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Maidaan: 7 inspiring sports movies about the ultimate underdogs

Ajay Devgn’s highly anticipated biographical sports drama is releasing in theatres on April 10. If you are a fan of sports dramas, we have curated a list of must-watch titles for today’s episode

Maidaan: 7 inspiring sports movies about the ultimate underdogs

List hai toh hit hai

Last Updated: 09.55 PM, Apr 09, 2024


After being stuck in production limbo for a few years, Ajay Devgn’s highly anticipated biographical sports drama Maidaan is finally releasing in theatres on April 10. The film explores the life of visionary Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim, a former football player who coached the Indian national team between 1950 and 1963. If you are a fan of sports dramas, we have curated a list of must-watch titles for today’s episode of the List Hai Toh Hit Hai podcast.


Eddie the Eagle - Disney+ Hotstar

The 2016 Dexter Fletcher film Eddie the Eagle depicts the true story of Michael Edwards, nicknamed Eddie the Eagle. Edwards represented Britain in the 1988 Winter Olympics in ski jumping, a competition that is not usually represented by British athletes. The movie follows Edwards, an amateur ski jumper, who earned a spot at the Olympics because he was the only participant from the UK. The film does not feature a story about an underdog overachieving, instead, it is a story with heart and a sense of adventure. It received critical acclaim, with Taron Egerton deftly starring as Eddie, and Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken pulling powerful supporting roles.

Ford v Ferrari - Disney+ Hotstar

The 2019 film Ford v Ferrari tells the story of how Ford, under the guidance of two motorsport pioneers Ken Miles and Caroll Shelby, attempted to destabilise Ferrari’s dominance at the legendary racing event Le Mans. Christian Bale plays the role of Ken Miles while Matt Damon plays Carroll Shelby. The film explores Miles and Shelby’s race against time to build a Ford vehicle capable of challenging the Ferrari. The film is directed by James Mangold, who is best known for helming acclaimed films such as Walk the Line and Logan.

Moneyball - Netflix

The 2011 film Moneyball tells the true story of how a man named Billy Beane transformed the traditional approach to building a professional sports team with a limited budget and an innovative sabermetric system to scout players. Hollywood star Brad Pitt slips into the role of Beane, who led the Oakland Athletics Baseball team to a remarkable 20-game winning streak, showcasing the effectiveness of his unconventional methods. His story of challenging the status quo to achieve success has inspired professional sports teams worldwide, including European football clubs such as FC Porto and Brentford, making the movie a compelling portrayal of Beane's journey. The film is directed by Bennett Miller and also stars Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Chris Pratt in supporting roles.

Warrior - OTTplay Premium

Warrior, directed by Gavin O’Conner is arguably one of the most underrated films of the 21st century. It deserves to be put on the same pedestal as iconic sports films such as Sylvester Stallone's Academy Award-winning film Rocky. Boasting a supremely talented cast that includes Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, and a special cameo from WWE legend and Olympic Gold medalist Kurt Angle, the film delivers intense performances and gripping storytelling. The plot, which centres around a dysfunctional family and two brothers competing in the same MMA tournament, received widespread critical acclaim, despite a modest box office run. Its critical success even led to an unfortunately underwhelming Bollywood remake titled Brothers, starring Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra.

Remember the Titans - Disney+ Hotstar

The 2000 film Remember the Titans stars Hollywood legend Denzel Washington in the lead, who delivers one of his career-best performances. However, the film isn't just recognised for Washington's overarching presence; it is cherished for its poignant portrayal of real-life coach Herman Boone. The film delves into Boone's journey as a black coach tasked with leading a high school American football team during the integration of black and white students in 1971 Virginia, USA. Even two decades after its release, the movie continues to be a beloved classic among fans. Directed by Boaz Yakin, the film also stars Will Patton, Donald Faison, and Nicole Ari Parker in pivotal roles.

Chak De! India - Amazon Prime Video

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of a disgraced former hockey player, who is tasked with coaching the Indian women’s hockey team. The narrative follows the coach’s attempts to unite a team of disillusioned young women in their quest for glory. Directed by Shimit Amin, the film offers a gripping story and scintillating sporting action and is considered one of the most promising Indian sports films ever.

The Damned United - Amazon Prime Video

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane named Brian Clough as the greatest manager he’s played under, despite Keane achieving unprecedented success under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Keane's statement speaks volumes of Clough’s greatness, considering Sir Alex is the most successful British manager of all time. This biographical sports drama The Damned United chronicles Clough's remarkable journey of guiding relative minnows Derby County to the pinnacle of English football, his fierce rivalry with Leeds United and their manager Don Revie, and his turbulent tenure as Revie's successor at Leeds United. The film provides a captivating glimpse into Clough’s career, and what motivated him to eventually guide Nottingham Forest to two historic European Cups. Michael Sheen plays the role of the legendary football manager, with supporting roles played by Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, and Jim Broadbent.

  • Written by Ryan Gomez
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