We are reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.Β Learn more.

Roll into the alley of bowling films where every strike and spare sparks a story.

From gritty hustlers to comedic twists, these on-lane sagas roll way past the pins.

Ready to strike up some fun with the top bowling movies, shows, and documentaries that knock it out of the lane?

Best Bowling Movies, Shows, and Documentaries:

  1. The Big Lebowski (1998)
  2. Kingpin (1996)
  3. A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004) – Documentary
  4. Alley Cats Strike (2000)
  5. Dreamer (1979)

#1 The Big Lebowski (1998)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • 🌟 Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi

“The Big Lebowski” is a cult-classic that mixes crime, comedy, and bowling. The film follows the life of Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges, whose laid-back existence is disrupted after being mistaken for a millionaire with the same name.

Despite its rich narrative tapestry, bowling plays a critical role in the lives of the characters and serves as a backdrop for many of the film’s memorable scenes. The Coen brothers crafted a quirky universe where bowling alleys become the social hub around which the film’s eccentric characters orbit.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#2 Kingpin (1996)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
  • 🌟 Starring: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Bill Murray, Vanessa Angel

“Kingpin” is a comedy that parodies the world of professional bowling. Woody Harrelson stars as Roy Munson, a promising bowler whose career is derailed after a hustle goes awry. Years later, a down-and-out Munson discovers Ishmael, an Amish bowling prodigy played by Randy Quaid.

The film follows their misadventures as they attempt to win a national bowling tournament against Munson’s successful rival, Ernie McCracken, portrayed by Bill Murray. “Kingpin” is known for its off-the-wall humor and unique take on the sports genre.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#3 A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Christopher Browne

“A League of Ordinary Gentlemen” is a documentary that takes a deep dive into the world of professional bowling. Following the Professional Bowlers Association’s (PBA) struggle for survival, the film features four of the sport’s most renowned athletes: Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, and Wayne Webb.

The documentary offers insight into the lives of these professional bowlers as they deal with the pressures of competition and strive to rekindle public interest in the sport. It’s an intimate look at bowling’s attempts at modernization and mainstream appeal.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#4 Alley Cats Strike (2000)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Rod Daniel
  • 🌟 Starring: Kyle Schmid, Robert Ri’chard, Kaley Cuoco, Mimi Paley

“Alley Cats Strike” is a family sports comedy produced by Disney Channel. The film focuses on a group of misfit teens who come together to settle a longstanding school sports rivalry through a decisive bowling competition. As the town becomes divided over the importance of the match, the young bowlers must overcome their personal differences and work as a team. It’s a fun, wholesome movie that emphasizes the importance of friendship, teamwork, and acceptance through the lens of bowling.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#5 Dreamer (1979)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Noel Nosseck
  • 🌟 Starring: Tim Matheson, Susan Blakely, Jack Warden

“Dreamer” is a sports drama about a talented young bowler named Dreamer Tatum, played by Tim Matheson, who aspires to success in national bowling competitions. Encouraged by his mentor, Harry White (Jack Warden), Dreamer works relentlessly to sharpen his skills in the hopes of making it big.

His determination and passion for the game lead him to compete in a major bowling tournament, where he faces the challenges of professional sports. The film captures the essence of the sport and the personal drama entailed in chasing one’s dreams.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video



What is the best Bowling movie of all time?

“The Big Lebowski” (1998) is the best Bowling movie of all time, intertwining bowling with a unique crime-comedy plot and cult classic status.

What are some good Bowling movies?

β€œKingpin” (1996) and β€œAlley Cats Strike” (2000) are good Bowling movies that provide a mix of humor and heart in the context of the bowling world.

What Bowling movies, shows, and documentaries are on Netflix?

The best Bowling movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix currently are limited, as their availability frequently changes; it is best to check Netflix’s latest offerings directly.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments