Top 16 All Time Best Football Movies You Must See
While baseball may be the national pastime, football is the only sport that is really American. Consider the following: Men in tights and huge pads collide in the stands (or, more likely, at home) while we cheer them on and fill our mouths with food and drink.
And it's freezing outside! Naturally, Hollywood took note and produced a slew of films based on the sport. There are comedies starring Adam Sandler, such as The Waterboy. On the other hand, there are football dramas like Friday Night Lights that will make you weep.
Air Bud: Golden Receiver, which is an iconic piece in the great canon of sports films, exists in between the two. The greatest football movies ever produced range from inspiring and crowd-pleasing flicks that will have you leaping out of your seat and applauding to behind-the-scenes looks at the business and drama surrounding the sport.
A strong combination may be a basic tale presented in an unexpected manner. Shaolin Soccer is a film directed by Stephen Chow and starring him. It tells the story of the Shaolin kung fu teacher, Sing.
Sing reunites his five colleagues, masters, after meeting Hong Kong football player Fung, to utilize their martial arts talents to play football and promote kung fu to the people.
Shaolin Soccer was the most successful film in Hong Kong cinema history at the time of its release until it was surpassed by Chow's next martial arts comedy, Kung Fu Hustle.
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is a murder mystery set at Arsenal's old home field of Highbury. It was one of the first feature films to focus on football. The film explores the mystery of a murder during a game versus the fictional team The Trojans and features the famous Gunners' manager, George Allison, as well as a number of players and staff.
One of the Trojans' players gets poisoned and dies during a match against Arsenal, which includes a match video from the Gunners' last game before WWII, against Brentford, in 1939.
Detective Inspector Slade interrogates the deceased player's teammates and former mistress as the investigation unfolds. Air Bud is the world's most famous dog.
Proof that a great film does not have to be good. Buddy, the titular golden retriever, moves from basketball and American football to soccer in the third installment of the Air Bud series.
Buddy and his owner Josh are both dating, with the former recovering from his team's expulsion from their soccer league — despite the spirit of one of the all-time great cinematic lines from the original, "Ain't no laws saying a dog can't play hoops."
Buddy eventually helps the all-conquering United States Women's National Team win the Women's World Cup after replacing the injured real 173-cap World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Brianna Scurry in the last throes of a penalty shoot-out. Wearing the number 'K9' on my shirt.
Everyone is left reeling when a tiny community in 1970s Virginia, which celebrates football as if it were a sacred day, is forced to integrate its football team. The true tale of a didactic African-American coach and his effort to create a better community via the town's lifeblood, football, is told in this video.
Based on the true story of Chicago Bears stars Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers' friendship, this tearjerker follows the odd pair as their connection grows when Piccolo is stricken with terminal cancer shortly after becoming pro.
This film featuring Hollywood heavyweights is a half romantic comedy and part raunchy sports feel-good.
Following a 1920s football captain (Clooney) on his mission to make the sport more thrilling and entertaining, George Clooney, Renée Zellweger, and John Krasinski star in this film.
He enlists the assistance of a well-known military hero (Krasinksi) to help him promote the sport, while the two men compete for the attention of a particular newswoman (Zellweger).
The Football Factory is a film starring Danny Dyer and executive produced by Rockstar Games, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto series. It chronicles the life of Chelsea hooligan Tommy Johnson.
Johnson's life of drinking, drugs, and sex is disrupted when he has an epiphany after a brawl with Tottenham's hooligans, while his buddy Rod King pursues a relationship with Tamara, the court clerk from their subsequent arraignment.
The story builds to a confrontation between Chelsea's and Millwall's law firms, with people being assaulted, arrested, and killed along the way. A harsh look at a guy who is bored with his life and the feeling of belonging that his weekly football dose provides.
The Blind Side is an Oscar winner, a real tale, and a tearjerker about a poor young man's difficult path into football fame with the help of a compassionate and powerful lady.
This is one of Adam Sandler's more logical roles among his ludicrous ones. Sandler plays a dethroned and imprisoned football great who is recruited to lead the prison's football league and orchestrate a victory over corrupt prison authorities with another prisoner and ex-NFL coach (played by the indomitable Burt Reynolds).
On the football field, an uneasy Texas town debates its social problems with the help of a very successful high school squad.
However, when the team's top player gets injured in the first game of the season, it's up to the new coach in town (Billy Bob Thornton) to keep the team, and therefore the community, together. After seeing the film, binge-watch the critically acclaimed series here.
This remake of the 1974 American football comedy The Longest Yard stars Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham. Jones plays Danny "The Mean Machine," a disgraced former England captain who was banned from the game for match-fixing before being imprisoned for attacking two police officers while inebriated.
Meehan eventually adjusts to his new surroundings and starts coaching a prisoner squad for a competition against the warden's side. Meanwhile, the warden bets on himself to recoup the money he owes to shady bookmaker "Barry the Bookie."
The film includes a brief cameo by Ryan Giggs as a warden, and there is no lack of jail brutality and prison movie cliches.
The first installment of the Goal! trilogy sees impoverished Mexican busboy Santiago Munez leave Los Angeles for the bright lights of Newcastle, and is one of the most popular football films ever produced.
Munez's rise to the top is hampered by tensions with his new teammates, his own hidden asthma problems, and the loss of his father back in the United States.
The video, which was made with FIFA's help, includes scores of actual players, including David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, and large parts of the Newcastle and Liverpool teams, who face off in the season's final match.
Among football enthusiasts, the film has a cult following. Munez moves to Real Madrid in the 2007 sequel Goal II: Living the Dream, while two young England players are chosen for the 2006 World Cup in Goal III: Taking on the World.
The Damned United is based on David Peace's best-selling book and follows the rise, fall, and resurgence of a youthful Brian Clough, as well as his developing rivalry with renowned Leeds manager Don Revie.
Michael Sheen's excellent depiction of Clough is eye-catching and unforgettable, helped by his real footballing skill one of many stand-out moments is his chest, turn, and volley joked with "I'd like to see Don f*cking Revie do that."
Clough is pitted against two characters by director Tom Hooper. Revie's rival brings out the fire in his character, whereas Peter Taylor's brilliance is focused on by his assistant and buddy.
Clough and Taylor share a delicate, moving connection, but Clough's family and a number of the real-life characters shown in the film have criticized it for apparent errors.
It is impossible to see a football film ever coming close to its lasting popular appeal. Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Pele, Bobby Moore, and Ossie Ardiles appear as Allied POWs plotting a daring escape from a Nazi POW camp in this picture based on the 1962 Hungarian film Two Half Times In Hell.
The plot goes wrong, but with the inmates behind 4-1 at halftime, an opportunity to flee presents itself.
However, in classic cinematic form, they decide to continue "We can still win this" and courageously battle back to earn a draw, before fleeing in the post-match chaos as fans rush the field.
It isn't a flawless film. For many, though, it is the ideal football film.
Bend It Like Beckham, starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, was a critical and financial success and remains a cultural touchstone for many. It follows Jesminder ‘Jess' Bhamra, a youngster who joins a local football club in defiance of her traditional Indian Sikh parents.
The film's commentary on problems of race and diversity in contemporary Britain is inspirational, intelligent, and really humorous, and a stage musical adaptation premiered in London's West End in 2015.
Looking For Eric is more about the connection between football and its followers, as well as the humanity of the celebrities it creates than it is about football itself.
By the time this was published, Eric Cantona had already been in cinema and television for almost 15 years, and his portrayal as the Manchester United icon was highly praised.
The counsel he gets from a hallucination of footballer-turned-philosopher Cantona pulls postman Eric Bishop's life back on track after he smokes cannabis stolen from his stepson. Loach's picture walks a thin line between football's escapism and reality's harshness, and it does it admirably.
- Rudy (1993)
- Miracle (2004)
- The Blind Side (2009)
- The Rookie (2002)
- The Fighter (2010)
- We Are Marshall (2006)
- Remember the Titans (2000)
An aircraft accident that occurred in 1970 claimed the lives of 75 individuals, including 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, five coaches, two athletic trainers, the university's athletic director, 25 boosters, and the plane's crew of five, shown in the film.
Shaolin Soccer is a 2001 Hong Kong sports comedy film directed by Stephen Chow, who also appears in the film as the film's main character, as well as in supporting roles. Several years after the death of their teacher, a former Shaolin monk reunifies his five brothers in order to use their superhuman martial arts abilities to play football and promote Shaolin kung fu to the general public.