10 Of the Best Football Movies

With the start of football season just around the corner, there’s no better time to be inspired and entertained by some of the greatest movies featuring the pigskin in cinema history. In our list of the 10 best football movies, you can find comedy, drama, true stories and fictional heroes, but they all share the setting of America’s most popular sport. 

So while you await your favorite team to kickoff their season and cheer them on, check out this list of  gridiron movie classics and see if there are any that should be added to the list. 

The Waterboy (1998)

Adam Sandler plays the title character in the 1998 American sports comedy, directed by Frank Coraci.

Not only is the film heartwarming and humorous, but Henry Winkler and Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates also give standout performances. And Rob Schneider, Sandler’s friend, famously yells the line, “You can do it!” 

The DeLand High School football field in Florida served as the South Central Muddogs’ stadium. In exchange for their payment to have the stadium renovated following filming, the school agreed to let director Frank Coraci utilize the field.

The movie was incredibly successful; it made $39.4 million in its first weekend alone in the US and $186 million overall.

Necessary Roughness (1991)

Necessary Roughness is an American sports comedy from 1991, which is also Stan Dragoti’s final film. It is about the fictional Texas State University football team, the Fightin’ Armadillos.

The movie features Sinbad, one of the defining characteristics of the Nineties. Although far from perfect, its college-based plot is undoubtedly entertaining. The poster for this event features a cartoon football wearing glasses and a hat, arguably the most remarkable part.

Real NFL stars like Dick Butkus, Jim Kelly, and Jerry Rice are on the inmate football squad.

The Blind Side (2009) – 10 Of the Best Football Movies

John Lee Hancock wrote and directed the 2009 biographical sports drama film The Blind Side. The movie is based on Michael Lewis’ 2006 book of the same name. It follows the tale of American football offensive lineman Michael Oher, who overcame a traumatic childhood to play in the National Football League with the aid of his adoptive parents.

The movie made $309 million on a $29 million budget, making it a financial triumph. The movie was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

We Are Marshall (2006)

The 2006 American biographical sports drama film was directed by McG. It shows what happened after the 1970 plane disaster that claimed the lives of 75 people, including 37 football players from the Marshall University Thundering Herd, five coaches, two athletic trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters, and the five-person flight crew.

It has a stunningly composed background, a motivational tale about never giving up, and a well-known chant. What’s not adore?

Rebuilding the program and the community’s healing processes were also topics covered in the movie. 

Undefeated (2011)

Undefeated, a 2011 movie directed by Daniel Lindsay and T. J. Martin. The Manassas Tigers of Memphis high school football team battle throughout the movie as they try to have a successful season after years of losing. Coach Bill Courtney helps a bunch of young men becomes an academic and athletic squad, turning the team around. Undefeated demonstrates that there are still compelling tales to be told on the high school football field.

The film won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in February 2012.

Any Given Sunday (1999) – 10 Of the Best Football Movies

Oliver Stone’s 1999 American sports drama film Any Given Sunday, about a fictitious professional American football team.

It stars Oliver Stone, Al Pacino, and more. It is one of the most accurate depictions of professional football life. Any Given Sunday follows the adventures of the made-up Miami Sharks despite having an excessively long runtime (162 minutes!). The movie emphasizes the dark side of the sport more than it does the sport itself, and it is based on the novel On Any Given Sunday by NFL veteran Pat Toomay.

Any Given Sunday was a commercial triumph with a $55 million budget and a $100.2 million global gross.

Remember the Titans (2000)

A 2000 American biographical sports movie titled “Remember the Titans” was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and helmed by Boaz Yakin. It is inspired by a true incident of Herman Boone, a coach.

Denzel Washington is fantastic in everything, but he excels in this film about racial tensions and football in the American south from the 1970s. Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris play real-life athletes Julius Campbell and Gerry Bertier.

The budget was $30 million, earning an estimated $115.6 million in the United States and $136.7 million worldwide. It frequently appears on lists of the top football movies.

The Longest Yard (1974)

The Longest Yard is a 1974 American prison sports comedy film starring Burt Reynolds. It looks at prison life and the sport while delivering two defining elements of classic 1970s cinema: gritty, no-holds-barred action. The film is based on a story by producer Albert S. Ruddy.

Many real-life football players are featured in it, notably Ray Nitschke of the Green Bay Packers.

Three movie remakes exist- Mean Machine from 2001, The Longest Yard (2005), and 2015 Captain Masr from Egypt.

Brian’s Song (1971) – 10 Of the Best Football Movies

Brian’s Song is one of the best football movies ever filmed while also being the saddest movie on the list. It follows the career of Brian Piccolo, who passed away while playing for the Chicago Bears, and stars the legendary James Caan. It’s a moving film with beautiful acting.

It describes the story of the footballer who was diagnosed with terminal cancer after turning professional in 1965, narrated by his teammate.

The description of Sayers’s friendship with Piccolo and dealing with Piccolo’s illness in his 1970 autobiography, I Am Third, served as the inspiration for the film.

Rudy (1993)

Watching Rudy gives every guy goosebumps. The tale of the underdog and his enduring dream is a classic one.

David Anspaugh helmed the 1993 American sports biopic, Rudy. It is a biography of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who, despite numerous challenges, aspired to play football at the University of Notre Dame.

After Knute Rockne, All American in 1940, this was the first movie the Notre Dame administration had permitted to be filmed on campus.