The Best Underdog Tales on Netflix Right Now

Photo: Venti Views

Everybody loves an underdog tale, the story of an unlikely hero triumphing against the odds is one that any one of us can get behind. Whether it’s a sportsperson who’s at a disadvantage, an animal that’s not had the best start in life, or a woman trying to get ahead in a man’s world, there are many reasons our protagonists struggle to make it, but it’s usually their strength of heart that helps them to succeed.

We’ve rounded up a handful of the best underdog tales out there, that will make you laugh, cry and cheer in support. Best of all, they’re all available to watch on Netflix, so tissues and popcorn at the ready, here they are.

Poker Queens

First up is a feature-length documentary about inspirational women operating in a man’s world. That world is the one of professional poker. Five fierce poker players try to make it to the World Series of Poker, with one and one interviews, as well as actual and recreated footage of their journey to get there.

There are some thrilling stories about moments in their careers, including one player’s tale of winning a tournament dressed up as a man and nearly having her title stripped. If anyone enjoys Ignition’s table casino games, they’ll find this fascinating to watch.

In a game that shouldn’t get affected by gender in any way, it seems that for the moment, poker is a man’s game. However, with the help of Poker Queens like this, that could be set to change in the not-too-distant future.

Rescued by Ruby

Next up is a film about a dog, which even if you aren’t into the ‘underdog genre’ you’re guaranteed to need that box of tissues for. Based on a true story, this Netflix film follows the story of rescue dog Ruby, a border collie and Australian shepherd mix that kept finding herself back at the shelter. Whilst Ruby was loving and affectionate, she was also very rambunctious, which meant that her first five adopters ended up returning her to the shelter.

It was at this point that the shelter staff were out of ideas, they knew Ruby had the potential to be a sweet dog but couldn’t find anybody with the patience to take her on. Corporal Daniel O’Neill was in desperate need of a search and rescue dog and the shelter staff thought that with a whole lot of training, Ruby could be a good fit.

At 8 months old, Ruby’s whirlwind of homes looked as though it had finally ended. Fast forward several years and Ruby was sent out on a search and rescue mission to find a teenage boy who the police had been unable to locate. The task weighed even heavier than normal, as the boy that was missing was the shelter volunteer’s son, the one who never gave in on finding Ruby a home. We won’t ruin the ending, but suffice it to say, there won’t be a dry eye in the room.

Dream Horse

Another animal story here and another adaptation of a true tale. Dream Horse tells the story of a determined Welsh landlady who dreamt of having a racehorse. She knew plenty about racing and had some experience with horses herself but didn’t have anywhere close to the kind of money that it would take to buy a horse and have it trained properly.

Realizing she wasn’t going to give up on this dream, a group of eleven of her regulars at the pub clubbed together to help her out. The syndicate of twelve bought a bad-tempered mare and bred her into an up-and-coming stallion. They crossed their fingers for a promising foal and Dream Alliance was born.

Although his pedigree was nothing special, the group sent him to be trained at a proper racing yard and it looked as though things were starting to fall into place. Dream Alliance had a couple of encouraging runs and then it was time for the big one, The Welsh National. Your heart will be in your mouth as you watch this story of what’s possible when friends work together.


Finally, a quick word for this three-part documentary about the life of Kanye West. Whilst many would look at him now and see someone who couldn’t be further from an underdog, the story of how he made it shows that he really was once. The first part of the documentary reveals the struggles that he went through.

He would turn up to offices and rap to anyone who would listen just to try and get signed or get a show. Sometimes people would listen to him, but often they would just walk right on by. Seeing a musician as influential as Kanye getting outright ignored shows just how hard it’s necessary to grind to make it to the top.