Girls Like Ball Too! 15 Of The Best Football Movies Ever
Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and in honor of the biggest game of the year, here are some of our favorite football movies.
Any Given Sunday
Famed director Oliver Stone decided to enlist an all-star cast to focus on the game of football for the film Any Given Sunday. Al Pacino plays coach Tony D’Amato who’s in charge of motivating an embattled team with the new owner (Cameron Diaz) breathing down his neck. With their star quarterback out, he has no choice but to turn to the nervous third-string quarterback Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). The cast included James Wood, Dennis Quaid and LL Cool J along with legendary NFL Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor.
Remember the Titans
Based on real events that took place in a small town in 1971, Remember the Titans tells the story of how racial tensions almost divided Alexandria, VA. Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, is brought in to replace a beloved coach in order to integrate the team. Coach Boone initially had trouble bringing the team together as one but eventually the players were able to gain trust in each other and grew to treat their fellow players like brothers.
George Clooney played double duty by starring in and directing the 2008 film Leatherheads. Set back in 1925, Clooney plays Dodge Connelly, captain of the losing professional football team the Bulldogs. With the league on the brink of collapse and the team in need of a new sponsor, Dodge is willing to try anything. Desperate to turn the team around and save the league, he recruits a decorated WWI hero in order to capitalize off of his popularity. John Krasinski and Renee Zellwegger also star in the comedy sports film.
The Last Boy Scout
Action hero Bruce Willis is used to fighting bad guys but in The Last Boy Scout he was forced to fight the enemy on the football field. Willis plays down and out former disgraced Secret Service agent-turned-detective Joe Hallenback who teams up with an equally down and out disgraced ex-quarterback, played by Damon Wayans. The unlikely duo work together in order to solve a murder case that involves a pro football team and a crooked politician. Halle Berry co-stars in this action-packed flick as a str!pper.
The Blind Side
Sandra Bullock is known as America’s sweetheart but she won even more hearts over in the 2009 film The Blind Side. Based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, the film follows Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher’s life from impoverished beginnings to the NFL. His life was forever changed for the better after Leigh Ann Tuohy saw him virtually living on the streets and took Oher home with her. Putting him on the right path, Oher was destined for the NFL. The film grossed over $300 million and Bullock earned critical acclaim and accolades for her performance. She also won a Golden Globe and the coveted Oscar gold for Best Actress.
Mark Walhberg plays regular Joe Vince Papale who finds his way into the NFL in the feel-good movie Invincible. Based on a true story set in the mid 70’s, the Philadelphia Eagles head coach is fed up with the losing seasons that have plagued the team and opens up tryouts to the public. Catching the eye of the coach, Papale is given a shot at the big leagues. After a dismal first game, Papale finds himself in the right place at the right time in the second game and recovers a fumble all the way for a touchdown. Greg Kinnear and Elizabeth Banks also star in the 2006 film.
The Express: The Ernie Davis Story Book is the heart-warming and inspiring true story that follows college football player Ernie Davis, the first African-American player to win the Heisman Trophy. Faced with injuries, adversity and racism, the Syracuse university player overcomes the odds and is drafted into the NFL but is sidelined by leukemia, which eventually kills him at the tender age of 23. His amazing story continues to inspire generations to come.
The movie Jerry Maguire made Renee Zellwegger a star and helped Cuba Gooding, Jr. earn an Academy award but it will probably be best known for the catchphrase “Show me the money!” Tom Cruise plays a high-powered sports agent who tries to show his football-playing client, played by Gooding, Jr., the money with a new contract. Becoming more and more dishonest with the constant wheeling and dealing, it’s his budding relationship with Zellwegger that helps keep him grounded.
When the professional players go on strike, what’s the league to do but turn to a bunch of misfits and wanna bes? Keanu Reeves plays Shane Falco in The Replacements — a once promising college quarterback seemingly destined for the NFL until he chokes during his final game at Ohio State University. Once the strike is in full effect, Falco is recruited and given a second chance at redemption and fame. Gene Hackman, Orlando Jones and Jon Favereau round out the cast of the 2000 comedy flick.
Friday Night Lights
In some parts of the U.S., football is everything and that is definitely the case in Odessa, Texas in the film Friday Night Lights. Based on a book of the same name, the 2004 film follows high school football coach Gary Gaines, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and his quest to lead his team to the state championship. Although the road to the finals was paved with adversity and a touch of racism, Coach Gaines helps his team reach true greatness. The film was so popular it spawned a television series of the same name.
We Are Marshall
Tragedy struck Marshall University in 1970 when a plane crash killed the entire football team along with its coaches, trainers and athletic director. We Are Marshall focuses on rebuilding the team as well as the healing that took place after such a painful tragedy. Matthew McConaughey stars as Jack Lengyel who’s given the tough task to reassemble the Thundering Herd. After a heartbreaking loss, the new team rallies to win their season home-opener.
The Longest Yard
No one would ever mistake comedian Adam Sandler for an athlete but that didn’t stop him from starring in the remake of the 1974 film The Longest Yard. Sandler plays a disgraced former professional quarterback that is forced to assemble a football team in the prison yard to go up against their guards. The cast included fellow comedian Chris Rock, rapper Nelly and several professional players including Terry Crews, Michael Irvin, Bill Goldberg and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Raking in almost $50 million at the box office opening weekend, The Longest Yard went on to make $158 million.
There’s nothing worse than when a sports team embodies a losing spirit and becomes its own worst enemy. In the 2012 documentary Undefeated, Coach Bill Courtney is determined to change their mindsets and turn the team around after years and years of losing seasons. Focusing on their efforts both on the field and in the classrooms, Coach Courtney turns them into winners by teaching them to believe in themselves and trust in each other. Undefeated walked away with an Academy award for Best Documentary.
Perhaps there’s no better inspiring story about believing in yourself than the 1993 film Rudy. Based on the true story, Rudy follows Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreamed of playing football at Notre Dame College despite having neither the athletic talents nor the grades to do so. Believing in himself in the face of laughter and numerous obstacles, Ruettiger’s hard work and dogged determination helped him turn his dream into a reality.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started out in the entertainment world as a wrestler but he’s successfully transitioned into a Hollywood actor. His background as a former pro player for the Canadian Football League came in handy for the 2006 film Gridiron Gang. Based on a true story, Johnson plays Kilpatrick Mustangs, a former football player who works at a detention center. Frustrated that he’s not able to help the juveniles escape their problems, he starts a football team to help them feel like they are a part of something. Xzibit and newcomer Omari Hardwick rounded out the cast.