In the enduring streaming wars that have taken over at-home entertainment, Netflix has emerged as the ultimate destination for sports enthusiasts and documentary aficionados looking for the most exciting stories and chapters in the history of sport.
From NBA Championship-winning super teams to the heart-pounding chicanes of Formula 1, from the emotional gridiron battles of junior college football to uncovering a state-sponsored doping scandal, here at DMARGE, we love a good sports story.
Netflix consistently delivers a squad of gripping sports documentaries that not only capture the thrill of victory but also reveal the raw and unfiltered stories of the athletes behind the glory.
We’ve rounded them all up for you in this ultimate sports documentary guide; so go on, take a look at some of our favourite sports documentaries available on Netflix now.
In this Best Sports Documentaries on Netflix articleThe Last DanceBreak PointFormula 1: Drive to SurviveLast Chance UTeam FoxcatcherPeléSchumacherThe Redeem TeamIcarusSunderland ‘Til I DieLosersUntold: Jake Paul the Problem ChildThe Playbook7 Days Out: Kentucky DerbyUndefeatedArnold14 Peaks: Nothing is ImpossibleUntold: Swamp KingsFIFA Uncovered
The Last Dance Image: Getty
Director: Michael TollinStarring: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, Phil Jackson, John Paxson, David SternGenre: Biography, Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2020IMDB Rating: 9.1
A 10-part documentary chronicling the untold story of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty with rare, never-before-seen footage and sound from the 1997-98 championship season, with more than 100 interviews with famous figures and basketball’s biggest names.
The Last Dance chronicles the rise of Jordan as he becomes a global icon, his battles with opponents, and his leadership on the court, supported by his former teammates, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and more, as the Bulls were united in their pursuit of a sixth NBA championship; for one last dance.
This was a rare cultural moment on Netflix, as episodes dropped on the streaming service every Sunday, encouraging fans to jump on and experience one of the best sports docuseries ever made, together.
https://youtu.be/N9Z9JtNcCWY Break Point
Director: Martin WebbStarring: Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Matteo Berrettini, Ajla Tomljanovic, Maria Sakkari, Taylor Fritz, Ons JabeurGenre: Documentary, SportsReleased: 2023IMDB Rating: 7.3
Travel alongside some of the world’s most talented tennis players as they swing for greatness and Grand Slams through an action-packed ATP and WTA tour.
Break Point was celebrated for its in-depth and never-before-seen coverage of some of tennis’ greatest players, such as Nick Kyrgios, who used the show to reveal an enduring struggle with mental health issues off the court.
https://youtu.be/seSCvuejudM Formula 1: Drive to Survive
Director: James Gay-ReesStarring: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Pérez, Carlos Sainz Jr., Charles Leclerc, Daniel RicciardoGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2019-PresentIMDB Rating: 8.6
Widely commended for introducing the exhilarating racing action of Formula 1 to an entirely new generation of Revheads, Formula 1: Drive to Survive provides a behind-the-scenes look at the characters and fast-changing narratives from the world’s fastest sport.
It features interviews with drivers such as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during their intense on-track rivalry, as Verstappen threatens to derail Hamilton’s pursuit of a record-breaking eighth World Championship.
It also made household names of some of the less-known drivers within the sport, such as Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Pérez, Carlos Sainz Jr., Charles Leclerc, and of course Australia’s favourite son, Daniel Ricciardo.
https://youtu.be/wtJPe1ksS6E Last Chance U
Director: Greg WhiteleyStarring: Buddy Stephens, Brittany WagnerGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2016IMDB Rating: 8.3
Last Chance U explores the real-world stories of junior college football, focusing on the struggles and aspirations of young athletes who have the necessary talent to make it into the big leagues but experience adversity and setbacks off the pitch.
With reference to actual games, practices, and the personal journeys of players during their time at junior colleges, Last Chance U offers a unique perspective on what it takes to make it as a professional football player and the sacrifices each player has to make to realise a dream.
https://youtu.be/rFzvBYFrhOc Team Foxcatcher
Director: Jon GreenhalghStarring: Dave Schultz, Nancy Schultz, John E. du Pont, Dan Chaid, Mark Schultz, Valentin YordanovGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2016IMDB Rating: 7.3
Now made into a major film starring Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum, Team Foxcatcher recounts the tragic real-world events involving Olympic wrestling champions Mark and Dave Schultz and their association with tyrannical millionaire John du Pont.
With never-before-seen home videos, Team Foxcatcher recounts the paranoid downward spiral of John E. du Pont that had devastating consequences for a young aspiring wrestler.
Director: Ben Nicholas, David TryhornStarring: Pelé Genre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2021IMDB Rating: 7
Pelé is a pure celebration of one of the most gifted and prolific footballers in the history of the game. A name that has now become synonymous with joga bonita, or the Beautiful Game, Pelé explores the complex life and real-world achievements of a Brazilian football legend.
In this 2021 documentary, we’re able to see Pelé’s remarkable career, including his historic World Cup victories in 1958, 1962, and 1970 with Brazil.
Director: Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns, Michael Wech, Vanessa NöckerStarring: Michael Schumacher, Mick Schumacher, Corinna Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, Rolf Schumacher, Gina Schumacher, Jean TodtGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2021IMDB Rating: 7.4
Schumacher offers an intimate look at the illustrious career of one of Formula 1’s greatest-ever drivers, the racing legend Michael Schumacher. It explores his many on-track triumphs, including victories with F1’s Benetton and Ferrari racing teams, on his journey to become a seven-time Formula 1 World Champion.
The documentary also takes viewers on a more emotional journey after Schumacher left the sport when the German driver suffered a freak skiing accident in the French ski resort Meribel, looking at his ongoing battle as he recovers from a severe brain injury.
https://youtu.be/OQs9ZtdZjY0 The Redeem Team
Director: Jon WeinbachStarring: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Mike Krzyzewski, Chris Bosh, Carlos BoozerGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2022IMDB Rating: 7.4
Another basketball documentary to make the list, but this time following the story of some of the sport’s modern stars. The Redeem Team explores the real-world events of the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, celebrating their heroic journey to recapture the gold medal after falling short in previous Olympic competitions.
Featuring interviews with some of the biggest names in basketball, such as LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant, the documentary references memorable games for the so-called Redeem Team, including their route to the final and victory against Spain to secure gold.
Director: Bryan FogelStarring: Bryan Fogel, Dave Zabriskie, Don Catlin, Grigory Rodchenkov, Scott Brandt, Ben Stone, Richard PoundGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2017IMDB Rating: 7.9
A peak behind the Iron Curtain… Icarus is the ground-breaking expose of the Russian state-sponsored doping scandal that led to Russia’s exclusion from international sporting events.
Documentary filmmaker Bryan Fogel conducted a daring experiment to uncover the shady truth about the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs within sports, after seeing cyclists performing at unbelievable levels during amateur races.
With the help of Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, Fogel manages to take performance-enhancing drugs and avoid detection from mandatory drug testing but inadvertently finds himself at the centre of decades-old conspiracy.
Icarus is a must-watch.
https://youtu.be/qXoRdSTrR-4 Sunderland ‘Til I Die
Director: Miles Judd, Jonna McIver, David SoutarStarring: John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady, Martin Bain, Nick BarnesGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2018IMDB Rating: 8.1
Before Welcome to Wrexham, there was Sunderland ‘Til I Die, one of the first behind-the-scenes docuseries following the inner workings of one of England’s most-supported clubs.
Sunderland ‘Til I Die explores the real-world struggles of Sunderland A.F.C., a football club in the North East of England, after it had suffered relegation from the Premier League, and the litany of challenges the club’s players and staff faced as they navigated the English lower leagues.
Director: Mickey DuzyjStarring: Michael Bentt, Mickey Rourke, Harold PerrineauGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2019IMDB Rating: 7.6
This 8-part docuseries flips sport’s traditional narrative on its head, exploring the real-world stories of athletes who have faced defeat in the world of golf, curling, boxing, endurance running and figure skating.
With references to events such as the 1999 French Open, the 1988 Jamaican bobsleigh team and the 1973 New York Knicks championship, the series explores the human side of competitive sports and the lessons that these individuals have learned suffering from adversity.
https://youtu.be/909qosDbalU Untold: Jake Paul the Problem Child
Director: Andrew RenziStarring: Jake Paul, Logan Paul, Greg Paul, Ariel Helwani, Mike TysonGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2023IMDB Rating: 6
Untold: Jake Paul the Problem Child offers a real-world look at the life of Jake Paul, one of the internet’s most notorious personalities.
As part of the Untold series, Paul shares his unlikely journey from online prankster to professional boxer, featuring interviews from Logan Paul, his equally famous brother, and Mike Tyson, one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history.
https://youtu.be/jrFlg1gRvKU The Playbook
Director: Josh Greenbaum, John HenionStarring: Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers, José Mourinho, Jill Ellis, Patrick Mouratoglou, Dawn StaleyGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2020IMDB Rating: 7.4
Ever wondered how teams such as Chelsea and Real Madrid became two of the most successful football teams of the 21st century? Or how the Boston Celtics managed to beat the Lakers to the NBA Championship?
Featuring interviews with legendary coaches José Mourinho, Jill Ellis and Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers, The Playbook explores real-world coaching strategies deployed by some of the biggest names in sports.
The Playbook offers insights into their unique coaching philosophies, showcasing the real-world events that shaped their careers, breaking down iconic success stories and the significant impact each coach has had on their respective sports.
https://youtu.be/Iapq84suC3c 7 Days Out: Kentucky Derby
Director: Robert RichmanStarring: Kevin Flanery, Keith Desormeaux, Dale RomansGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2018IMDB Rating: 6.8
The glory. The heartbreak. The hats.
7 Days Out: Kentucky Derby goes behind the scenes for one of the biggest horse racing events in the world, detailing all the meticulous preparation that goes into the so-called Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports, with only seven days to go.
Featuring interviews with jockeys, trainers and owners all racing for a place in history.
Director: T.J. Martin, Daniel LindsayStarring: O.C. Brown, Bill Courtney, Chavis Daniels, Montrail ‘Money’ BrownGenre: Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2011IMDB Rating: 7.7
Winner of Best Documentary at the 2012 Academy Awards, Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s documentary UNDEFEATED is an intimate chronicle of three underprivileged student-athletes from inner-city Memphis and the volunteer coach trying to help them beat the odds on and off the field.
For players and coaches alike, the season will be not only about winning games — it will be about how they grapple with the unforeseeable events that are part of football and part of life.
Director: Lesley ChilcottStarring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Charles Gaines, Susan Kennedy, Jamie Lee CurtisGenre: DocumentaryReleased: 2023IMDB Rating: 8
Arnold is the ground-breaking three-part docuseries featuring one of Hollywood’s biggest-ever action stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Featuring exclusive interviews with those who knew him best, such as Sylvester Stallone, James Cameron and Danny DeVito, this intimate series explores Schwarzenegger’s real-world journey as a young aspiring bodybuilder growing up in Austria to becoming one of the most famous actors in history, and later serving as governor of California.
I’ll be back.
https://youtu.be/x2AEI26LBpA 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible
Director: Torquill JonesStarring: Nirmal Purja, Jimmy Chin, Reinhold Messner, Klára Kolouchová, Conrad AnkerGenre: Adventure, Sports, DocumentaryReleased: 2021IMDB Rating: 7.7
In 2019, fearless Nepalese mountain climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja set out to do the impossible: climbing the world’s fourteen highest summits in less than seven months, hoping to beat the existing record set at eight years.
Calling his mission Project Possible 14/7, Nims set out to push everything we know about human endurance and our own mental limitations. In 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible, we explore previously unseen terrains on top of the world’s highest peaks, and the death-defying men who make it their life’s mission to conquer them.
https://youtu.be/8QH5hBOoz08 Untold: Swamp Kings
Image: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Director: Katharine EnglishStarring: Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow, Brandon SpikesGenre: Documentary, SportsReleased: 2023IMDB Rating: 6.9
In this Netflix docuseries, witness how a legendarily ruthless football coach named Urban Meyer turned an underperforming Florida Gators side into a ferocious winning machine.
Set between 2005-2010, Untold: Swamp Kings gives first-hand accounts from the players who lived it, recalling the Gators’ comradery and togetherness as they’re put through their paces, the events happening off the field and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of glory.
https://youtu.be/J8kx5Xn9njk FIFA Uncovered
Director: Daniel GordonStarring: Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini, Gianni Infantino, Juca Kfouri, Jérôme Valcke, Ricardo TeixeiraGenre: Sports, Documentary, CrimeReleased: 2022IMDB Rating: 7.4
From power struggles to global politics, an exploration of FIFA reveals the organisation’s checkered history — and what it takes to host a World Cup.
FIFA Uncovered blew the whistle on the corruption that was rife within the biggest sports body in the world, centred around the main villain of this story, former president Sepp Blatter, who reportedly used his position of power to undermine the sporting integrity of football and allowed criminal activity to reign unchecked.
The post Best Sports Documentaries Streaming On Netflix Right Now appeared first on DMARGE.