Running Movies to Watch Before you Die

by runraces | created - 19 Jan 2017 | updated - 03 Apr 2017 | Public

I am attempting to capture 101 Running Movies but I am not there yet. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

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1. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, are driven to win in the 1924 Olympics as they wrestle with issues of pride and conscience.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 59,947 | Gross: $58.97M

2. Prefontaine (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Based on the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine, a long distance runner who lived in Oregon and died young.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill, Breckin Meyer

Votes: 7,316 | Gross: $0.53M

3. Dragon's Back Race (2013 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 65 min | Documentary

Only run once before in 1992, the Dragon's Back Race is legendary. This film takes you in to the heart of this inspiring adventure as the 2012 race weaves a brutal path down the mountainous spine of Wales.

Director: Richard Heap | Stars: Rob Baker, Steve Birkinshaw, Wendy Dodds, Charlie Sproson

Votes: 58

4. Gun Runners (2015)

89 min | Documentary, Sport

Two warriors from Northern Kenya trade in their AK-47s for running shoes and the Kenyan dream of marathon running.

Director: Anjali Nayar | Stars: Julius Arile, Robert Matanda

Votes: 216

5. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and other historical events unfold from the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 2,011,589 | Gross: $330.25M

6. Transcend (II) (2014)


Long-distance running allowed Wesley Korir to escape the grinding poverty of Kenya. But after winning multiple American marathons, including taking running's most cherished prize - the ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Del Monte, Tad Munnings | Star: Wesley Korir

Votes: 95

7. Hood to Coast (2011)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

50 Metascore

HOOD TO COAST follows four unlikely teams on their epic journey to conquer the world's largest relay race. From a 67-year-old heart attack survivor determined to conquer the race that ... See full summary »

Directors: Christoph Baaden, Marcie Hume | Stars: Margaret Lily Andres, Jason Baldwin, Bruce Langlois, Rachel Larsen

Votes: 172

8. Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story (1995 Video)

58 min | Documentary

Pre" embodied the spirit of athletic excellence. He had a belief in self and sport that transcended all but the outer reaches of human speed and endurance. As a freshman, he appeared on the... See full summary »

Director: Erich Lyttle | Stars: Dana Carvey, Ken Kesey, Phil Knight, Brian Lanker

Votes: 88

9. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Adventure, History

67 Metascore

A famous prison escape sparks the idea for a cult-like race that has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary reveals the sports world's most guarded secret.

Directors: Annika Iltis, Timothy James Kane | Star: Lazarus Lake

Votes: 5,215

10. Unbreakable: The Western States 100 (2012)

106 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

In 2010, four of the greatest undefeated mountain runners on earth toed the starting line at the Western States 100-mile endurance run, the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile foot race in... See full summary »

Director: J.B. Benna

Votes: 197

11. The Long Green Line (2008)

88 min | Documentary

Coach Joe Newton has used the sport of Cross Country Running to teach simple but important lessons to high school boys for the last 50 years. "Always do your best", "be on time" and "it's ... See full summary »

Director: Matthew Arnold | Stars: Joe Newton, Charlie Kern, Eric Dettman, Matt Dettman

Votes: 126

12. From Fat to Finish Line (2015)

TV-G | 87 min | Documentary

The journey of 12 people who share the common bond of losing 100 pounds on average and then embarking on one of the biggest challenges of their lives - the 200 mile mega distance Ragnar Relay Race.

Director: Angela Lee | Stars: Rik Akey, Andrea Mendez Black, Katie Foster, John Hulsey

Votes: 230

13. Run Lola Run (1998)

R | 80 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

77 Metascore

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri

Votes: 197,735 | Gross: $7.27M

14. Spirit of the Marathon II (2013)

Not Rated | 115 min | Documentary

From the filmmakers who brought you the award-winning documentary Spirit of the Marathon comes Spirit of the Marathon II. Featuring all new cast of athletes as they run the iconic streets of Rome.

Director: Jon Dunham | Stars: Domenico Anzini, Epiphanie Nyirabarame, Domenico Scipioni, Cliff Scott

Votes: 53

15. Desert Runners (2013)

99 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama

A diverse cast of non-professional runners attempt to complete the most difficult ultramarathon race series on Earth. Their dramatic journey takes them across the World's most picturesque ... See full summary »

Director: Jennifer Steinman Sternin | Stars: Samantha Gash, Tremaine Kent, David O'Brien, Ricky Paugh

Votes: 522

16. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Sport

A young thief takes up long-distance running when he is sent to a borstal.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage, Alec McCowen

Votes: 8,676

17. Free to Run (2016)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, History, Sport

54 Metascore

Today, all anybody needs to run is the determination and a pair of the right shoes. But just fifty years ago, running was viewed almost exclusively as the domain of elite male athletes who ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Morath | Stars: Denis Alcade, Neil Amdur, Gaby Andersen-Schiess, Gloria Averbuch

Votes: 360

18. Il corridore (2010)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary

Love, pain, revenge. The true story of a worker who became the Ultra Trail World Champion at 60 years old.

Directors: Paolo Casalis, Stefano Scarafia | Stars: Renata Dalmasso, Marco Olmo

Votes: 12

19. Spirit of the Marathon (2007)

PG | 104 min | Documentary, Sport

The first ever feature-length film to capture the essence, drama and unique spectacle of the famed 26.2-mile race, the production features five runners - three amateurs and two elites - as ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Dunham | Stars: Dick Beardsley, Ryan Bradley, Leah Caille, Deena Kastor

Votes: 600

20. Saint Ralph (2004)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

51 Metascore

Saint Ralph is the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth-grader who outran everyone's expectations except his own in his bold quest to win the 1954 Boston Marathon.

Director: Michael McGowan | Stars: Adam Butcher, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Kanevsky

Votes: 6,079 | Gross: $0.80M

21. De Marathon (2012)

107 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

After finding out that they have a tax debt of forty thousand euros, four very out-of-shape men working at a car shop start to train for a marathon in which they can win the money to pay the debt.

Director: Diederick Koopal | Stars: Stefan de Walle, Martin van Waardenberg, Marcel Hensema, Frank Lammers

Votes: 6,791

22. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)

R | 172 min | Drama

91 Metascore

The telling of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community and one warrior's endurance and battle of its menace.

Director: Zacharias Kunuk | Stars: Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk

Votes: 6,603 | Gross: $3.79M

23. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 39,556 | Gross: $5.73M

24. The Jericho Mile (1979 TV Movie)

97 min | Crime, Drama, Sport

A prisoner gets a chance to take part in the Olympics.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Peter Strauss, Richard Lawson, Roger E. Mosley, Brian Dennehy

Votes: 1,756

25. Marathon Man (1976)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

After the shocking murder of his older brother, a New York history student finds himself inexplicably hounded by shadowy government agents on the trail of a Nazi war criminal who is trying to retrieve smuggled diamonds.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane

Votes: 63,267 | Gross: $21.71M

26. McFarland, USA (2015)

PG | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

60 Metascore

Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach, and at his new school he turns seven disappointing students into one of the best cross-country teams in the region.

Director: Niki Caro | Stars: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts

Votes: 38,647 | Gross: $44.47M

27. Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco (2015)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

Micah True helps the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico preserve their traditional running culture.

Director: Sterling Noren | Stars: Micah True, Christopher McDougall, Scott Jurek, Barefoot Ted McDonald

Votes: 28

28. 100 Seconds to Beat the World: The David Rudisha Story (2014 TV Movie)


The story of middle-distance runner David Rudisha as he breaks the 800m world record with help from his unconventional coach and Roman Catholic missionary Colm O'Connell.

Directors: Jim de Zoete, Edward Sunderland | Stars: Sebastian Coe, Steve Cram, David Rudisha

Votes: 17

29. Running on the Sun: The Badwater 135 (2000)

100 min | Documentary, Sport

Forty runners compete in the most grueling race on earth, the Badwater. The film documents the trials and tribulations of these athletes as they run 135 miles through Death Valley in July ... See full summary »

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Adam Bookspan, Angelika Castaneda, Eric Clifton, Maria De Jesus

Votes: 238 | Gross: $0.00M

30. My Run (2009)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

After tragically losing his wife to breast cancer and struggling to raise three young children on his own, real life super hero and modern day Forrest Gump, Terry Hitchcock seized on an ... See full summary »

Director: Tim VandeSteeg | Stars: J. Marie Fieger, Chris Hitchcock, Jason Hitchcock, Teri Sue Hitchcock

Votes: 225

31. Unbroken (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama

59 Metascore

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 165,629 | Gross: $115.64M

32. Cliffy (2013 TV Movie)

TV-G | 92 min | Biography

Set against the backdrop of the early eighties, Cliffy retraces his extraordinary journey from famously training in gumboots among cow paddocks through the epic six-day period of the ultra ... See full summary »

Director: Dean Murphy | Stars: Kevin Harrington, Roy Billing, Krew Boylan, Martin Sacks

Votes: 218

33. Race (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

56 Metascore

Jesse Owens' quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy.

Director: Stephen Hopkins | Stars: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Eli Goree, Shanice Banton

Votes: 37,626 | Gross: $19.10M

34. Patriots Day (2016)

R | 133 min | Action, Crime, Drama

69 Metascore

The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons, John Goodman

Votes: 101,566 | Gross: $31.89M

35. Running the Sahara (2007)

TV-G | 102 min | Documentary, Sport

Three men attempt to become the first humans to run coast to coast across the Sahara Desert.

Director: James Moll | Stars: Matt Damon, Charlie Engle, Kevin Lin, Ray Zahab

Votes: 553

36. Without Limits (1998)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

71 Metascore

The life of renowned runner Steve Prefontaine and his relationship with legendary coach Bill Bowerman.

Director: Robert Towne | Stars: Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter, Jeremy Sisto

Votes: 7,091 | Gross: $0.78M

37. On the Edge (1986)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Sport

In one final attempt to achieve victory, an aging professional runner is training vigorously for a very tough marathon race.

Director: Rob Nilsson | Stars: Bruce Dern, Pam Grier, Bill Bailey, Jim Haynie

Votes: 260 | Gross: $0.44M

38. The Terry Fox Story (1983 TV Movie)

96 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

The true story about the Canadian cancer amputee hero who decided to run across Canada on only one leg to raise money for cancer research.

Director: Ralph L. Thomas | Stars: Eric Fryer, Robert Duvall, Chris Makepeace, Rosalind Chao

Votes: 657

39. Running with Demons (2011)

R | 85 min | Documentary

Faced with insurmountable odds, Todd Crandell takes us on a journey from alcohol and drug addiction to running endurance races such as the Ironman and Ultraman Hawaii and Canada all to ... See full summary »

Directors: Tony Armer, J. Declan Flynn | Stars: Todd Crandell, Darwin Holt, Scott Horn

Votes: 14

40. Run for Your Life (I) (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Without one eccentric first-generation Jewish immigrant from Transylvania, the New York City Marathon simply wouldn't exist. Ehrlich's fun, loving, and inspirational tribute to the late ... See full summary »

Director: Judd Ehrlich | Stars: Fred Lebow, Ed Koch, Nina Kuscsik, Bill Rodgers

Votes: 210

41. Cool Runnings (1993)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

60 Metascore

When a Jamaican sprinter is disqualified from the Olympic Games, he enlists the help of a dishonored coach to start the first Jamaican Bobsled Team.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: John Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis

Votes: 103,008 | Gross: $68.86M

42. The Robber (2010)

Not Rated | 101 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

A story based on Johann Rettenberger, an Austrian marathon runner and a bank robber.

Director: Benjamin Heisenberg | Stars: Andreas Lust, Markus Schleinzer, Roman Kettner, Hannelore Klauber-Laursen

Votes: 4,481 | Gross: $0.08M

43. Running Brave (1983)

PG | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

The story of Billy Mills, the American Indian who came from obscurity to win the 10,000-meter long-distance foot-race in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

Director: Donald Shebib | Stars: Robby Benson, Pat Hingle, Claudia Cron, Jeff McCracken

Votes: 725 | Gross: $3.00M