15 Best Ever Football Movies

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Either you love or hate football season but even if you hate the season, you can still love football movies! Our list of 15 of the Best Ever Football Movies certainly doesn’t cover them all and it was hard to narrow it down to only 15.

What can  you expect from this list of football movies? Great stories of triumph over tragedy, tear jerker-keep some tissues handy stories of promising lives cut short, inspirational stories of young men digging their way through the muck and mire of life to achieve their own greatness and even unlikely friendships formed through the course of team spirit. Football isn’t always only about the game.

15 of the Best Ever Football Movies. List of best football movies. Football movies

I happen to love everything about football season! Football commercials on TV are the best! They just are! Football food is fun and what other occasion can you literally have a party in your living room every Saturday or Sunday afternoon! There is this fabulously fun thing called Tailgating associated with football season! In the spirit of teamwork, we spend more time with family and friends during football season because who else are we going to smack talk with, right!

Here’s our list of 15 of the Best Ever Football Movies. *Free printable list at the bottom.*

Remember The Titans (2000)

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit. The year is 1971. After leading his team to 15 winning seasons, football coach Bill Yoast is demoted and replaced by Herman Boone, a tough, opinionated, and very different from the beloved Yoast. How these two men overcome their differences and turn a group of hostile young men into champions plays out in a remarkable and winning story.

15 Most Popular Football Movies


Vince Papale, an ordinary guy who, against extraordinary odds, gets a one-in-a-gazillion shot at living every sports fan’s wildest fantasy. Philadelphia Eagles’ new coach Dick Vermeil calls an unprecedented open tryout, and the 30-year-old bartender who never played college ball makes the cut. Now Vince needs every bit of his gritty, never-say-die attitude and enormous heart to survive in the high-stakes world of professional football.


Award winning true story of a young man whose dream was to play college football for Notre Dame. A lack of money and good grades stands in the way of fulfilling that dream. Rudy’s drive and determination earn him the respect of legendary coach Ara Parseghian and the other Irish players, who give him one shot at gridiron glory. 

We Are Marshall(2006)

Based on the true story of triumph over grief following the worst air tragedy in the history of collegiate athletics. Seventy-five people lost their lives that day; 37 football players, 5 coaches, the athletic director, 2 athletic trainers, 25 members of the booster club and the crew of 5. This is their story and the story of healing for the folks of Huntington W.V. and the rebuilding of the football program at Marshall University.

Friday Night Lights(2006)

Based on a book about the football team of Permian High School, in economically depressed Odessa Texas back in  1988. They set their sites on the Texas State Championship battling all the odds to get there. Sports Illustrated called this “one of the greatest sports stories ever told”

The Blind Side(2009)

The true story of an All-American football star, Michael Oher who went on to play for the NFL despite poverty and homelessness. 

I have to share this movie quote from Leigh Anne Tuohy , “Now, ya’ll would guess that more often than not, the highest paid player on an NFL team is the quarterback. And you’d be right. But what you probably don’t know is that more often than not, the second highest paid player is, thanks to Lawrence Taylor, a left tackle. Because, as every housewife knows, the first check you write is for the mortgage, but the second is for the insurance. The left tackle’s job is to protect the quarterback from what he can’t see comin’. To protest his blind side.”

North Dallas Forty (1979)

Based on a novel by former Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent. This movies exposes audiences to the reality of the lives of professional football players on and off the field. It is not a pretty picture.

The Express: The Ernie Davis Story(2008)

This movie is based on the story of Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. Ernie was a three time All American halfback who played for Syracuse University. A first round draft pick by the NFL in 1962, Ernie never played professionally. His story ends tragically too soon.

Brian’s Song (1971)

Based on the novel, I Am Third by Gale Sayers. Brian’s song is the story of an unlikely friendship between Chicago Bears teammates Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo in the mid 1960’s. The two were the first interracial roommates in the NFL. Their friendship deepens when Brian is diagnosed with cancer.

Gridiron Gang (2006)

Based on a true story about juvenile detention teens whose probation officer wants to make a difference in the outcome of their lives. Football becomes a tool used to teach discipline and responsibility.

Facing The Giants (2006)

Christian high school football coach who turns to God when everything seems to be going against him including an effort to have him removed as coach. He challenges his players to believe God for the impossible on and off the field. 

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Jerry Maguire is probably one of the most quoted movies ever. You may have heard phrases such as “Show me the money” and “You had me at Hello”. Based on the life of sports agent, Leigh Steinberg who was known for representing top players in the NFL. Personal hardships were the stepping stones of his fall from grace.

The Longest Yard(1974)

You’ll want to see the 1974 edition with Burt Reynolds. Filmed on location at Georgia State Prison, this is the story of a prison inmates vs the guards football teams. 

Draft Day(2014)

Although not based on a true story, the film did get approval from the NFL. Filming includes footage of the NFL Draft from 2013. It provides somewhat of a peek into the business of trying to produce a winning football team.

Undefeated (2011 Documentary)

Cameras follow along as Coach Bill Courtney takes on the task of nurturing a winning team at a Memphis high school. They have never won a playoff game in their 110 year history. Won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2012.

It was actually rather hard narrowing this list down to 15! There are so many inspirational and emotional stories out there. What movie would you add?

Print the list here. Stock up on popcorn and tissues and get ready to be inspired.

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15 of the Best Ever Football Movies. List of best football movies. Football movies

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