It’s March, and something major is happening: basketball. To celebrate the start of the hugely popular NCAA college basketball tournament, we here at Netflix DVD are spotlighting some of the best movies that celebrate the sport.
No matter whether your team picks are winning or losing, a great basketball movie is just a red envelope away with our #DVDMadness collection.
When It’s More Than Just Basketball
Basketball is more than just a sport. For many, basketball empowers communities, bridges divides, and brings friends and family together. The following basketball movies—some serious and some silly—touch on some of the best parts of basketball.
This movie proves that basketball is often more than just playing the game. In the pursuit of their professional basketball careers, Monica and Quincy, who have known each other for years, find each other through the game. In a unique format that basketball lovers will surely appreciate, the love story is told through four quarters.
Directed by Tim Chambers, The Mighty Macs is the story of Cathy Rush, a woman who served as the head women’s basketball coach at Immaculata College, an all-girls Catholic college. The movie explores the difficulties of women’s basketball, and what it takes to win a national championship.
It’s not often a fan gets to replace a head coach, no matter how terrible the coach, but in the movie Eddie, a fan of the game does just that. Starring the always-wonderful Whoopi Goldberg, who plays the dedicated New York Knicks fan Edwina “Eddie” Franklin, Eddie is a movie for basketball lovers who love their team but hate the coach.
No list of basketball movies is complete without the inclusion of Space Jam! Played by basketball legend Michael Jordan, “The Tune Squad” team and its cast of Looney Tune characters are endearing and cherished by nearly every 90s kid who loved space and basketball. (For a nostalgia kick, check out the original Space Jam website.)
The Pistol is the story of an eighth grader Pete Maravich, whose love for basketball transcends adversity in the face of stereotypes of 1950s America. It is considered the 19th best basketball movie of all time by Complex, and is a recommended family film by a number of Christian clubs.
With Gene Hackman playing Norman Dale, the new coach of an Indiana high school basketball team, it’s no surprise this movie became a basketball hit. Demonstrating the importance of dedication and second chances, this movie is a must-watch for all basketball lovers.
Taking a job coaching a junior high school team wasn’t coach Roy McCormick’s dream, but it’s where he ended up after getting into trouble after an important basketball game. The new job is a test of patience and, for those who have coached basketball, a solid reminder that coaching is more than just barking orders.
Starring the comedic Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, and Andre 3000, this team’s story of struggle is lighthearted affair full of silly remarks and old-school basketball outfits.
To resolve the struggle of a girls’ basketball team, the school principal relies on his friend, Bill—a dishwasher with a complicated relationship with his teenage daughter—to coach the girls’ team and bring them to a win.
With the girls’ basketball program on the chopping block, it is up to the new coach, played by Tony Todd, to show the school principal that the Lady Cavaliers high school basketball team is worth saving.
It’s Just About The Game
Basketball is a sport that has a varied cast of real-life heroes and incredible feats that don’t need any embellishing by a movie. These documentaries and inspired true stories about basketball’s greatest players, coaches, and teams are sure to keep you pumped for the season.
Paul Westhead, former head coach at the University of Oregon’s women’s basketball team and Loyola Marymount University, is featured in this powerful documentary. It explores his unique coaching style, as well as his run-and-gun playing method called “The System.”
Directed by Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, this documentary explores the lives of eight top high school basketball players as they prepare to compete in the Elite 24 all-star game. It’s also been lauded for its soundtrack—which isn’t a surprise, given the roots of its director.
This documentary explores the story of Reggie Miller, who became a pariah among New York Knicks fans for scoring eight winning points in the last nine seconds against the Indiana Pacers.
Basketball is known for its dizzying array of success stories. But sometimes, tragedy strikes. Without Bias explores the death of Len Bias from a cocaine overdose, a star player for the University of Maryland who went on to be picked second in the NBA draft.
Exploring the Roosevelt Roughriders girls’ basketball team, this documentary focuses on Darnellia Russell, a star player, and coach Bill Resler. The documentary explores the difficulties of race, gender, and life’s day-to-day twists in pursuit of basketball dreams that both coaches and players face.
Exploring the nuance of basketball and civil rights in historically black colleges, narrator Samuel L. Jackson and Wynton Marsalis, along with director Dan Klores, explore how the two topics intertwine. The documentary includes interviews with popular basketball players Willis Reed and Dick Barnett.
What started off as a short film for PBS became a renowned documentary that won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie follows the lives of William Gates and Arthur Agee as they progress through St. Joseph's High School talented basketball team. Through these two teens, the film explores a variety of social topics.
Basketball is often all-or-nothing. No team knows that truth more than the NC State Wolfpack. Coach Jim Valvano kept the team in the running by winning nine games in a row, even in the face of all-stars such as Michael Jordan and Ralph Sampson.
In the midst of the tumultuous 80s, John Wooden turned the UCLA basketball program into a force to be reckoned with. With commentary from former team members, this documentary explores and captures the renewed energy that Wooden fostered with UCLA.
Samuel L. Jackson is featured in another basketball movie as he plays Coach Ken Carter. In this true story, Coach Carter puts academics above all else, even going as far as benching the whole team for poor academic performance. This film explores both the controversial decision and the team’s reactions.
There’s quite a number of fantastic basketball movies you should watch! Click below to add them to your queue today.