxcatcher' (2016)
The documentary tells the true story of millionaire John du Pont and the downward spiral that led to him murdering Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz in 1996. The film focuses on how du Pont built a world-class training facility in his home, to support the US Wrestling team ahead of the 1996 Summer Olympics, and the interactions of du Pont and the team members and coaches involved. It's suggested that jealousy is what caused du Pont to kill Schultz, although no motive was ever given. The film uses archival clips, news broadcasts and fresh interviews to offer new insight into the tragic incident.
'Mary Kom' (2014)
The biopic tells the inspiring story of Indian boxer Mary Kom, who is played by Priyanka Chopra. It chronicles her early interest in boxing leading up to her journey to the 2008 World Boxing Championships, while also detailing the hardships and obstacles she had to overcome along the way. Mary Kom was well-received and nominated for Best Film and Chopra for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards in India.
Formula One fans will enjoy this film that centres on drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, the biopic takes a closer look at their intense rivalry on the circuit as well as their personal lives, culminating with the end of the 1976 racing season and their careers after racing. The film was nominated for a Bafta for Outstanding British Film.
'Chak De! India' (2007)
Shah Rukh Khan stars in this fictional Bollywood film inspired by the 2002 Indian women's national field hockey team. Khan plays Kabir Khan, a former captain of the men's field hockey team, who is blamed for the country's loss to Pakistan in a tournament after failing to score the winning goal. Years later, he's given a chance to redeem himself as the coach of the women's field hockey team. The film was so influential that its title track also doubles as a sports anthem in the country and is played at numerous sporting events today.
'Happy Gilmore' (1996)
The cult comedy features Adam Sandler as Happy Gilmore, an aspiring professional hockey player who lacks any on-ice skills but has a powerful slapshot. When his grandmother learns she might lose her home over unpaid taxes, he joins a golf tournament to try and win enough money to save her. Even though he's got a good swing, he's terrible at putting and he lacks golf etiquette, which makes the film even more entertaining. Pro golfer Rory McIlroy has stated that he's a big fan of the film.
Updated: July 24, 2020 02:27 PM