15 Best Football Movies of All Time, Ranked

We ranked the perfect soccer motion pictures from ‘Radio to ‘The Replacements’ to create an entire checklist of nice gridiron blockbusters.

By far, soccer is the most-watched sport within the United States. On common in 2022, almost 20 million viewers tuned in to NBC’s Sunday Night Football, per Statista. 

And, in line with the NFL, roughly 200 million folks—that’s 60 p.c of the U.S.—watched Super Bowl LVII between the Chiefs and the Eagles. So it’s not shocking that America’s favourite sport has additionally grow to be a beloved supply of leisure. After all, everybody wants one thing to look at after the season is over. Luckily, IMDb lists greater than 150 soccer motion pictures produced since 1921, so there are loads of choices.

With myriad motion pictures to select from—everybody likes Rudy and Remember the Titans, proper?—we picked our favorites and determined to depend all the way down to the No.1 decide. Make some popcorn, seize a seat, and luxuriate in some pigskin glory!

15 Best Football Movies of All Time

15. ‘The Waterboy’

Adam Sandler has taken the pantheon of many nice comedians earlier than him after being honored with the Mark Twain prize, however years earlier than that he took on one of his most iconic roles that led him there: Bobby Boucher. Starting out as an overzealous waterboy, Boucher will get observed after he’s taunted and responds by tackling the quarterback of the brand new group he’s working for. Showing uncooked velocity and energy, Henry Winkler’s Coach Klein sees Boucher as a technique to flip round his South-Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs and get revenge on his rival, Red Beaulieu (Jerry Reed). Bobby has to battle towards his mom’s needs (Kathy Bates) and nonetheless deal with his waterboy duties, however he finally helps the Mud Dogs snap their 40-game dropping streak and turns into a star within the course of. The film has gotten so common over time that Adidas even made actual jerseys for the Mud Dogs. 

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14. ‘We Are Marshall’

We Are Marshall depicts the inspiring true story that adopted one of the worst tragedies in sports activities: How the Marshall University soccer group persevered after a airplane crash in 1970 killed all 37 gamers together with coaches, trainers, and employees. While the varsity initially thinks about suspending the soccer program, the coed physique and locals push to maintain it going. Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) is introduced in as head coach and works to construct this system again, together with Nate Ruffin (Anthony Mackie), a participant who wasn’t on the flight, and a bunch of inexperienced freshmen and sophomore gamers. The group finally pulls out its first win following the crash and helps to unite the varsity and metropolis. 

© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

13. ‘Invincible’

If you ever thought your yard soccer abilities had been adequate to land you on a professional group, that is the film for you. Mark Wahlberg stars as Vince Papale, who, after getting laid off from his job in Philadelphia, provides a shot at open tryouts for the Eagles. After impressing coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear), Papale will get the prospect to come back to coaching camp and earn a roster spot. Despite coping with a troublesome reception from his fellow gamers and skepticism from coaches, Papale earns the ultimate spot and makes the group. While he struggles at first, Papale helps the group beat the Giants and performs for the Eagles for 3 seasons. Wahlberg provides an important efficiency. While some of the small print are moved round for dramatic impact, the film tells a enjoyable story of perseverance and going after your desires. 

© 2006 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

12. ‘Knute Rockne, All-American’

This biopic is an all-time basic soccer movie. Fittingly, it tells the story of one of probably the most iconic folks within the historical past of the game, Knute Rockne. The movie follows his life as he turns into a star soccer participant at Notre Dame, serving to lead the group to an unbelievable upset over Army, one of the highest soccer groups within the nation on the time. Rockne finally turns into the top coach of the Fighting Irish, successful three nationwide titles and over 100 video games. This film can be remembered for Ronald Reagan. The future president performed operating again George Gipp, who, after being injured, tells Rockne the now-iconic line to “win one for the Gipper.”

© Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved.

11. ‘Varsity Blues’

Football is a method of life in West Canaan, TX, for higher or worse, and Varsity Blues provides you each side of that line. Centered round the highschool soccer group, the drama provides a uncooked and oftentimes hilarious have a look at what it takes to make it. Jon Voight stars because the hard-charging, win-at-all-costs Coach Kilmer, who stops at nothing to ensure his group wins—even when it means getting his gamers injured. When that occurs to star quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker), his backup and finest buddy, Jonathan Moxon (James Van Der Beek), takes over the group, inflicting stress between the 2. Thing is, all Mox actually desires to do is go away city and go to a great school, along with his eyes set on Brown. The film has a quantity of now-iconic traces. Just Google “I don’t want your life!” when you want a refresher.

Related: Russell Wilson’s Football Workout

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10. ‘The Replacements’

Before he grew to become the world’s finest murderer in John Wick, Keanu Reeves was only a washed-up quarterback on the lookout for one other probability. After a participant strike towards the tip of the soccer season, the Washington Sentinels attempt to discover a group of substitute gamers who can take them to the playoffs. Led by new coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman), the group places collectively a ragtag crew for the ultimate video games, together with quarterback Shane Falco (Reeves), who’s finest remembered for blowing a bowl recreation whereas he was at Ohio State. He trades in cleansing boats to select up a soccer, and leads the group of misfits—which incorporates Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, and Rhys Ifans—all the way in which to the playoffs. It’s a feel-good soccer film you possibly can all the time watch.

© 2000 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

9. ‘Brian’s Song’

Football motion pictures could make you chortle, however there’s one that may all the time make you cry: Brian’s Song. The story follows the friendship between Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and teammate Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams). The gamers begin off collectively as rookies and roommates. When Piccolo begins to point out indicators of weak point, it’s revealed he has terminal most cancers. Sayers desires to win the following recreation for his teammate, however the Bears fall. When they go to Piccolo, he comically references the basic line from Knute Rockne, All-American, saying the road isn’t “Let’s blow one for the Gipper.” Fun reality: Jack Warden, who stars as Bears coach George Halas, additionally stars in The Replacements because the Sentinels foul-mouthed group proprietor. 

ABC Photo Archives

8. ‘The Longest Yard’

Adam Sandler put his soccer abilities to good use once more for this remake of the basic 1974 movie. Just like the unique, former professional quarterback Paul Crewe (Sandler) is locked up in jail and is tasked with placing collectively a group of inmates to tackle a group of jail guards. Sandler brings collectively a enjoyable supporting solid that features Chris Rock, Nelly, Terry Crews, wrestler Bill Goldberg and, of course, authentic star Burt Reynolds because the coach of the group. Before you watch the current model, it’s price doing all your homework and watching the unique, which has Reynolds in a single of his most iconic and charismatic roles. 

Happy Madison Productions


7. ‘Radio’

This heartwarming film is predicated on the true story of James Robert “Radio” Kennedy, who grew to become a longtime assistant to the T.L. Hanna High School soccer group in South Carolina. Cuba Gooding Jr. performs the titular Radio, who will get his nickname from Coach Harold Jones (Ed Harris) after he comes by soccer observe at some point. Radio is mentally disabled and spends most of his day wandering across the small city accumulating issues, however when he meets Coach Jones, he begins to assist the soccer group and highschool. Jones turns into a mentor to Radio and helps unite the city across the group. Radio ended up being a presence on the sidelines for many years with the group earlier than passing away in 2019. 

© 2003 Columbia Pictures

6. ‘Little Giants’

As far as youngsters’ soccer motion pictures go, that is one of the perfect. In a small city in Ohio, Pee-Wee soccer takes on main significance for 2 brothers. The Heisman trophy-winning, big-man-on-campus, Kevin O’Shea (Ed O’Neill), coaches the Cowboys, the highest group on the town. The different brother, Danny (Rick Moranis), has all the time been second finest to his brother—particularly after his daughter Becky (Shawna Waldron), who’s most likely the perfect participant out of all of the boys on the town, doesn’t make the Cowboys squad. So what does Danny do? He begins his personal group and proposes a wager to his brother: If he pulls the upset, he will get to take over Kevin’s Chevrolet dealership on the town. He places collectively a group of ragtag misfits together with Becky—going by the nickname “Icebox”— to play the Cowboys. While they want loads of work, they get some recommendation from real-life NFL personalities and gamers like John Madden, Emmitt Smith, Bruce Smith, Tim Brown, and Steve Emtman, giving them confidence going into the sport. They handle to outsmart and outplay the Cowboys, successful with a bit assist from a play referred to as the “Annexation of Puerto Rico.”

Amblin Entertainment

5. ‘The Blind Side’

Based on the true story and guide by Michael Lewis, the film follows the story of Michael Oher as he navigates the troubles of highschool and a rocky upbringing. He will get assist from a buddy’s father to enroll in Wingate Christian School. Michael is in foster care and as he will get moved round, he can’t appear to seek out his footing till at some point at college he meets Sean Tuohy Jr. and issues begin to flip round. He finally ends up staying with the Tuohy household and stars as left deal with for the group. He’s recruited by some big-name faculties and works his technique to being a greater scholar so he can get a scholarship. Sandra Bullock gained her Best Actress Oscar for this function because the highly effective matriarch of the household who will cease at nothing to ensure Michael will get a good shake at college and in life. Following his success in highschool, Michael would go on to play within the NFL, together with being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.

© 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

4. ‘Draft Day’

This flick is mainly one massive commercial for the NFL, however it’s additionally a very enjoyable film. It’s based mostly on the 2014 NFL Draft and what the Cleveland Browns are going to do to enhance their group after they commerce for the highest decide within the NFL Draft. Everyone thinks GM Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) ought to take star school quarterback Bo Callahan (Josh Pence). Sonny is keeping track of linebacker Vontae Mack (the late Chadwick Boseman) and finally makes him the highest general decide. Costner leads an all-star solid that has some comedian gold, together with Denis Leary because the Browns’ coach, Jennifer Garner because the Browns’ wage cap supervisor, Tom Welling because the group’s beginning QB, and Sam Elliot because the coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. 

Dale Robinette © 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

3. ‘Any Given Sunday’

If you’re on the lookout for a uncooked, gritty, sensible have a look at skilled soccer, Oliver Stone’s movie is true up your alley. The movie takes on a litany of severe points, together with painkillers, steroids, violence, medicine, crime, and greed. Based on the subject material, the NFL didn’t enable any league names or logos for use, so Stone put collectively his personal fictional league to place his lens on skilled soccer, following the Miami Sharks of the Affiliated Football Franchises of America (AFFA). The film has a very insane ensemble solid, together with Al Pacino as head coach Tony D’Amato; Cameron Diaz as group proprietor; Dennis Quaid as Miami’s veteran quarterback; and Jamie Foxx as Willie Beamen; the thrilling younger quarterback who takes his place. That group stars alongside James Woods, LL Cool J, Lauren Holly, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, and Bill Bellamy with Stone’s directing bringing you proper on the sector for some hard-hitting motion.

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2. ‘Remember the Titans’

This true story has grow to be one of probably the most iconic soccer motion pictures of all time, in no small half because of the nice efficiency from Denzel Washington. The Oscar winner performs coach Herman Boone, who’s introduced in to combine T. C. Williams High School in Virginia in 1971. Tensions flare from folks on the town and the gamers, who’re put collectively in an intense coaching camp at Gettysburg College earlier than the season begins. Players are break up down racial traces, however as time goes on, the group comes collectively. Following an emotional speech from Coach Boone, the gamers grow to be united on and off the sector. The group goes undefeated within the common season and finally wins the state championship. Washington led a solid of nice younger actors, together with Wood Harris, Ryan Gosling, Donald Faison, Ethan Suplee, Kip Padue, and Kate Bosworth.

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1) ‘Rudy’

Speaking of inspiring soccer motion pictures, it’s arduous to beat the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. Played by Sean Astin, Rudy is an undersized, scrappy highschool scholar who desires of enjoying soccer for Notre Dame. But with out the cash or the athletic abilities to get in, he stays and works at a metal mill in his hometown. Following the tragic dying of his buddy at work, Rudy decides to honor his buddy by attempting to get into Notre Dame, enrolling in a close-by school to get his grades as much as get in and switch, whereas additionally working grounds retaining on the Notre Dame stadium. As time goes by, Rudy works arduous, will get his grades up and makes it into Notre Dame, finally attempting out as a walk-on for the group. He makes the observe squad and regardless of his shortcomings, proves his dedication to the group and is promised he’ll get the prospect to go well with up for one recreation. But when a brand new coach is available in, Rudy isn’t provided that probability, and in a single of probably the most iconic scenes in sports activities film historical past, your complete group goes to the coach and every presents to surrender their jersey to permit Rusy to decorate for the sport. Eventually, the coach relents, Rudy will get into the ultimate recreation of the season and is carried off the sector by his teammates. The nice solid alongside Astin features a younger Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, together with Ned Beatty, Charles S. Dutton, Lili Taylor, and a cameo from Rudy Ruettiger himself.

TriStar Pictures

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