With its fun and thrilling gameplay, incredible athletes, historic and awe-inspiring stadiums, the transfers, emotion, and drama, it’s little wonder why football is the most popular sport in the world, with billions of fans watching and living for the game. So, it’s only natural that the film industry has also been enticed by sport, with innumerable films created about football.
If you want to experience the sport on a different note, why binge-watch the most famous football movies of all time? From college, comedy, inspirational, to more serious flicks, all these films are brimmed with action and goosebump-worthy scenes that will let you fall in love and appreciate football even more.
1. Rudy (1993)
Released on October 15, 1993, “Rudy” is a biographical sports film that revolves around the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who despite being considered too small for the sport dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame.
His hard work and commitment help him to overcome all odds, earning the hearts of his teammates and the audience. The film proves how passion can do wonders in the field of sport, inspiring and bringing joy to all as the movie culminates.
In 2005, “Rudy” was ranked among the best 25 sports flicks in two polls done by ESPN and also hailed as one of the American Film Institute’s most inspiring films of all time. Simply, a must-watch!
2. Remember The Titans (2000)
“Remember The Titans” chronicles the true story of African-American coach Herman Boone at T. C. Williams High School in 1970’s Virginia. Portrayed by Denzel Washington, the didactic coach takes over a segregated football team and attempts to bring all the white and black kids together, whilst also trying to create a stronger community within a small town whose heart and soul can be traced to football.
Directed by Boaz Yakin and co-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Walt Disney Pictures, “Remember The Titans” earned over $115 million in the U.S. and more than $136 million globally. Part-inspirational and part-historical, the movie garnered generally positive reviews, cited for its terrific performances, and often listed as one of the best football films.
3. Friday Night Lights (2004)
Based on H.G. Bissinger’s book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream,” this sports drama film follows the story of the coach and the players of a high school football in Odessa, Texas, and the obsession, high expectations, and pressure from their small, turbulent town. It shows the football’s effect not only on the athletes themselves but also on their loved ones and their community. Carrying on the unfulfilled dreams of Odessa on their shoulders, will they be able to achieve triumph? It’s for you to find out by watching this moving drama yet anthemic sports movie.
4. The Replacements (2000)
“The Replacements” is a feel-good comedy flick featuring Gene Hackman playing the role of a retired NFL coach who is asked to return during a pro-football strike and hire replacement players. Among the substitutes is Keanu Reeves taking the role of Shane Falco, a former quarterback who became a scab after choking and being removed from the pros only after one season. It’s a story of second chances and redemption plus all the satisfaction and glory that accompanies it once achieved.
5. The Longest Yard (1974)
Starring indomitable Burt Reynolds and his iconic chest chair, “The Longest Yard” is a prison sports comedy flick tackling the story of an ex-professional football star serving his time but challenged but a sadistic warden to build a team of inmates to go against his prison guards. Eventually, the warden attempts to heckle him, but the inmates have their own plans of using the game to exact revenge for all the ruthlessness they’ve experienced.
The gusty, no holds barred 1970’s classic was remade thrice: in 2001’s British adaptation “Mean Machine,” in 2005’s “The Longest Yard” starring Adam Sandler, and in 2015’ Egyptian version “Captain Masr.” The original movie won as Best Edited Feature Film and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy in the American Cinema Editors Awards, while also earning nominations in the Academy and Golden Globe Awards.
6. We Are Marshall (2006)
Using tragedy as its lifeblood, “We Are Marshall” starring Matthew McConaughey shows the aftermath of the tragic plane crash that claimed many lives of the players of Marshall University’s football team. McConaughey enters as the new coach and along with the surviving players, they try to keep the football team and the town together alive after the great loss. A story about hope, recovery, and bouncing back and how sports can be the key to healing at a time when everything seems lost, this inspiring and uplifting movie will be sure to touch your heart.
7. The Blind Side (2009)
Based on a book and a true story, “The Blind Side” tells the life of former NFL player Michael Oher. From being a homeless and traumatized boy (Quinton Aaron), he was adopted by caring couple Sean (Tim McGraw) and Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) who turns his life around making him see his capacity as a student and football player. What’s remarkable is that the movie discusses football outside the field and the significance of a family to a player.
“The Blind Side” is a commercial success earning $309 million in the box office, more than tenfold of its $29 million budget. Bullock’s performance in the movie was also acclaimed, giving her an Academy and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. The movie itself also won the Best Sports Movie in the 18th ESPY Awards in 2010.
8. Any Given Sunday (1999)
“Any Given Sunday” is a sports drama flick under the direction of Oliver Stone. It boasts an ensemble cast, which features Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Dennis Quaid, Lauren Holly, and Ann-Marget. “Any Given Sunday” is one of the best depictions of modern professional football at all possible angles, showing the politics, attitude, and the veracity in the business behind the NFL.
9. Jerry Maguire (1996)
Starring Tom Cruise, “Jerry Maguire” talks about the story of a sports agent, who had life-changing enlightenment stirred by criticism from a son of an injured player. He expressed his sentiments company-wide but wasn’t met with enthusiasm and was fired from his job. In an attempt to pursue his newfound philosophy, he starts his own agency with the help of his secretary Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) and their sole client Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.). “Jerry Maguire” rolls romance, comedy, drama, and sports into a heartwarming and charming flick you should never dare to miss.
10. Necessary Roughness (1991)
Charged to rebuild Texas University’s football team following a scandal, coach Wally Riggendorf and Ed Gennero select peculiar players in their line-up, including a junior professor, a pedant defensive lineman, and an over 30-year-old quarterback. Struggling at first, a female kicker enters the team and provides the team its much-needed boost to go up against their biggest rival.So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite snacks and match them with the best Asian beers. Find your comfy spot on the couch and start watching these flicks that showcase interesting stories and characters in football in and out of the stadium, all bound to feed your love for the sport.