Be engrossed in the drama of real-life sport.
Whether fly on the wall or biographical, sports documentaries give a fascinating insight into the stories behind some of the most captivating moments in human history.
Below, we’ve picked out ten of our favourites, covering sports from cricket to skateboarding and everything in between, and featuring some of the greatest athletes ever to walk the earth.
Sunderland ‘Til I Die
Whilst there are many fantastic football documentaries around, none quite capture the despair of being a football fan when things go Pete Tong quite like Sunderland ‘Til I Die, which chronicles the double relegation of one of Britain’s biggest football clubs. With staggering access, the documentary provides an immediate kinship with the club’s supporters, who really deserve better than what they’re given.
Where to watch: Stream season 1 on Netflix. Season 2, rather mischievously, is due to drop on 1 April 2020.
Senna is a lovingly crafted and gripping watch even for those with zero interest in Formula 1. The edge of your seat documentary charts the life of Brazilian race car driver Ayrton Senna, one of the sports greatest ever competitors, who won three Championships before losing his life in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Where to watch: Rent or purchase Senna on iTunes.
After six weeks of hard competition, England faced off against Australia in the 2003 Rugby World World Cup Final in Sydney. Against the odds, and on enemy soil, the team defeated their rivals with a last-minute drop goal in extra time from Johnny Wilkinson. Building Jerusalem interviews the key people who made that extraordinary moment in English rugby history happen.
Where to watch: Stream Building Jerusalem on Amazon Prime.
From the Director of Senna and Amy, Diego Maradona offers a portrait of one of football’s most enigmatic figures of all time. The film concentrates on 1984 when – at the height of his career – the maverick Argentinian transferred to S.S.C Napoli to spearhead the Italian team to their first Serie A title.
Where to watch: Stream Diego Maradona on Channel 4.
All Or Nothing: A Season With The Los Angeles Rams
In 2017, the Emmy Award-winning series went behind the scenes with the Los Angeles Rams as the NFL team controversially relocated from St. Louis to Los Angeles, promising greatness. All doesn’t go to plan and with unrivalled access, the series follows an indifferent season leading to the sacking of head coach Jeff Fisher.
The All Or Nothing team have also produced series on NFL teams such as Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and The Dallas Cowboys, as well as football’s Manchester City and the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team.
Where to watch: Stream all All Or Nothing series on Amazon Prime.
Dogtown And Z-Boys
Narrated by Sean Penn, Dogtown And Z-Boys charts the evolution of skateboarding in Southern California. The Zephyr team – also known as the Z-Boys – was formed by a group of surfers from Santa Monica and Venice – known as Dogtown – who would go on to lead the skateboarding revolution that swept across the US throughout the 1970s.
Where to watch: Stream Dogtown And Z-Boys on Netflix.
One Night In Turin
The perfect film to indulge in some international football nostalgia, this documentary follows England’s escapades in the run-up to and during the 1990 World Cup. The film includes iconic moments as Gascoine’s tears, Sir Bobby Robson being – well – Sir Bobby Robson, Lineker’s goals, and David Platt’s sensational volley. All are soundtracked by the biggest bands of the time such as The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, New Order, and Happy Mondays.
Where to watch: Stream One Night In Turin on Amazon Prime.
Andy Murray: Resurfacing
After Andy Murray limped out of Wimbledon in 2017 grasping his hip in agony, little did the world know that the British No.1 faced the possibility of no longer being able to play competitive tennis. In this access-all-areas documentary, cameras follow Andy across the globe as he attempts absolutely everything he can to perform at the top level once again.
Where to watch: Stream Andy Murray: Resurfacing on Amazon Prime.
This hugely cinematic documentary explores the England Test cricket team’s rise to the top of the world rankings between 2009 and 2013, and the emotional and physical toll it took on the players to get there. The film gives fans a unique perspective into what it takes to reach the very highest level in competitive sport.
Where to watch: Stream The Edge on Amazon Prime.
I Am Bolt
When people talk about the most iconic athletes of all time, those who transcend their sport and become almost otherworldly, one man has dominated that conversation more than anyone else over the past 15 years. I Am Bolt puts the career and life of the charismatic Usain Bolt under the microscope, examining what it takes to become the fastest human being of all time.
Where to watch: Rent or purchase I Am Bolt on iTunes.