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Grapple with emotions and adrenaline in the ring of wrestling cinema, where every takedown tells a tale.

From the sweat-soaked mats to heart-warming heroics, our picks go beyond the flashy moves.

Are you geared up to tag-team with the top wrestling flicks and docs that pin down the essence of this sport?

Best Wrestling Movies, Shows, and Documentaries:

  1. Foxcatcher (2014)
  2. The Wrestler (2008)
  3. Vision Quest (1985)
  4. Nacho Libre (2006)
  5. Win Win (2011)
  6. Legendary (2010)
  7. Beyond the Mat (1999) – Documentary
  8. Wrestling with Shadows (1998) – Documentary
Wrestling

#1 Foxcatcher (2014)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Bennett Miller
  • 🌟 Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave

Foxcatcher tells the dark and gripping story of the relationship between eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell) and two Olympic Wrestling champion brothers, Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo).

The film explores themes of ambition, loyalty, and the corrupting effect of wealth, culminating in tragic consequences. Foxcatcher received critical acclaim for its performances, particularly Carell’s transformative role, and its psychological depth. It provides a somber look at the world of amateur wrestling and the complexities of mentorship and family dynamics.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu

#2 The Wrestler (2008)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
  • 🌟 Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

The Wrestler chronicles the story of aging professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), who battles with his fading career and attempts to mend his relationship with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and find romance with a stripper (Marisa Tomei).

This character-driven drama delves deep into the physical and emotional turmoils faced by an athlete past his prime, seeking redemption and purpose. Mickey Rourke’s comeback performance in The Wrestler garnered him immense praise and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The film is often praised for its raw portrayal of the wrestling industry and the human toll it takes on its performers.

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

#3 Vision Quest (1985)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Harold Becker
  • 🌟 Starring: Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, Ronny Cox, Daphne Zuniga

Vision Quest is a coming-of-age sports drama centered on high school wrestler Louden Swain (Matthew Modine) who aims to drop two weight classes to challenge the state’s undefeated wrestler. His focus becomes challenged when he falls in love with an older artist, Carla (Linda Fiorentino).

The film’s title refers to a Native American spiritual journey, which metaphorically parallels the protagonist’s quest. “Vision Quest” is noted for its heartfelt performances and its portrayal of the physical and emotional challenges faced by young athletes.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu

#4 Nacho Libre (2006)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Jared Hess
  • 🌟 Starring: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, HΓ©ctor JimΓ©nez

Nacho Libre is a comedy inspired by the story of a real-life Mexican Catholic priest who turned to wrestling to support an orphanage. In the film, Ignacio (Jack Black), a monastery cook, dons a mask and the moniker “Nacho” to become a Luchador (wrestler) and fund better meals for the orphan children.

Filled with Jack Black’s signature comedic flair and physical comedy, the film celebrates the vibrant culture of Lucha Libre wrestling while delivering laughs and a heartwarming storyline.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu

#5 Win Win (2011)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Tom McCarthy
  • 🌟 Starring: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor

Win Win is a sports drama-comedy where struggling attorney and high school wrestling coach Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) takes on the guardianship of an elderly client to keep his practice afloat.

When the client’s grandson, a talented wrestler, comes into his life, Mike’s career and family dynamic change in unexpected ways. The film is lauded for its touching and humorous exploration of human relationships, ethical dilemmas, and the blending of sports with life’s complexities.

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

#6 Legendary (2010)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Mel Damski
  • 🌟 Starring: John Cena, Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover

Legendary is a sports drama about a high school wrestler, Cal Chetley (Devon Graye), who comes from a family with a wrestling history. His estranged wrestler brother, Mike (John Cena), gets pulled back into the fold to help train him.

With his mother’s apprehension (Patricia Clarkson) and the unlikely support of a wise mentor (Danny Glover), Cal seeks to not only win on the mat but also unite his family. The film focuses on the themes of reconciliation, the impact of family legacy, and the determination to overcome obstacles in the quest for success.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu

#7 Beyond the Mat (1999) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Barry W. Blaustein

Beyond the Mat is a documentary that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of professional wrestlers outside the arena. The film delves into the personal lives of famed wrestlers, the physical toll of the sport, and the reality of the wrestling entertainment industry.

Directed by Barry W. Blaustein, the documentary features iconic figures in wrestling and offers viewers an intimate look at the often painful sacrifices wrestlers make for their craft. It’s praised for its humanity and insightful portrayal of a frequently misunderstood profession.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu

#8 Wrestling with Shadows (1998) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Paul Jay

Wrestling with Shadows chronicles the life of professional wrestler Bret Hart during his final year in the World Wrestling Federation, examining the controversial “Montreal Screwjob.”

The film presents a personal and professional portrait of Hart, his family’s wrestling legacy, and a behind-the-scenes look at the WWF’s business aspects, which blurred the lines between reality and entertainment. This documentary is noted for its candid access to one of wrestling’s most dramatic and infamous events, offering insight into the harsh realities of sports entertainment.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

Stay updated and entertained with our top picks for wrestling YouTube channels.

Wrestling

FAQ

What is the best wrestling movie of all time?

“The Wrestler” (2008) is the best wrestling movie of all time, featuring Mickey Rourke’s acclaimed performance as a fading professional wrestler.

What are some good wrestling movies?

“Foxcatcher” (2014), “Ready to Rumble” (2000), and “Fighting with My Family” (2019) are good wrestling movies that explore various aspects of the sport and its impact on wrestlers’ lives.

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

The best wrestling movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix currently are “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press” (2017, featuring Hulk Hogan), “GLOW” (2017-2019), and “The Main Event” (2020).

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.

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