While baseball might claim the title of being the American pastime, there’s an undeniable touch of Americana that football brings. Just imagine this: Grown men donning tights and hefty pads collide on the field, while we enthusiastically cheer from the sidelines (or more realistically, from the comfort of our homes), all the while indulging in mouthfuls of snacks and sips of beer. All this, even in the chill of the weather! Of course, Hollywood hasn’t turned a blind eye to this spectacle and has, in fact, spun numerous American football movies.
You’ve got those uproarious comedies, like the ones Adam Sandler stars in – take, for instance, The Waterboy. Then, on a completely different note, there are those football-centered dramas that can genuinely tug at your heartstrings, a prime example being Friday Night Lights. And let’s not forget the middle ground occupied by gems like Air Bud: Golden Receiver – an undeniable classic in the treasury of sports films, no matter what anyone says. Ranging from films that inspire and uplift, prompting you to leap off your seat with spirited cheers, to the veiled world of sports business and the tumultuous drama that accompanies it, we present to you the ultimate collection of the finest football movies ever crafted.
1 of 33 Football Movies: *80 For Brady*
If you’re not exactly rooting for the Buccaneers or the Patriots, you might want to skip ahead a bit. Still with me? Great! Now, let me tell you about “80 For Brady.” This charming movie is all about four dear older ladies who share a big dream: they’re absolutely determined to witness their beloved football hero, Tom Brady, in action during the 2017 Super Bowl. Picture this: Rita Moreno, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Sally Field team up as lifelong pals, and their journey to make their wish a reality is nothing short of extraordinary. Brace yourself for some delightful chaos as their adventure unfolds!
2 of 33: *Draft Day*
Ever wondered what it’s like to step into the shoes of the GM of the Cleveland Browns? Well, let me tell you, it’s not exactly a walk in the park that you’d be eager to experience. But hey, here’s an idea – why not give “Draft Day” a watch, even if it’s just to get a taste of the rollercoaster ride that is Browns’ GM life?
3 of 33: *Safety*
You know, Disney’s approach to sports movies isn’t quite the same as it used to be, but there’s a shining exception. Let’s talk about “Safety” from 2020. This flick dives into the real-life journey of Ray McElrathbey, a former Clemson Tiger, who tackled some seriously tough hurdles during his time in college. If you’re in the mood for a dose of that classic Disney-style inspiration, “Safety” should definitely be on your movie list.
4 of 33: *Paper Lion*
Imagine this: one of the legendary journalists, George Plimpton, decides to pull off one of his most daring feats – attempting to join a professional football team. Now, here’s the twist – the movie that came out of this wild endeavor is not only an absolute riot but also an absolute joy to watch.
5 of 33 Football Movies: *Invincible*
“Invincible” is like a classic Disney tale brought to life – and that’s exactly what gives it its wonderful charm. This 2006 movie takes the true story of Vince Papale, who went from zero to hero in real life, and turns it into an incredibly inspiring biographical film. It’s so uplifting that you might just find yourself wanting to suit up in pads, almost.
6 of 33: *Fantasy Football*
Fantasy Football tells the story of the daughter of a hardworking NFL player who’s facing tough times. One fine day, she discovers an extraordinary ability: using a video game controller, she can actually influence her dad’s performance on the field. It’s like a dream come true. She decides to put her newfound power to good use, aiming to bring back her dad’s lost glory and reputation.
But, as they say, there’s a catch. Along the way, they realize that every victory has its own cost. The thrill of winning and the satisfaction of seeing her dad succeed are undeniable, but there’s a mysterious trade-off at play. The story unfolds with a mix of excitement and apprehension, as the duo navigates the highs and lows of their unique journey.
7 of 33: *Air Bud: Golden Receiver*
Meet Josh (played by Kevin Zegers), a teenager whose life takes a surprising turn when he officially becomes the proud owner of Buddy, his basketball-playing dog. But hold onto your hats, because now Buddy’s taking on football, all thanks to Patrick Sullivan (portrayed by Gregory Harrison), a veterinarian with a twist—he’s dating Josh’s mom!
Unfortunately, Josh and Patrick aren’t exactly best buddies themselves. There’s some friction there. But hey, life’s full of unexpected teamwork scenarios. And here comes a big one: a pair of Russians (Nora Dunn and Perry Anzilotti) catch a glimpse of Buddy’s talents on TV, and what do they do? They hatch a wild plan to kidnap Buddy and put him in their circus.
Now, with a common goal and the clock ticking, Josh and Patrick are in for an adventure they never saw coming. It’s a tale of teamwork, twists, and trying to outsmart circus-seeking Russians. Stay tuned to see if this mismatched duo can rescue Buddy and keep the circus act to a minimum!
8 of 33: *Undefeated*
Manassas High School in Memphis might not have a reputation for being a top academic or sports powerhouse. However, there’s a new football coach in town who’s changing the game for the underfunded football team. And you know what? This change isn’t just about the sport; it’s lifting the spirits of the high school students too!
9 of 33: *The Game Plan*
So, we thought it’d be great to add another family film here, if that’s alright with you. Let me tell you about “The Game Plan” – it’s a really heartwarming comedy that’s all about finding the right balance between your job and your loved ones. The story is about Joe Kingman (you might know him as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a pretty full-of-himself athlete who’s riding high on his career success. But you know how life throws curveballs? Well, his life takes a massive turn when he finds out he actually has a young daughter. All of a sudden, he’s in this whole new world of fatherhood, trying to figure things out.
10 of 33 Football Movies: *Gridiron Gang*
Imagine a mix of “Dangerous Minds” and “Remember the Titans,” where Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson steps into the spotlight as a retired pro football player. His new adventure? Coaching a bunch of young souls at a juvenile detention center. But it’s not just about sports; he’s dishing out lessons in believing in themselves and finding their own strength.
11 of 33: *Everybody’s All-American*
Ever wondered about the journey of a college football player whose dreams of hitting the big leagues don’t quite come true? Well, that’s the heart of this romantic drama. Imagine Dennis Quaid taking the lead, portraying a former athlete who finds himself facing a new chapter, embracing a regular life instead of the spotlight.
12 of 33: *The Blind Side*
Picture this: Sandra Bullock, a talented actress, walking away with an Oscar for her role as a strong and no-nonsense Southern lady. What’s the story? It’s about her opening her heart and home to a homeless young soul. But that’s not all – she guides him, inspires him, and even helps him step onto the high school football field. And guess what? This heartwarming drama is based on a true story.
13 of 33: *Little Giants*
Get ready for a hilarious sibling showdown! Imagine Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neil, both grown-up brothers, diving headfirst into a rivalry that’ll make you laugh out loud. The twist? It’s all centered around pee-wee football. One’s the confident alpha, the other’s the easygoing beta, and they’re clashing on the playing field with a side of comedic chaos.
14 of 33: *Necessary Roughness*
Due to budget cuts, Texas State University finds itself in a bit of a pickle, needing to quickly assemble a crew for their school’s football squad. They manage to round up an assorted bunch of oddballs, which surprisingly includes a middle-aged quarterback and a trailblazing female kicker. All of this unfolds in a hilarious sports comedy that’s bound to tickle your funny bone.
15 of 33 Football Movies: *North Dallas Forty*
Get ready to dive into a timeless sports spoof starring Nick Nolte and country crooner Mac Davis. This gem of a movie takes you on a tour behind the curtain of a pro football squad, drawing inspiration from the legendary Dallas Cowboys. The whole shebang is based on the real-life experiences of Peter Gent, a former wide receiver for the Cowboys.
16 of 33: *The Freshman*
In this old-time silent movie gem, the spotlight shines on Harold Lloyd, a funny guy, playing the role of a young college student. His heart gets all tangled up with a fellow student, and oh boy, does he go to some crazy extremes to win her over. You won’t believe the wild stunts he pulls on the football field, all in the name of showing off his sports skills, just to make her swoon.
17 of 33: *Lucas*
This awesome teen drama from the ’80s features Corey Haim as a small guy in high school who feels totally crushed when his two buddies, one who’s like his guide (that’s Charlie Sheen), and the other he’s totally smitten with (yep, that’s Kerri Green), start having feelings for each other. So, guess what? He decides to go all out and join the football team, thinking that’s the wildest way to show everyone he’s got something special.
18 of 33: *All the Right Moves*
This cool ’80s sports classic, it’s Tom Cruise who takes on the role of a fiery high school football player. He’s got big dreams of nabbing a college scholarship, all in the hopes of making a grand escape from his tiny hometown.
19 of 33: *The Waterboy*
Sandler’s famous SNL character, Canteen Boy, goes through a Cajun transformation in Bobby Boucher Jr. This lovable guy shifts from being the water boy for the University of Louisiana’s football crew to becoming their superstar linebacker. Quite the journey, isn’t it?
20 of 33 Football Movies: *The Replacements*
A retired football coach, played by the one and only Gene Hackman, suddenly gets a summons back to action because of an NFL players strike. And guess what? Keanu Reeves steps in, taking the lead as he gathers a crew of scabs. These folks are on a mission to step into the big shoes left by their pro counterparts, who, let’s face it, have a bit more talent. It’s a heartwarming comedy that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
21 of 33: *Leatherheads*
Imagine stepping into a time machine and journeying back to the year 1925. During that time, a brand-new sport, inspired by rugby, started gaining incredible popularity across the entire country. Now, picture this: George Clooney, John Krasinski, and Renée Zellweger, familiar faces we all love, taking center stage in a delightful romantic comedy. This heartwarming movie is set against the backdrop of the emergence of a truly American sport, capturing the essence of that era.
22 of 33: *The Longest Yard*
Long before Adam Sandler took a shot at remaking it, Burt Reynolds brought prison football into the limelight. He played the role of a tipsy quarterback who ends up behind bars, but manages to rally his fellow inmates and guide the prison team to an unexpectedly triumphant journey.
23 of 33: *Brian’s Song*
In this heartfelt TV movie, James Caan and Billy Dee Williams take the lead roles. The film beautifully portrays the real-life tale of Brian Piccolo, a running back for the Chicago Bears. As the story unfolds against the backdrop of the Civil Rights era, Piccolo’s bond with his teammate Gayle Sayers deepens. However, their friendship faces a profound challenge when Piccolo receives a devastating diagnosis of a terminal illness.
24 of 33: *The Program*
James Caan is at the forefront of this ensemble-driven movie. He plays a university football coach faced with the task of putting together a team. Their goal? To clinch a national title; otherwise, he’ll be saying goodbye to his coaching career. The film offers a glimpse into the intense and competitive realm of college sports.
25 of 33 Football Movies: *Varsity Blues*
This is a ’90s teen melodrama with James Van Der Beek, Paul Walker, and Jon Voight. It’s about a high school football team from a small Texas town getting ready for a really important season.
26 of 33: *Jerry Maguire*
Cameron Crowe made a romantic comedy that’s kind of connected to football. In the movie, Tom Cruise plays a sports agent who’s a bit of a rebel. He’s really good at his job, but he also struggles to juggle his work and his love life. And let me tell you, Tom Cruise is really amazing and charming in this role – it’s one of his best performances!
27 of 33: *Concussion*
In this intense drama, it’s Will Smith who takes the lead role. He plays Bennet Omalu, a doctor from Pittsburgh. Now, this doctor made a groundbreaking discovery about brain injuries in ex-football players. It’s called CTE, and it’s a big deal. His research ends up shaking the sports industry to its core, and things are never the same again.
28 of 33: *We Are Marshall*
Following a tragic plane crash that took the lives of Marshall University’s football team, the new coach of the college faces the task of bringing together a fresh group of players. This goes beyond just rebuilding the school’s sports program; it’s about lifting the spirits of the students after such a devastating event.
29 of 33: *Any Given Sunday*
In this football movie, Oliver Stone brings a lively approach. With a star-studded cast including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, and Jamie Foxx, the film provides a thorough and intense glimpse into the world of the NFL business.
30 of 33 Football Movies: *Friday Night Lights*
Before becoming a hit TV series, Friday Night Lights started out as a movie that explored the emotions, thrills, and buzz of high school football in a tight-knit, passionate Texas community.
31 of 33: *Remember the Titans*
Denzel Washington’s genuine performance truly rescues the Disney-produced and touching civil rights story. The film tells the tale of a man who brings together black and white high school football players in a recently integrated Virginia school, imparting them with priceless life lessons throughout the journey. How wonderful it would be if we all had a Coach Boone in our lives.
32 of 33: *Heaven Can Wait*
In this timeless and feel-good football movie, Warren Beatty takes the lead role as a quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. His unexpected passing takes a surprising turn as he finds himself at the gates of heaven. In a twist of fate, he’s given a second chance by being placed into the body of a recently murdered millionaire. This twist of fate not only grants him a new life but also the means to purchase his old team, leading them to triumph and success once again.
33 of 33 Football Movies: *Rudy*
Sean Astin takes on the role of the real-life Rudy Ruettiger, a guy with a big dream: playing football right alongside the prestigious Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Even though he’s not exactly tall enough for the game, he doesn’t let that stop him. This movie is like one of those feel-good sports stories that inspire you – you know the type. And let’s be honest, if you don’t find yourself smiling during those big, exciting moments at the end, you might want to check if your heart’s still ticking.
- Dirt Bike Movie: Best 42 Films of All Time Ranked
- Movie About Mountain Biking: Best 30 Films to Watch Right Now
- Cycling Movies: Best 34 Biking Films of All Time
- Dirt Bike Movies on Netflix: Best 9 Films You Can’t Miss
- Motocross Movie: Best 22 Films to Watch at Least Once
- Soccer Movies: 31 Best Titles Ever Made
- Running Movies: 33 Best Titles of All Time Ranked
- Matthew McConaughey Soccer Movie Canceled – Here Is Why
- Cricket Movie Fans Can’t Miss Our Top 25 Cricket Films of all time
- Cricketers in Movies: Top 19 Cricket Players Who Turned Actors
- Women Cricket Movie: Top 6 Films About Female Cricketers
- Cricket Web Series: Top 9 Must Watch Shows on Netflix & Amazon
- 6 sports based web series you must watch (cricket betting included)
- Gambling Movies: The Best 30 Titles Ever Made
- Jungle Movies You Shouldn’t Miss: Best 12 Titles, Ranked
- Vegas Movies: The 29 best titles you shouldn’t miss
- Ghost Ship Movies: 8 Scariest Titles You Can’t Miss
- Best Movies on Netflix: Top 51 Titles Right Now (August 2023)
- Christian Movies on Netflix: 29 Powerful Faith-Based Titles Now
- Why is Netflix Removing Christian Movies: All the Facts