Hustle: Five Netflix movies to watch if you liked Adam Sandler’s hit sports drama

So far, Hustle was one of the more pleasant cinematic surprises of 2022.

The sports drama starring Adam Sandler has been embraced by fans and critics alike, propelling Hustle to not one, but two Rotten Tomatoes records for the actor.

Hustle sees Sandler playing Stanley Sugerman, a basketball scout who finds a hidden gem in Spanish stranger Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez), whom he brings back to the United States.

The film almost looked very different, with Netflix forcing a major change to the script before filming began.

While much of Sandler’s career has been spent directing popular but critically panned comedies, such as The Waterboy Where Billy Madisonhe occasionally ventured into dramatic territory with considerable success.

If you enjoyed Sandler’s acclaimed ride Hustle – or if you’re generally a fan of underdog sports movies – here are five similar movies available to watch on Netflix.

(Netflix)

See below for the full list…

silver ball

One of the best sports movies of the century, 2011 silver ball tells the story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), a failed former baseball pro who becomes general manager of the Oakland Athletics. Bringing in a wily statistician played by Jonah Hill, Beane reshapes the very fabric of the game, pushing for a seemingly counterintuitive stats-based approach. With a cracking screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, silver ball is like Hustle, a film as much about corporate shenanigans and dealings as it is about the sport itself. It’s rhythmic, sincere, funny: in other words, a home run.

Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

(Colombia TriStar)

Million dollar baby

This Oscar-winning drama is one of the most beloved sports movies of all time – and it’s currently available to stream on Netflix in the UK and Ireland (and elsewhere). Hilary Swank plays an amateur boxer trained by a curmudgeonly trainer (Clint Eastwood, who also coaches). Rocky it is not, however; Million dollar baby is quite spooky towards the end – something to keep in mind if you’re looking for some Hustle-esque uprising.

High flying bird

Filmed for Netflix entirely using an iPhone 8, this basketball movie directed by Steven Soderbergh boasts an interesting cast (including Moonlightby André Holland, Zazie Beetz, Threadby Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Glenn Fleshler and Kyle MacLachlan) as well as a gripping story. A sports agent (Holland) has 72 hours to save his business while making an inventive proposal to his client, a young beginner basketball player.

Uncut Gems

Pretty much the undisputed pinnacle of Adam Sandler’s acting career, the Safdie Brothers Uncut Gems is a film that has to be seen to be believed. Playing compulsive gambler and diamond dealer Howard Ratner, Sandler is a force of nature; he spends the film pinging between pawnbrokers and loan sharks, perpetually chasing the big win. There’s also a sports angle here – Celtics player Kevin Garnett plays himself, and the film is structured around three real NBA games – but the real spectacle is just Howard’s demeanor, and the excruciating tension that doesn’t ease for a second.

Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner in ‘Uncut Gems’

(Netflix)

Home team

On the lighter side of things, we have Home team, a 2022 sports film produced by Sandler’s company Happy Madison. Sandler’s sidekick Kevin James stars as Sean Payton, the head coach of the New Orleans Saints who took command of the football team from his 12-year-old son during a one-year suspension from the NFL. Contrary to Hustle, Home team wasn’t blessed with stellar ratings for Rotten Tomatoes – but for sports movie fans or Sandler fans, it may be worth the wait.

Alfonso E. Cramer