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Top 10 Inspirational Movies on Sports & Fitness

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Top 10 inspirational movies on sports and fitness

Top 10 Inspirational Movies on Sports & Fitness

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True enough, getting in shape seems to be the hardest job of all. Just look at how New Year’s resolutions on getting fit fail year after year. If it is a struggle to get out of the bed in the morning, try hitting the gym. We know how difficult it is to start your fitness goals. To inspire you to finally take the initial step, here are top 10 inspirational movies on sports and fitness that can help motivate you to reach your goal.


1. Tri (2016)

Tri Movie quote


Director: Jai Jamison

US Release Date: April 16, 2016

Notable Cast:

  • Kaylyn Aznavorian
  • Shaira Barton
  • Bella Burton



Natalie is an ultrasound technician who encounters a cancer patient at work who inspired her to sign up for a triathlon competition. Having difficulties in finishing tasks, she encounters all kinds of challenges while training for the national competition. She also meets different characters along the way that will help her push her body and mind to the limits.


Why You Should Watch It:

The story mirrors every individual’s struggles to stay fit and healthy. There will be challenges along the way but with the help of family and friends and with sheer determination, fitness goals can be achieved.



2. American Wrestler: The Wizard (2016)

American Wrestler The Wizard Movie


Director: Alex Ranarivelo

US Release Date: November 11, 2016

Notable Cast:

  • William Fichtner
  • Jon Voight
  • Kevin G. Schmidt



The story is set in 1979 during the Iran-Iraq war. Many children were sent out of the country to escape the war including 17-year-old Ali Jahani. Considered an outsider in the town of Petaluma in Northern California, he faces racial discrimination and bullying from his peers. In order to fit in, Ali decides to join a school sports team. He tries out at basketball and football. He fails miserably but finally makes it to the school’s wrestling team.


Why You Should Watch It:

Ali teaches us that we will always excel at one thing. You just need to find what it is. He may fail to make it to the football and basketball team, but he excels in wrestling.

Although the film is set to be released in the fall of 2016, it has already garnered several awards such as the Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking: Feature Film and the Best Actor Award at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival. The film was also accepted at the New York City Independent Film Festival. The movie also made it to the list of the Hottest Titles to Look Out for on the 2016 Cannes Film Festival by the Variety Magazine.



3. Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire Movie quotes


Director: Hugh Hudson

US Release Date: April 9, 1982

Notable Cast:

  • Ben Cross
  • Ian Charleson
  • Nicholas Farrell



The story is set in the 1920s in the United Kingdom. Harold Abrahams is a Jew facing discrimination in the University of Cambridge but exhibits extraordinary talent in running. Eric Lidell, on the other hand, is another athlete from a devout Christian family who strongly refuses to train or compete during the Sabbath. His sister disapproves of his running as she views it as a distraction in his Christian devotion and his calling to become a missionary. The two athletes train to compete in the 1924 Olympics but challenges come their way, which threatens them from reaching the gold medal.


Why You Should Watch It:

If the four wins out of seven nominations could not convince you to win, I do not know what will. The movie was nominated for best picture, best director, best screenplay, best supporting actor, best film editing, best costume design, best original score in the 54th Academy Awards. It bagged the best picture, original screenplay, costume design and original score. It also received 10 nominations in the 35th BAFTA Awards and won in the best film, best supporting actor, and best costume design categories. The film also received the 1981 Cannes Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention and Best Supporting Actor award. It also bagged the best foreign film award at the 39th Golden Globe Awards, Film of the Year in the London Film Critic’s Circle, Best film in the 1981 National Board of Review and the People’s Choice Awards at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Chariots of Fire instrumental is perhaps one of the most iconic OSTs of all time. The song earned the Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the 25th Grammy Awards. Today, the song is a popular motivational song and is often used in numerous parodies.



4. Fat (2014)

fat movie quote


Director: Mark Phinney

US Release Date: April 25, 2014

Notable Cast:

  • Mel Rodriguez
  • Ashley Lauren
  • Jason Dugre



Ken is obese and living a very unhealthy lifestyle. His best friend Terry is concerned that he is on his way to an early grave. He tries to help him to lose weight with the help of a trainer and a dietitian. These efforts prove worthless as Ken does whatever he wants until a life-changing chance encounter that just might provide the motivation he needs.


Why You Should Watch It:

There are not too many comedy films on food addiction. This is also not your typical weight loss success story. Rather, it delves into food addiction, depression, and self-destruction. It highlights the ill effects of obesity as shown in the film with Ken suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Although the movie tackles sexual rejection, anger, depression and career rejections, all of which can make it less enjoyable for viewing, it presents the sad truth, which makes the film enlightening and real.



5. Million Dollar Baby (2005)

Million Dollar Baby quote


Director: Clint Eastwood

US Release Date: January 28, 2005

Notable Cast:

  • Hilary Swank
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Morgan Freeman



Frankie Dunn is a lonely boxing trainer and gym owner who initially refuses to train an aspiring lady boxer, Margaret “Maggie” Fitzgerald. Despite his initial protests, Maggie works hard at the gym until he finally agrees to train her. Maggie, being taken under the wing of one of the best trainers as well as being a natural fighter, rises to success. She is known to win via KOs on the first round. Unfortunately, a traumatic accident happens inside the ring, which leads her to ask a favor of Frankie, tearing him into a dilemma.


Why You Should Watch It:

The film teaches us it is never too late to start something. It is never too late to get fit. Frankie thought Maggie was too old to become a boxer, but she proved him wrong.

The movie won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor in the Academy Award. It also won the Discover Screenwriting Award in the American Screenwriters Association. Hilary Swank won Best Actress in the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, Florida Film Critics Circle Award, Golden Globes Award, Phoenix Film Critics Society Award, Satellite Award and Screen Actors Award. It earned the Best Foreign Film in the Cesar Award. Clint Eastwood also received the Best Director and Outstanding Directing in the Chicago Film Critics Association Award and the Directors Guild of America Award respectively. He also received the Best Director Awards in the Golden Globe Award and the New York Film Critics Award. Morgan Freeman was awarded Outstanding Supporting Actor in the NAACP Image Award and the Best Supporting Actor in the Screen Actors Guild Award.



6. Race (2016)

Race Movie quotes


Director: Stephen Hopkins

US Release Date: February 19, 2016

Notable Cast:

  • Stephan James
  • Jason Sudeikis
  • Eli Goree



This is the story of athlete Jesse Owens, as he dreams of making it big and becoming a superstar. Going to college opens up a window of opportunity for him to join the 1936 Olympics. However, aside from his struggles in life, he also has to deal with racism and that he has to compete in Berlin during Adolf Hitler’s reign. He has to struggle with joining the Olympics because Hitler made it difficult for black athletes to join the competition. Despite his successes, he did not receive proper recognition from Pres. Roosevelt.


Why You Should Watch It:

It is the biography of four times gold medalist Jesse Owens and his struggle to go to college and his battle against racism. It is a classic success story of how an athlete overcame all adversaries and came out successful not just once, but four times. Jesse never backed out despite facing difficulties while chasing his Olympic dream and he eventually reached his ambitious goals.



7. Peaceful Warrior (2006)

Peaceful Warrior Movie quote


Director: Victor Salva

US Release Date: June 23, 2006

Notable Cast:

  • Scott Mechlowicz
  • Nick Nolte
  • Amy Smart



Based on a story, Peaceful Warrior is a film based on the book written by Dan Millman. The main character, Dan Millman, is a handsome, popular and successful gymnast whom every guy envies. Unfortunately, he has a motorcycle accident, which leaves his legs shattered and repaired with metal implants. Dan thinks he can never reach his dream, now that his legs are injured, but three strangers help him overcome all odds and turn his outlook on life – a mysterious gas station attendant, a woman named Joy and Socrates, the peaceful warrior.


Why You Should Watch It:

Peaceful Warrior teaches us that setting an end result could make it difficult for us to reach it. It does not make sense at first, but the movie teaches us that “the journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination”. Setting an expectation can sometimes discourage us, especially if we cannot reach it at our set milestone. Rather than focusing on achieving the goal, it would be easier to just enjoy the ride and consider achieving the target as an extra reward.



8. Breaking Away (1979)

Breaking Away Movie


Director: Peter Yates

US Release Date: July 20, 1979

Notable Cast:

  • Dennis Christopher
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Daniel Stern



Four high school graduates – Dave, Cyril, Mike and Moocher are unfocused and unmotivated in life. However, Dave is into competitive bicycle racing and everything Italian. He soon becomes disillusioned when he joins a cycling race and experiences dirty play from the Italian cyclers. With the persuasion of his three friends, they join the Little 500 competition and have to compete with the affluent kids in their town.


Why You Should Watch It:

It is a coming of age drama-comedy that will leave you with a positive feeling after watching it.  It is simply funny, goofy, and intelligent at the same time.

The film received numerous awards such as the Best Original Screenplay in the 52nd Academy Awards, Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy in the 37th Golden Globe Awards, and Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen in the 32nd Writers Guild of America Awards. Newcomer, Dennis Christopher won the Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles in the 33rd BAFTA Awards and the Best Juvenile Actor in A Motion Picture in the 1st Young Artist Awards.



9. Forever Strong (2008)

Forever Strong Movie quote


Director: Ryan Little

US Release Date: September 26, 2008

Notable Cast:

  • Sean Faris
  • Penn Badgley
  • Gary Cole



Rugby star player, Rick Penning, lands inside the Wasatch County Juvenile Detention Center after his second DUI offense. In there, he signs up for the rival team, Highland Rugby Team coached by Garry Gelwix. Coach Garry teaches him many things in life such as brotherhood and discipline. Soon, he finds himself playing against his former rugby team, which is also coached by his father.


Why You Should Watch It:

Forever Strong is a motivational movie that teaches discipline and determination. It teaches us that in order to be successful in sports, one has to be champions in life first.

Although the movie received a lower score in the Metacritic report and only 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, it has received positive reviews from the public with 7.3 out of 10 score in IMDb from 8,204 users.



10. Seabiscuit (2003)

Seabiscuit Movie quotes


Director: Gary Ross

US Release Date: July 25, 2003

Notable Cast:

  • Tobey Maguire
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Elizabeth Banks



Charles Howard, a millionaire; Red Pollard, a young jockey and Tom Smith, a cowboy; find themselves together because of a small, undersized horse named Seabiscuit.


Why You Should Watch It:

Seabiscuit is primarily focused on the story of the legendary thoroughbred champion during the Great Depression. However, the movie is worth watching because the horse’s triumph together with his blind jockey is very inspirational and tear jerking. It teaches us that everybody is capable of making a difference in the lives of other people. The movie is definitely spirit lifting especially if you feel discouraged.

The film won the Top Box Office Film in the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards and the Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases in the American Society of Cinematographers Awards 2003.



Do you have your own list of motivational movies on sports and fitness that can inspire you to get up and moving? Tell us in the comments section.




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  • https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/million_dollar_baby
Top 10 Inspirational Movies on Sports & Fitness
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Top 10 Inspirational Movies on Sports & Fitness
Lacking motivation? Watch these 10 movies to get you pumped up. Some of the best sport motivational movies we suggest are in this article.
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My Evolved Body
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