Movies

Touchdown! 12 Standout Football Movies

Break out the chips, the dips and hot wings. Amass large quantities of beer. Gather your friends around a big-screen TV. It's football season! Counting down, here are the 12 best football movies.

Top 12 Football Movies

12. 'All the Right Moves' (1983)

This football favorite sees a hotshot quarterback (Tom Cruise), desperate for a scholarship, clash with his headstrong coach (Craig T. Nelson)in a dying Pennsylvania steel town.

11. 'Jerry Maguire' (1996)

Movies about sports agents count, right? Especially one Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise), whose only client, wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Oscar-winning Cuba Gooding Jr.), learns a little give and take — on and off the field — with his uber agent.

10. 'North Dallas Forty' (1979)

Nick Nolte and Mac Davis whoop it up as veteran good-old-boy, pro football players who love the game but are getting tired of all the behind-the-scene baloney. Loosely based on the Dallas Cowboys of the '70s, it's one of the first movies to give us an insider's view of the NFL.

9. 'Varsity Blues' (1999)

This sleeper hit takes a hard look at a Texas high-school football team, where being on the team means everything. But the star quarterback (James Van Der Beek) doesn't care about all the hype and just wants to play the game for fun. Heaven forbid.

8. 'Brian's Song' (1971)

The true story about Chicago Bear players Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and best friend Brian Piccolo (James Caan) as they rise in the ranks, culminating in Piccolo's untimely death at the age of 26 of cancer. Not a dry eye in the joint when Sayers delivers that speech.

7. 'The Longest Yard' (2005)

This film tells the story of a group of prisoners, led by football player-turned-convict Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler), who are forced into a game against the prison guards, a game they are not suppose to win. One of the better underdog-wins-all gridiron flicks.

6. 'Any Given Sunday' (1999)

Oliver Stone's ode to the NFL showcases some of the best football sequences ever filmed, as he tells the story of a pro team's struggle between the game and the money. Stand-out performances from Al Pacino as a jaded coach.

5. 'Rudy' (1993)

This is the story of Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin), who overcomes several obstacles — both physical and mental — on a lifelong mission to play for the legendary Notre Dame college football team. It's one of the best football heart-tuggers all time, besides maybe""Brian's Song."

4. 'Remember the Titans' (2000)

Based on a true story, Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) was hired to guide an integrated but racially polarized high school team — the T.C. Williams Titans. Let's just say he made them Remember the Titans.

3. 'Invincible' (2006)

This is every sports fan's wildest, craziest fantasy—the chance to play ball with the football heroes they idolize. But for Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), it happened for real when he tried out and made his beloved Philadelphia Eagles team.

2. 'The Blind Side' (2009)

The story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family. Sandra Bullock turns in her Academy-Award winning performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy.

1. 'Friday Night Lights' (2004)

This film takes an even harder, grittier look at a real-life high school football team in Odessa, Texas, where playing football IS everything, not only for the players and coach (Billy Bob Thornton), but the whole town, who depend on it. It also spawned one of the better TV shows about the game.

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