Rank 'Em: ESPN's 30 for 30 Films

Created: December 14, 2010, 4:28 PM

Which were your favorite ESPN 30 For 30 films?

An unprecedented documentary series featuring thirty films from some of today's finest storytellers, ESPN's 30 for 30 project asked filmmakers to bring their passion and personal point of view to their films detailing the issues, trends, athletes, teams, rivalries, games and events that transformed the sports landscape from 1979 to 2009.

Review the films below, click here for trailers and clips, and start ranking. Simply click on the photos to begin.

More: Read Bill Simmons' essay on the inspiration for 30 for 30
 

 
  • Kings Ransom
    Directed by Peter Berg

    Acclaimed director Peter Berg presents the captivating story of the trade that knocked the wind out of an entire country, and placed a star-studded city right at the humble feet of a 27-year-old kid, known simply as "The Great One."
  • The Band That Wouldn't Die
    Directed by Barry Levinson

    Through the eyes of members of the Colts Marching Band, Levinson illustrates how a fan base copes with losing the team that it loves.
  • Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL?
    Directed by Mike Tolin

    In the ensuing 23 years since the USFL suspened play, several other alternative pro football leagues have tried and failed. But the influence of the USFL can be seen every Sunday in the fall, and the memories linger of a dream nearly realized but sadly cut short.
  • Muhammad and Larry
    Directed by Albert Maysles

    "A good part of the joy of filming and watching Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes is how human and likeable they are, especially at a time now when most in the mass media seem to find it all too difficult to represent anyone who may exemplify the best in all of us. Muhammad and Larry, surely, represent the best." - Albert Maysles
  • Without Bias
    Directed by Kirk Fraser

    More than two decades after his tragic cocaine overdose, the late Len Bias still leaves more questions than answers. When Bias dropped dead two days after the 1986 NBA Draft, he forever altered our perception of casual drug use and became the tipping point of America's drug crisis in the mid-80's.
  • The Legend of Jimmy The Greek
    Directed by Fritz Mitchell

    Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Fritz Mitchell, who broke in as an intern on "The NFL Today," examines Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder's impact on the growth of sports gambling, while also taking a fresh look at The Greek's tragic downfall.
  • The U
    Directed by Billy Corbin

    Filmmaker Billy Corben, a Miami native and University of Miami alum, tells the story of how these "Bad Boys" of football changed the attitude of the game they played, and how this serene Miami campus was transformed into "The U."
  • Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks
    Directed by Dan Klores

    Peabody Award-winning director Dan Klores explores how Miller proudly built his legend as "The Garden's Greatest Villain."
  • Guru Of Go
    Directed by Bill Couturie

    Paul Westhead's non-stop run-and-gun offensive system at Loyola Marymount seemed doomed to fail until two talented Philadelphia natives, Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble, showed up and the three turned conventional college basketball thinking on its head.
  • No Crossover: The Trial Of Allen Iverson
    Directed by Steve James

    On Valentine's Day 1993, 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star Allen Iverson was bowling in Hampton, Va., with five high school friends. It was supposed to be an ordinary evening, but it became a night that defined Iverson's young life.
  • Silly Little Game
    Directed by A. Kirkland, L. Jansen

    Fantasy Sports is estimated to be a $4 billion industry that boasts over 30 million participants and a league for almost every sport imaginable. But for all this success, the story of the game's inception is little known.
  • Run Ricky Run
    Directed by S. Pamphilon, R. Toni

    Ricky Williams does not conform to America's definition of the modern athlete. In 2004, with rumors of another positive marijuana test looming, the Miami Dolphins running back traded adulation and a mansion in South Florida for anonymity and a $7 a night tent in Australia.
  • The 16th Man
    Directed by Clifford Bestall

    South Africa played host to the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Though they had only one non-white player, the South African Springboks gained supporters of all colors as they made an improbable run into the final match where they beat the heavily favored New Zealand team.
  • Straight Outta L.A.
    Directed by Ice Cube

    In 1982, Raiders owner Al Davis beat the NFL in court and moved his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. With a squad as colorful as its owner, the Raiders captivated a large number of black and Hispanic fans in L.A. at a time when gang warfare, immigration and the real estate boom were rapidly changing the city.
  • June 17, 1994
    Directed by Brett Morgan

    Oscar-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Brett Morgen artistically weave the moments of June 17, 1994 to create a unique and reflective look at a day that no sports fan could forget.
  • The Two Escobars
    Directed by Jeff, Michael Zimbalist

    While rival drug cartels warred in the streets and the country's murder rate climbed to highest in the world, the Colombian national soccer team set out to blaze a new image for their country. What followed was a mysteriously rapid rise to glory, as the team catapulted out of decades of obscurity to become one of the best teams in the world.
  • The Birth Of Big Air
    Directed by Jeff Tremaine

    In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur, and by 16 he had risen to the professional level. Throughout his storied career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations, instead, focusing his efforts on the purity of the sport and the pursuit of "what's next."
  • Jordan Rides The Bus
    Directed by Ron Shelton

    Ron Shelton, a former minor leaguer who brought his experiences to life in the classic movie "Bull Durham," revisits Michael Jordan's short career in the minor leagues and explores the motivations that drove the world's most competitive athlete to play a new sport.
  • Little Big Men
    Directed by Al Szymanski

    On August 28, 1982, Cody Webster and a small group of schoolyard friends from Kirkland, Washington, sat anxiously in a dugout waiting to take the field for the championship game of the Little League World Series. Their focus was just about what you'd expect from any 12-year-old: hit the ball, throw strikes, cross your fingers and then maybe - maybe - you'll win.
  • One Night In Vegas
    Directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood

    On Sept. 7, 1996, Mike Tyson, the WBC heavyweight champion, took Bruce Seldon's WBA title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Following Tyson's victory, Tupac Shakur was brutally gunned down. Director Reggie Bythewood tells not only the story of that infamous night but of the remarkable friendship between Tyson and Tupac.
  • Unmatched
    Directed by Lisa Lax, Nance Stern Winters
    Produced by Hannah Storm

    Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert had one of the greatest one-on-one rivalries in the history of sports. "Unmatched" captures these two extraordinary athletes' views on tennis and an ever-changing world.
  • The House Of Steinbrenner
    Directed by Barbara Kopple

    A look at the New York Yankees as defined by George Steinbrenner's enduring legacy, and the story of how a $10-million dollar investment changed the face of not only a storied franchise, but an entire sport.
  • Into The Wind
    Directed by Steve Nash, Ezra Holland

    In 1980, Terry Fox continued his fight against bone cancer with the pursuit of a singular, motivating vision: to run across Canada three years after having his right leg amputated six inches above the knee.
  • Four Days In October
    Major League Baseball Productions

    An in-depth look at the last 96 hours of the 2004 ALCS that brought salvation to Red Sox Nation and made baseball history in the process.
  • Once Brothers
    NBA Entertainment

    Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac were two friends who grew up together sharing the common bond of basketball. Together, they went to America where they became the first two foreign players to attain NBA stardom. But after a war broke out between Petrovic's Croatia and Divac's Serbia, long buried ethnic tensions surfaced.
  • Tim Richmond: To The Limit
    Directed by Rory Karpf

    Natural. Rock star. Outsider. In the 1980s, race car driver Tim Richmond lived his life the way he raced cars do; wide open. Born into a wealthy family, Richmond was the antithesis of the Southern, blue-collar, dirt-track racers who dominated NASCAR. He died in 1989, a recluse, at the age of 34. Rory Karpf examines the life and tragic death of one of NASCAR's shooting stars.
  • Fernando Nation
    Directed by Cruz Angeles

    A layered look at the myth and the man, Cruz Angeles recalls the euphoria around Fernando Valenzuela's arrival and probes a phenomenon that transcended baseball for many Mexican-Americans.
  • Marion Jones: Press Pause
    Directed by John Singleton

    Few athletes in Olympic history have reached such heights and depths as Marion Jones. At the 2000 Summer Games she won three gold medals and two bronze. In 2007 she admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and was sentenced to six months in prison for lying to federal investigators and saw her Olympic achievements disqualified.
  • The Best That Never Was
    Directed by Jonathan Hock

    Eight-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Hock examines why Oklahoma's star recruit burned out so young and how he ultimately used football to redeem himself.
  • Pony Excess
    Directed by Thaddeus D. Matula

    The story of Dallas in the 1980's and the greed, power, and corruption that spilled from the oil fields onto the SMU football field and all the way to the Governor's Mansion. Director Thaddeus D. Matula, a product of the SMU film school, chronicles the rise, fall, and rebirth of this once mighty team.