10 Movies Like ‘Air’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 More Movies Like Air

Based on the real life events of what saved Nike from completely falling apart, Air tells the story of  Sonny Vaccaro, a salesman for Nike who puts his career on the line as he attempts to sign a certain NBA prospect by the name of Michael Jordan to Nike’s sneaker line.

The film is directed by Ben Affleck, who also plays in a supporting role as Nike Chairman, Phil Knight. It also stars Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker and Viola Davis.

At the time the film takes place, Nike is third on the shoe market behind Adidas and Converse. The idea of signing Jordan to them is farfetched.  Therefore it sets up a great underdog story about a deal that changed the sports world forever.

There are many films available in the same vein of Air. Films about sports, business and entrepreneurship that can hit a chord with audiences. Here are ten other films to check out if you enjoyed Air.

Joy (2015)

Directed by David O’ Russell, Joy tells the story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence). A woman working at a dead end job who spends her spare time inventing home appliances and finally lands an idea that turns things around for her.

It’s the true story of Joy Mangano, the inventor of things such as the Miracle Mop. The comedy drama also goes into her family life growing up, and as she becomes more successful allies easily become her adversaries. The film co-stars Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez too.

Although not a sports film, Joy is more of an underdog story of someone becoming successful against all odds.

Trouble With the Curve (2012)

Trouble With the Curve is a father-daughter story centered around baseball. Clint Eastwood plays Gus, one of the best baseball scouts there is. However age has started to catch up with him. He must accept help from his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams). The two haven’t been on the same page for a few years.

It is with this situation that the film explores their pasts as father/daughter in the hope to better things between them going forward. Baseball is used at the backdrop of all of this, thus giving the two characters something to bond over.

Hustle (2022)

Produced by Lebron James, and starring Adam Sandler. This comedy drama centers around the world of basketball. Sandler plays Stanley Sugarman, a scout for the Philadelphia 76er’s. He’s always on the go, and looking for the next big thing to bring to the NBA but he’s also starting to burn out a bit, and finds himself down on his luck.

After a trip overseas, Stanley then discovers a brilliant player and decides to bring him back to the U.S. without a real game plan on how to get him on the team.  Like Air, you can feel the stakes of the risk Stanley is taking. You also feel the weight of how hard it is to make anything come together in the world of professional sports.

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Battle of the Sexes is a historical comedy drama sports film that is about just that – The Battle of the Sexes tennis match of 1973. Emma Stone and Steve Carell play Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs respectively.

The film documents the classic tennis bout between the two of them, but the real treat of the movie is everything leading up to the match. We get a glimpse into both of their personal lives and struggles that they have.

The Founder (2016)

The true story of Ray Kroc, who for better or for worse put fast food on the map and became the founder of McDonalds. Michael Keaton plays the role of the struggling salesman who meets the McDonald brothers (John Carroll Lynch, Nick Offerman) and is in awe of their new system of making food.

The first half of the film feels a lot like you’ll be in store for an uplifting tale of a mans rise to the top. The Founder actually shows you the harsh reality of doing business. Ray Kroc ends up shifting himself into position to rob the brothers of their business and therefore making him become head of a billion dollar empire.

Eddie The Eagle (2015)

One of the more underrated underdog stories of the last ten years, Eddie The Eagle, is a real crowd pleaser. Based on the true story of Michael Edwards (Taron Edgerton). A English ski jumper who is rejected by British Olympic officials and can’t compete in the winter games.

Despite dreams of becoming an Olympian he finds himself now down on his luck. He then links up with former ski jumper Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman). The two generate a liking of one another and Peary ends up training Eddie all the way up to his 1988 Winter Olympic run. Like most films on this list, they are very much about dedication, hard work and perseverance.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

You might want to put the kids to bed if you watch this film after Air. Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is a raunchy, drug fueled, comedic tale of greed in America. Its the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), the head of wall street brokerage Stratton Oakmont. For nearly three hours, Belfort and his gang New York City yuppies par take and hedonistic excess full of sex, drugs, and what seems like and unlimited supply of cash.

The FBI eventually catches onto what Belfort and the firm are up to and cracks down on their greedy ways. Like a lot of stories of the American Dream, eventually it all comes crashing down. There is a great sense of entrepreneurship to Wolf of Wall Street, but in the end its also a great film to learn about what not to do if you become successful.

The Big Short (2015)

It’s hard to decide if The Big Short is a comedy or a crime drama. It’s based on the book by Michael Lewis about some of the players in the ’08 market crash. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a hedge fund manager who bets against the housing market knowing it is going to crash. Others follow suit including Ryan Gosling as banker Jared Vennett and Mark Baum (Steve Carell), a hedge fund specialist.

These men profit millions while the rest of the countries economy falls to pieces. The film is a morality tale on greed, and tonally lines up with Air, yet the messages in these films being conveyed couldn’t be any more opposite.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Similar to Air and a few other entries on this list, Jerry Maguire takes place in the sports world, but isn’t about sports. The Cameron Crowe directed rom-com is a time capsule of the sports world and overall culture in the nineties. Tom Cruise, in maybe one of his best performances, is in the title role as a passionate sports agent who suddenly has a crisis of character.

He is fired from his job for sending out a memo about showing more compassion and understanding for clients. As he embarks on this new journey, he brings a long his secretary, Renee Zellweger and his only remaining client, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.). For two hole hours you watch Jerry be discredited by the people in his industry, and yet he rises to the forefront due to a moment in the films final moments that solidifies what he was trying to set out to do in the first place with that memo.

Moneyball (2011) 

Moneyball is a sports story about overcoming odds and being ambitious to achieve a worthy goal. And instead of it being from the perspective of the athlete, its from the teams general manager. Based on the true story and book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. We follow Oakland Athletics G.M. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), who is coming off a tough post season loss, and on a shoe string budget for the following year.

Billy cleans house from aging scouts to overpaid outfielders and hires a team full of guys who can “get on base”. He also brings in Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a Yale Economics grad to help in the teams rebuild.  The film is subtle in its delivery on how passionate Beane is with what he’s doing. It doesn’t rub the underdog narrative in your face, but it is there and very prevalent, and it summed up in a memorable rhetorical question, “how can you not be romantic about baseball?”

So, there we have it, our list of best movies that are similar to Air. What do you think of our picks? Did one of your favourites make the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a comment