The Top 10 Football Movies of All-Time

By: Jonathan Goad

With football season well underway, it’s only right to rank the best football movies. Remember, this is my opinion. Feel free to comment you favorites.

Just for the suspense, let’s start with number

10. We Are Marshall (2006) – PG


Matthew McConaughey stars as the head coach of the Marshall University football team who has to keep the program going after a tragic plane crash takes the lives of many of the players and fans. This emotional movie is based on a true story and shows the effects of what a tragedy can do to a community. However, this film is also quite inspirational. After watching this movie, we all are Marshall.

9. The Longest Yard (2005) – PG-13

longest yard

With a star-studded cast featuring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, this film pits a group of convicts up against the very men who guard them. With nothing to lose, the prisoners pull out all the stops to get a little revenge on the guards. With the names listed above and some of the other actors in this movie, it definitely focusses on humor and it works. If you need a good laugh and want to watch some football, check this one out.

8. The Replacements (2000) – PG-13


Another film in the humor department, The Replacements is a feel good story about some washed up players getting a second chance. It’s a fun movie that reminds us to take advantage of any chance we get because it could be our last.

7. The Blindside (2009) – PG-13

blind side

This movie tells the story of Michael Oher who is homeless and just so happens to be offensive tackle-sized. It is loosely based on the true story of Michael Oher who played in the NFL for eight years. It’s a feel-good story about a family who takes Michael in and helps him find purpose. It’s always a good watch.

6. The Waterboy (1998) – PG-13

water boy

This is another comedy featuring Adam Sandler in his glory days. The local water boy learns to channel his aggression into some highlight real tackling. Even twenty years later, it’s got a plethora of one-liners that are still quoted amongst friends. My ten year old self could quote this movie start to finish.

5. The Program (1993) – R


The Program shows all the inner workings of college football and what players must deal with on a daily basis. It also shows how much pressure the coaches and players are under to have success. It’s not quite kid friendly as it does have some alcohol and drug use, but put the women and children to bed and let’s go looking for dinner.

4. Rudy (1993) – PG


So I actually just finished watching this movie because it’s been years since I’ve seen it. It still holds up. Rudy is the ultimate underdog story. He’s been told by absolutely everyone that he’ll never play football for Notre Dame and sets out to prove them wrong. This would be higher on the list, but he only ends up playing two plays for Notre Dame. Though, he does record a sack, so maybe the coaches should have been playing him all season…

3. Friday Night Lights (2004) – PG-13

Friday night lights

This is probably the saddest movie on the list. Before you say “what about the plane crash movie,” well that one ends up okay. The Permian Panthers face an enormous amount of adversity throughout their season to make it to the state championship. This film shows just how important football is in Texas. It’s so good that they made it into a TV show, which is almost as good. Both are definitely worth watching, but be ready to be hit in the feels.

2. Varsity Blues (1999) – R

varsity blues

This is another movie about football in Texas (it must really be a religion down there). The West Canaan Coyotes must turn to their second string QB (James Van Der Beek) after their star QB (the late, great Paul Walker) suffers a season ending injury. In my short life, there isn’t a movie that represents high school football any better. I’m sure we all have had a coach who we would love to tell off like Mox did. If this one doesn’t take you back to your playing days, or just high school in general, then I don’t know what will. I think everyone knew a “Billy Bob” or a “Tweeder”.

1. Remember the Titans (2000) – PG

remember the titans

Denzel Washington plays Coach Herman Boone in a newly integrated Virginia high school. He has to deal with racism among players and in his new town. I can’t imagine trying to get whites and blacks to come together for the first time and to trust each other on the football field. This is an emotional roller coaster of a movie that reminds us of a time when things weren’t so peachy keen. It also shows us how much of a liability Ryan Gosling is on defense. It is, however, filled with life lessons that still apply today like judging a man by his character and not by the color of his skin.  This film also has a great soundtrack. I know I’ll always remember the Titans.

I’m really craving a good night of football movies now. At least it’s Fall and totally acceptable.