Ten Remarkable Sports Documentaries To Stream Right Now In 2023
Ten Remarkable Sports Documentaries To Stream Right Now

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Good sports documentaries always rise beyond the dichotomy of triumph and tragedy, hooking viewers with their compelling portrayals of the sportsperson’s journey, rather than fixating on their destinations. Here’s ten of the most intriguing, spine-tingling sports documentaries you can stream right now:

 

THE LAST DANCE (2020)

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While the scope and allure of basketball is quite restricted outside of North America, Michael Jordan’s popularity transcended all boundaries and made The Last Dance an instant hit, becoming the most-watched documentary of 2020. Featuring never-seen-before footage of Jordan’s early days and a star-studded panel of interviewees that features former US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, pop star Justin Timberlake, and his former colleague Scottie Pippen, the ten-episode docu-series does full justice to Jordan’s larger-than-life character.

 

Watch it on Netflix

DRIVE TO SURVIVE (2018)

Drive To Survive has attained immense popularity in a short time, rising to top-ten status in over 50 countries, and doubling its viewership across the last four years. For the first time in over three decades, America hosted two F1 races in 2022, in Miami and Austin. The fifth season of the series is now streaming on Netflix and focuses on F1’s escalating stakes through a hectic 2022 season.

Watch it on Netflix

WELCOME TO WREXHAM (2022)

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When Wrexham AFC, the third-oldest football club in the world, were sinking deeper into a pandemic-induced financial crisis, they found unlikely saviours in two men from Hollywood — Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney. Welcome To Wrexham is a heart-warming tale of how two American stars with no real connection to either the city or football change the identity of the club, making young people fall in love with what once was an outdated institution. As much as the series is about Reynolds and McElhenney, it’s also about the city and the people of Wrexham, and how important the football club is for their community.

 

Watch it on Hotstar

DIEGO MARADONA (2019)

With this gripping portrayal of Diego Maradona, Asif Kapadia surpassed the lofty standards he set with his previous sports documentary on F1 legend Ayrton Senna. Kapadia gets to the heart of his subject and relies solely on archival footage collected meticulously over the years, weaving a brilliant narrative surrounding the complex figure of Maradona. The film gets off with a frantic car chase in the streets of Naples, and never loses its pace over the course of the next 130 minutes, as it moves frenetically through everything from Maradona’s hard-scrabbled existence in Villa Fiorito to the peak of his stardom across the world.

Watch it on Netflix

BEN STOKES: PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES (2020)

Produced by the academy award-winning director Sam Mendes, Ben Stokes: Phoenix From The Ashes reminds us that it’s okay not to be okay, sometimes. If you’re looking for a hagiographic account of Stokes, this is not the documentary for you. But if you want to understand the travails of a man who, despite being one of the greatest match-winners of our generation, has had his share of inner demons to fight — from anxiety and depression to coming to terms with his father’s death due to cancer — this is a must-watch.

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

FREE SOLO (2018)

Free Solo captures the visceral, mind-boggling act of Alex Hannold climbing the world’s largest granite monolith at Yosemite National Park without any safety equipment. There’s no margin for error, the boundary between life and death is thin, and yet, Hannold conquers the seemingly Herculean task, step by step. We witness this in an Oscar-winning production that surfs the very edge of the human experience, offering stunning insights on terror, awe, and excitement all at once.

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Watch it on Hotstar

 

BREAK POINT (2022)

Break Point aims to introduce the world to the tennis stars of tomorrow, who remain under the sprawling shadow of the Big Three — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. The first five episodes of the series featured an ace tantrumthrower Nick Kyrgios, the big-hitting Italian Matteo Berretenni, the Norwegian prodigy Casper Ruud, and the Tunisian star Ons Jabeur, amongst others.

Watch it on Netflix

SUNDERLAND ‘TIL I DIE (2018)

You don’t need to be a football fanatic to enjoy this documentary; some emotions are universal, and they need no context. Sunderland ‘Till I Die is a tale of hope and hopelessness all at once, as the club dives to the nadir of their illustrious history in under two years. Sunderland got relegated in the 2016-17 season of the Premier League, finished last in the subsequent season, and currently languish in the third-tier league of the English, far away from the glitz of the top-tier football to which they were so familiar. It’s a gut-wrenching story of what happens when the Stadium of Light turns into the Stadium of Plight, and how it affects the local community’s zealous love of the game.

Watch it on Netflix

TAKE US HOME: LEEDS UNITED (2019)

Take Us Home: Leeds United covers the club’s 2018-19 season under the stewardship of Marcelo Bielsa, when they fell agonisingly short of reaching the Premier League for the first time in over a decade. While revisiting this painful season might not have appealed to Leeds United fans, the fact that they qualified for the Premier League the next season added a great redemptive arc to the story. Narrated by Russell Crowe, a hardcore Leeds fan himself, this series is packed with gravitas and excellently captures the spirit of the club’s enigmatic Argentine manager.

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

THE TEST: A NEW ERA FOR AUSTRALIA’S TEAM (2020)

The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team is a fly-on-the-wall documentary, co-produced by Cricket Australia (CA) that covers the most tumultuous period in the recent history of Australian Cricket. It’s hard to say whether this documentary succeeded in an image-building exercise after the Australian team was badly hit by a ball-tampering scandal, but it is a riveting watch, nonetheless. It starts on a rather sombre note but builds up nicely to keep pace with the trajectory of the team, as they retain the Ashes 2019 in the backyard of their most bitter rival.

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

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