10 Best Movies to Watch If You Liked Maidaan

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India hasn’t had the best track record in football (or soccer as some may prefer). But the fact-based drama Maidaan proves how some Indian underdogs still give their best to make their nation proud on the football field. Starring Ajay Devgn as former national team coach Syed Abdul Rahim, the film details India’s struggles to win gold in several Asian Games tournaments and qualify for semi-finals at the Olympics.

If you like the rousing journey of a driven coach and his team in Maidaan, our guide will take you through many more inspiring sports dramas that you can stream in India. We also show you all available deals to buy and rent these movies.

Chak De! India

This 2000s classic boasts an ensemble of promising debut actresses and Shah Rukh Khan in one of his most committed roles. Cast against type, Khan plays a disgraced Indian hockey player who becomes a tough-as-nails coach of the Indian women’s hockey team. The ups and downs of the team make Chak De! India an emotional watch.

Gold

Gold is the uplifting true story behind the Indian hockey team’s success at the 1948 Olympics with Akshay Kumar playing the team’s optimistic assistant manager. Expect similar themes and tones as Maidaan.

The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game is a recent Netflix drama that celebrates football while shedding light on its socio-political background. What sets it apart from other football movies is that it focuses on the Homeless World Cup, a tournament that plans on giving homeless football players a global stage.

Jhund

If Maidaan makes you want to watch more Hindi-language football films, Nagraj Manjule’s Jhund should definitely be on your list. Amitabh Bachchan play an aging sports teacher while a cast of talented newcomers play a team of slum-dwellers who battle all odds to make it out of their dire situation.

Dangal

When it comes to Indian sports dramas to watch, Dangal makes for an essential pick. The Aamir Khan-led drama is led by the journey of former wrestler Mahavir Phogat training his daughters Geeta and Babita (both of whom became leading wrestlers in the future). The film also touches upon themes like the patriarchy in the wrestling field and India’s quest for gold at global tournaments.

Next Goal Wins

Based on the documentary of the same name, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins recreates the hilariously true story of how the American Samoa soccer team made it to the 2014 World Cup Finals (despite having an embarrassingly bad track record earlier). Expect motivational speeches, strange training sessions, and Michael Fassbender giving his all as a disgraced coach.

Badhaai Ho

Maidaan is the third movie by Amit Sharma who was previously known for directing Badhai Ho. Some might argue that the Ajay Devgn-starrer is his best work but Badhai Ho has its own merits as well. Neena Gupta steals the show as an elderly woman who accidentally gets pregnant with the rest of the story taking on stigmas around pregnancy and ageism in India.

Lagaan

Nominated for an Oscar for Best International Feature, Lagaan is a cult classic when it comes to Indian sports dramas. Aamir Khan leads a group of Indian villagers in this Ashutosh Gowariker Independence-era epic as they take on their British overlords. It’s a perfect example of how social politics can blend with sports cliches.

Shaolin Soccer

Not all football movies need to be as serious and historically accurate as Maidaan. Some can be truly out of the box. Shaolin Soccer is a classic example, a family-friendly hybrid of kung fu movie action and football drama. It’s easily the wildest football movie to watch.

Bend It Like Beckham

Before Maidaan and Jhund, the best Indian football movie was perhaps Gurinder Chaddha’s Bend It Like Beckham. Following a young British-Indian footballer, the film explored both her struggles on the field and struggles within her conservative household.

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  1. Chak De! India

    Chak De! India

    2007

    IMDB 8.1 (85k)

    #1

    A team of rag-tag girls with their own agenda form Team India competing for international fame in field hockey. Their coach, the ex-men's Indian National team captain, returns from a life of shame after being unjustly accused of match fixing in his last match. Can he give the girls the motivation required to win, while dealing with the shadows of his own past?

  2. Gold

    Gold

    2018

    IMDB 7.3 (14k)

    #2

    Set in 1948, the historic story of India's first Olympic medal post their independence.

  3. The Beautiful Game

    The Beautiful Game

    2024

    IMDB 6.3 (6k)

    #3

    Advocates to end homelessness, organize an annual tournament for Homeless men to compete in a series of football matches known as The Homeless World Cup.

  4. Jhund

    Jhund

    2022

    IMDB 7.4 (25k)

    #4

    Based on the life of Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher who founded an NGO called Slum Soccer. He managed to rehabilitate street kids by keeping them off drugs and crime by turning them into soccer players and building a whole team.

  5. Dangal

    Dangal

    2016

    IMDB 8.3 (213k)

    #5

    Dangal is an extraordinary true story based on the life of Mahavir Singh and his two daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat. The film traces the inspirational journey of a father who trains his daughters to become world class wrestlers.

  6. Next Goal Wins

    Next Goal Wins

    2023

    IMDB 6.5 (25k)

    #6

    Dutch coach Thomas Rongen attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into winners.

  7. Badhaai Ho

    Badhaai Ho

    2018

    IMDB 7.9 (38k)

    #7

    A 25-year-old man tries to suppress his embarrassment when his mother announces that she is pregnant.

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  8. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

    #8

    In 1890s India, an arrogant British commander challenges the harshly taxed residents of Champaner to a high-stakes cricket match.

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  9. Shaolin Soccer

    Shaolin Soccer

    2001

    IMDB 7.3 (90k)

    #9

    A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.

  10. Bend It Like Beckham

    Bend It Like Beckham

    2002

    IMDB 6.7 (117k)

    #10

    Jess Bhamra, the daughter of a strict Indian couple in London, is not permitted to play organized soccer, even though she is 18. When Jess is playing for fun one day, her impressive skills are seen by Jules Paxton, who then convinces Jess to play for her semi-pro team. Jess uses elaborate excuses to hide her matches from her family while also dealing with her romantic feelings for her coach, Joe.

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