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10 best football movies of all time

Still from Any Given Sunday
There are lots of football movies out there – we’ve picked what we believe are 10 of the best football movies of all time. Pic Credit: Still from Any Given Sunday

Over the last 25 years, football movies have been among the greatest cinematic success stories coming out of Hollywood.

The natural drama and open-ended storylines make football movies a natural draw for a large majority of movie watchers.

Whether they are strictly about football, or infused with love stories and comedy, football movies have certainly been a regular offering.

Trying to rank the top 10 football movies of all time was no easy task, as there were many viable contenders.

10 Varsity Blues (1999)

This high-school football drama shows clearly just how insane some football fans, coaches and communities can become in trying to create a winning team.

The story is about a coach that is willing to do anything to win, including harming his own players.

Jon Voight plays the coach with his regularly scheduled insanity. James Van Der Beek plays a young backup quarterback that challenges his coach and his principles.

9 Brian’s Song (1971)

Many people would place this movie much higher on the list and it would be hard to argue the point. The story is particularly poignant because it is true.

This is the story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears and their friendship that is forged through tragedy. While the movie was remade in 2001, the original is far superior.

8 The Waterboy (1998)

While this movie is far from your typical football movie, it is included here simply because it is hilarious. It is also loaded with some pretty awesome football scenes regardless of how ridiculous they may be.

7 The Longest Yard (1974)

This is another football movie that has recently been remade. Much like Brian’s Song above, this movie was done right the first time around.

The movie stars Burt Reynolds and is a story about prison guards and inmates playing football. The movie is funny, hard-hitting and for many people the only Burt Reynolds movie they can watch and take seriously.

6 Any Given Sunday (1999)

This movie is without a doubt one of the most powerful football movies ever made. What makes it stand out is its unflinching insight into a world of pro sports and the damage that it can leave behind for an athlete.

While the movie is over the top at times, it is still a powerful snapshot and a great movie.

5 Invincible (2006)

Invincible is considered by many to be the Rocky of professional football.

Mark Wahlberg does an outstanding job of portraying Vincent Papale – a real-life player from the 1970s that earned his way on to the powerful Philadelphia Eagles football team.

This movie is a great example of overcoming incredible odds to find your dream.

4 We Are Marshall (2006)

This is yet another true story football movie that exceeds your expectations. This is the story of the Marshall football team and how they manage to overcome and deal with the death of the majority of their team in a plane crash.

Matthew McConaughey does a wonderful job portraying the coach that actually saves the team.

3 North Dallas Forty (1979)

This was the original “Any Given Sunday” type movie and it is one of the better movies of the genre.

One can not watch this movie without laughing, and the movie actually is based around the 1970s Dallas Cowboys.

2 Friday Night Lights (2004)

This is an updated version of Varsity Blues with a storyline that will knock your socks off. The movie was so good it spawned a television series that was nearly as good as the movie itself.

Billy Bob Thornton plays a great part in this football movie.

1 Remember the Titans (2000)

This movie is our number one for so many different reasons – the story, the backdrop, the actors and the football.

The primary driving force for making this movie number one is a brilliant role played by Denzel Washington. That acting role might just be the best job he has ever done and that is saying something.

Remember the Titans is the ultimate football movie for most anyone, including non-football fans.

Julian is the editor of Monsters & Critics. He has worked as a journalist for more than ten years, previously as an editor at the... read more
Julian Cheatle

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