7 Best Football Movies of All Time
With NFL training camps right around the corner, there’s no better way to get back into the football groove than watching a movie about the sport of the pigskin. From tear-jerkers to dramas, comedies to classics, here are our seven favorite football flicks.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Based on a true story, Remember the Titans is a film about Herman Boone (played by Denzel Washington) a football coach trusted with the challenging task of successfully integrating a high school football team in Alexandria, VA, in the early 1970s. Produced by the world-renown Jerry Bruckheimer, Titans tackles tough subjects like racial prejudice with a delicate touch, and is a football drama definitely worth your time.
Rudy is an inspirational football film that is a must-watch for any fan of the sport. The film depicts the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who was considered to be too small and not talented enough to play college football for a prestigious team. Rudy overcomes an incredible amount of obstacles and eventually finds his way onto the campus of Notre Dame and onto the team. Rudy is a classic “against all odds” story directed by David Anspaugh, who also directed the hit basketball movie Hoosiers.
Any Given Sunday (1999)
Oliver Stone’s sprawling 157-minute football epic, Any Given Sunday, is an intense film about an over-the-hill head coach (played by Al Pacino) who’s at odds with his team’s new-school owner. Facing a losing streak and less-than-stellar attendance, Pacino’s character is forced to turn to his third-string quarterback in order to save the season. The movie features an impressive ensemble cast that features the likes of Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Aaron Eckhart, Matthew Modine and John C. McGinley.
Brian’s Song (1971)
Brian’s Song is a classic made-for-TV movie that aired on ABC back in 1971. The film stars the iconic duo of James Caan and Billy Dee Williams as Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. The two running backs start off as rivals due to their different personalities and upbringings but eventually form an unbreakable bond. The story is a formidable tear-jerker as the two friends experience hardship in the form of Piccolo’s terminal cancer. This movie is about as emotional as football flicks get, so be sure to have an emergency box of tissues next to your bucket of popcorn.
Draft Day (2014)
Released in 2014, Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day is the only football movie from the last 10 years to make it onto our list. Kevin Costner plays the role of Sonny Weaver Jr, the son of a beloved football coach who is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns. The film–as you might be able to guess from the title–revolves around Weaver’s Draft Day, which is highly anticipated by the team’s fans and owner alike. Costner’s character has the weight of the world on his shoulders as his draft picks could make him the savior of the Browns franchise. This enjoyable movie has a surprisingly deep cast that features Jennifer Garner, Dennis Leary, Frank Langella, Ellen Burstyn and Chadwick Boseman.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
“Show me the money!” Everyone knows the iconic quote from Jerry Maguire, the 1996 movie starring Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film revolves around the title character: a 30-something sports agent whose frustration with the industry leads him to reevaluate his path and go into business for himself. Gooding Jr. ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film, which made over 270 million at the box office.
Friday Night Lights (2004)
In Texas, high school football borders on being a religion. Peter Berg’s 2004 film Friday Night Lights, which was later developed into a popular television show, follows a high school team and their trials and tribulations as they aim to win the state championship. When the team’s star running-back suffers an injury in the opening game of the year, the team’s coach (played by Billy Bob Thornton) is tasked with pulling the squad together. With the weight of the economically struggling small town on their shoulders, the team is forced to persevere against all odds.
(Image courtesy of Quasimime via Flickr.)