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Top 30 Football Movies of All Time: Best Movies Ever

Football is among the most popular sports on the planet, and therefore it is no surprise that there are dozens of movie titles almost entirely dedicated to that sport. Some of them have a comedic style, while others focus on the drama of following a football dream or in the lives of people connected to the sport.

With so many options out there, the best choice is to read summaries, preferably from a list that defines the best football movies of all time. That is exactly the purpose of this Top 30 listing, dividing them into topics that are perfect for football lovers, to watch with kids, or any other possible situation where such a movie would suit well.


🏈 5 Best Football Movies to Watch with Your Family

Either people looking for a nice family program or those who simply like the good mood of family football movies should enjoy those five titles. They focus on a touching story, have a comedic style, or a combination of both, and everybody loves that type of movie.

🎬 The Longest Yard (2005)

Adam Sandler gave the remake of the 1974 movie a new face. He plays Paul Crewe, a former quarterback from NFL accused of selling off points in exchange for money, which we do not know for sure, ends up in prison for a car accident. Now, with his reputation affected by the accusation and finding himself among killers and drug dealers, he wants to create a football team with his new mates.

🎥 Directed By: Peter Segal
⭐ Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, James Cromwell
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,4/10

🎬 Lucas (1986)

Lucas is one of the essential top football movies to watch with your family. The movie tells the story of a teenager considered a nerd and bullied like all similar kids in the 70s. Like always, a girl can turn a boy’s world upside down, and that is the only reason why he decided to join the high school football team. Completely displaced, this new choice of his is a great source of fun for the viewers.

🎥 Directed By: David Seltzer
⭐ Starring: Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Winona Ryder
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,9/10

🎬 Little Giants (1994)

Becky wants to join the local football team but has her dream denied by their coach. Her father, who always envied the former football star who now coaches the youth football team, decided to start his team. An underdog team competing against an elitist one in a playoff game is usually the background for all sorts of sports movies and generated the fun Little Giants piece.

🎥 Directed By: Duwayne Dunham, Brian Levant
⭐ Starring: Rick Moranis, Shawna Waldron, Devon Sawa, Todd Bosley, Mary Ellen Trainor
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,4/10

🎬 The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side counts not only with the brilliant performance of Sandra Bullock but are also inspired by a true story of love. Of course, football is involved, and, instead of being the first thing to pop out on the screen, it slowly becomes an important factor. The story is all about Michael, who was legally adopted by a loving family and make him feel like a member of it.

🎥 Directed By: John Lee Hancock
⭐ Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Ray McKinnon, Lily Collins
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,6/10

🎬 Rudy (1993)

Rudy is one of those movies in which football plays the main role. It tells the story of Rudy Ruettiger, played by Sean Astin, who wants to become a professional player. Unfortunately, his grades are not enough for a scholarship due to his dyslexia, and he does not have enough money to join the University of Notre Dame. He will have to fight his way to being admitted to the university and to join its football team.

🎥 Directed By: David Anspaugh
⭐ Starring: Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Jon Favreau, Charles S. Dutton
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,5/10

Motivational football movies

🏈 6 Best Motivational Football Movies

Many of the top football movies to watch succeeded in becoming real motivational pieces. Most of them are still streamed in junior and high schools, despite some of them having decades of age. The following six football movies carry an important message, and their entire story works perfectly as a background for it.

🎬 Brian’s Song (1970)

Those who are not afraid of letting tears roll can try Brian’s Song, an inspirational football movie that is already 50 years old. The movie is about a white and a black man’s strong friendship in a decade where segregation was still a vivid reality. Although football is relevant for their relationship, it is far from being the center of the important message Brian’s Song sends through the screen.

🎥 Directed By: Buzz Kulik
⭐ Starring: Billy Dee Williams, James Caan, Jack Warden, Shelley Fabares, Judy Pace
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,6/10

🎬 Invincible (2006)

The road to becoming a pro football player seems like a one-way path to most outsiders. Play well, go to college, and keep playing there, and then you might become a professional, right? Well, not necessarily. Vince Papale is the protagonist of Invincible and has the chance to become a football rookie in his 30s without any college football experience. An inspirational story worth watching and telling others.

🎥 Directed By: Ericson Core
⭐ Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,1/10

🎬 Facing the Giants (2006)

Another underdog team has the chance to prove others wrong and fight their way towards victory. Motivation and a beautiful story define what Facing the Giants means. This might be the first time the Shiloh Eagles win a season if the coach does not get fired before the big game. Worth watching for those who like to see purpose and determination characterized in the cast.

🎥 Directed By: Alex Kendrick
⭐ Starring: Alex Kendrick, Shannen Fields, Jason McLeod
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,6/10

🎬 The Express (2008)

Ernie Davis shows that he could manage to get into college despite being poor and not having life’s odds in his favor. However, that is only the starting point of The Express. Already playing for Syracuse University, he wants to become the best player in its football program. To succeed in his trajectory, there are obstacles he must overcome in this movie that is truly motivational.

🎥 Directed By: Gary Fleder
⭐ Starring: Dennis Quaid, Nelsan Ellis, Rob Brown (VI), Clancy Brown, Omar Miller, Charles S. Dutton
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,3/10

🎬 Woodlawn (2015)

Woodlawn High School serves as a background for a story of hope and overcoming the difficulties when living in a violent city. Viewers of Woodlawn often get as inspired as the athletes when the coach, the outsider Hank, starts to move the hearts of truly capable boys who want to become pros.

🎥 Directed By: Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin
⭐ Starring: Sean Astin, Nicholas Bishop, Caleb Castille, Sherri Shepherd, Jon Voight
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,5/10

🎬 Remember the Titans (2000)

In a city where high school football is taken as seriously as the preparation for any other profession, every match may determine the future of young students. With a mix of meaningful social discussions and emotive scenes, Remember the Titans is not only a football movie. It not only motivates people to do their best but also put them into thinking.

🎥 Directed By: Boaz Yakin
⭐ Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst, Kate Bosworth
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,8/10

American football

🏈 9 Classic Football Movies to Watch Now

While blockbusters with their super special effects may be fun to watch, the truth is that significant football movies are becoming rarer. Fortunately, it is always possible to go back to the best classic football movies in history.

🎬 Knute Rockne – All American (1940)

Knute Rockne is a true classic that also features the University of Notre Dame. It is a story about an immigrant who, after succeeding as a football player, becomes a coach of a school that desperately needs his help to become the best. Despite being classified as a classic, due to over 80 years of history Knute Rockne All American is also a great motivational movie.

🎥 Directed By: Lloyd Bacon
⭐ Starring: Pat O’Brien, Gale Page, Donald Crisp, John Qualen, Ronald Reagan
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,8/10

🎬 The Last Boy Scout (1991)

The Last Boy Scout is a mix of the classic cop genre with the football theme, although it does not focus on a team of young athletes trying to succeed in life. Instead, we have an unlikely duo of a private investigator and an ex-quarterback that does not gamble responsibly, just like the users of 22Bet do. Their similarly unlikely mission? To solve the case of a bribe plot involving a football magnate and legislators.

🎥 Directed By: Tony Scott
⭐ Starring: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Noble Willingham, Taylor Negron
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,0/10

🎬 Semi-Tough (1977)

Big mustaches and a sudden crush and the beginning of a relationship have everything to do with the future of football in Semi-Tough. The comedy movie of 1977 may not be as serious as many other football movies on our list, but it is an interesting story featuring great movie stars from the 70s.

🎥 Directed By: Michael Ritchie
⭐ Starring: Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, Jill Clayburgh, Robert Preston
🏆 IMDb rating: 5,9/10

🎬 Any Given Sunday (1999)

A former gold team is experiencing defeat after several seasons. Their owner, D’Amato, as if that were not enough trouble for him, has to deal with problems in his personal life too. Living the protagonist, Al Pacino gives a professional air to a movie that has a somewhat normal story.

🎥 Directed By: Oliver Stone
⭐ Starring: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Jamie Foxx
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,9/10

🎬 Heaven Can Wait (1978)

The life of a professional football player is put to an early end due to an auto accident. Believe it or not, the protagonist Joe Pendleton remains so, as he assumes the form of an industrialist after discovering he does not belong in the afterlife yet. More tangible than the classic Ghost, this movie has a comic storyline with football as a background theme.

🎥 Directed By: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry
⭐ Starring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, James Mason, Jack Warden, Dyan Cannon
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,9/10

🎬 The Freshman (1925)

The Freshman (College Days) is the oldest movie on this list of the best football movies ever and tells the story of Harold Lamb. He becomes a joke for everyone else at Tate University but does not understand what is going on. While others laugh when he is not looking, he tends to believe he is a great quarterback. Now, what could go wrong? Watching is the best way to figure that out.

🎥 Directed By: Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
⭐ Starring: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict, James Anderson
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,5/10

🎬 North Dallas Forty (1979)

Indicated for real football fans, North Dallas Forty is a satire and comedic story of a veteran player. After several years of not being allowed to play with the main team, he finally gets the chance to prove his value. However, it seems the people in town will not let him have it that easy.

🎥 Directed By: Ted Kotcheff
⭐ Starring: Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, Charles Durning, Dayle Haddon, Bo Svenson
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,0/10

🎬 The Longest Yard (1974)

1974’s Longest Yard may not be known by the young audience today, but it does not owe anything to the remake in terms of comedy and acting. Its cast was a great choice and did not disappoint in convincing people of the story. It follows the same script of the modern Longest Yard, but with a touch of the classic movies.

🎥 Directed By: Robert Aldrich
⭐ Starring: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad, James Hampton
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,1/10

🎬 Jerry Maguire (1996)

Jerry Maguire tells the story of the sports agent who carries that name and faces an internal crisis. He decides to leave the company he works for and starts one of his own, trying to keep representing his athletes. Together with that story of pursuing success, the movie adds a romance to get things more interesting.

🎥 Directed By: Cameron Crowe
⭐ Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Kelly Preston, Jerry O’Connell
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,3/10

Rugby movies

🏈 10 Great Football Movies You Should Not Miss

Are all the 20 past football movie recommendations not enough for you? Perhaps you still think something is missing, and that is not a problem. Find below 10 great football movies to watch via streaming or to rent online that were not mentioned above.

🎬 The Longshots (2008)

The Longshots follows the inspirational formula seen in many football movies but does not lose originality because of it. If anything, that may even be an upside for the title. The story once again follows a former football player who has become a coach for younger athletes. This time, his niece is the star player he needs to improve his reputation and to give the town a new chance in football.

🎥 Directed By: Fred Durst
⭐ Starring: Ice Cube, Keke Palmer, Tasha Smith, Jill Marie Jones
🏆 IMDb rating: 5,4/10

🎬 The Replacements (2000)

Keanu Reeves as a football player? That is what waits for you in The Replacements. It is the story of a famous coach and a bunch of outsiders who are supposed to become a team of excellence before the playoffs come. That is their second chance, but we do not know if they are going to make good use of it.

🎥 Directed By: Howard Deutch
⭐ Starring: Keanu Reeves, Faizon Love, Gene Hackman, Orlando Jones
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,6/10

🎬 Gridiron Gang (2006)

“The Rock” is the protagonist of Gridiron Gang, a story that gives another version to real events marking the lives of young athletes. Following a formula that is common in football movies, a counselor gives problematic young people another chance with sports. However, they are not the only ones he has to convince, as the other coaches are not happy with his project.

🎥 Directed By: Phil Joanou
⭐ Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, Leon Rippy, Kevin Dunn
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,9/10

🎬 Go Tigers! (2001)

Instead of fiction, football movies can also be in the form of documentaries such as “Go Tigers!”. It was shot in Ohio, where viewers can accompany three different stories, one for each young athlete, connected to the future of an entire town. Those interested in seeing the real deal when it comes to football in the U.S. should watch this movie.

🎥 Directed By: Kenneth A. Carlson
⭐ Starring: Dave Irwin, Ellery Moore, Joe Paterno
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,2/10

🎬 Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008)

Following a documentary, this list’s next recommendation also reflects real-life football and not fictional stories to inspire people. It is about a historic game between Harvard and Yale when the football rivals were the protagonists of an epic match.

🎥 Directed By: Kevin Rafferty
⭐ Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Brian Dowling, Vic Gatto, Frank Champi
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,2/10

🎬 Draft Day (2014)

The NFL draft day is by the door is nigh and Kevin Costner, playing Sonny Weaver Jr., has a lot on his mind. To make things worse, there are a lot of personal problems he has to solve while recruiting only the best players for the team. Now, he has to make the right decisions for his family and the Browns.

🎥 Directed By: Ivan Reitman
⭐ Starring: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Ellen Burstyn, Diddy
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,8/10

🎬 Varsity Blues (1999)

The cover of Varsity Blues makes it clear that it is a teenage movie, despite the focus on football. Everything happens too fast in Texas, where an excellent but injured quarterback gives way to an underdog that all of a sudden has to lead the whole team. That huge pressure on someone used to warm the benches could not be easy, and that is what the movie is all about.

🎥 Directed By: Brian Robbins
⭐ Starring: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Ron Lester
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,5/10

🎬 The Waterboy (1998)

Adam Sandler stars another football player in The Waterboy, only this time much younger and yet to be discovered as a football player. At least that is what Coach Klein thinks, and we cannot give any spoilers, except that any football movie with Adam Sandler is worth checking out.

🎥 Directed By: Frank Coraci
⭐ Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler, Fairuza Balk
🏆 IMDb rating: 6,1/10

🎬 We Are Marshall (2006)

The year is 1970, and Marshall University loses dozens of athletes and staff members, breaking their football team. A man called Jack Lengyel arrives to save their reputation and honor the memory of those who once belonged to that community. A powerful drama that is a great pick to watch with the family.

🎥 Directed By: McG
⭐ Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, David Strathairn, Kate Mara, Anthony Mackie, Ian McShane
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,1/10

🎬 Undefeated (2012)

We finish this list of the best football movies ever created with another documentary. Undefeated tells the story of Manassas High School, founded in 1899 and that never won a playoff game. It is up to Bill Courtney to help them out, starting in the year of 2004, and you have to watch to figure out what happened.

🎥 Directed By: Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin
⭐ Starring: Bill Courtney, Montrail “Money” Brown, O.C. Brown, Chavis Daniels
🏆 IMDb rating: 7,7/10

🍿 Watch Now!

These top 30 football movies of all time are enough to cover anyone’s vacation and several other movie weekends. There are several alternatives to every possible taste, from documentaries and comic stories to dramas inspired in real life. All it takes is to pick one and access it via your favorite streaming.

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