movie night football

It can be argued that football has some of the most classic sports films in the industry. Whether it be stories about high school hometowns, college football dreams or hilarious comedies with a football twist, this sport has it all when it comes to films. Here are my top five football films of all time. 

5. “The Longest Yard” (2005)

This movie is a remake of the 1974 classic that is representing the comedy genre in this list. Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) stars as a washed up quarterback who was thrown in jail because of a DUI and is now tasked with assembling a team of convicts to play against the prison guards. The head prison guard, Warden Rudolph Hazen (James Cromwell), wants to use this game against the guards as a warmup for bigger games to gain morale for his players and a good reputation as a future candidate for state governor. 

Crewe teams up with fellow inmate James “Caretaker” Farrell (Chris Rock) and assembles the “The Mean Machines.” As the team gets better and better, the guards attempt many things to slow down their progress, which fail to disrupt The Mean Machine’s chemistry. This movie will make you cheer for the “bad guys,” but it is a good laugh for all football fans. 

“The Longest Yard” is available to stream on Netflix.

4. “Rudy” (1993)

Rudy is a true story about Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin) who dreams of playing college football for Notre Dame. From being denied from college three times, dealing with family issues, overcoming dyslexia and working as a student manager before making the team, this classic has it all.

After finally getting into Notre Dame on his fourth try, Rudy is given a spot as a walk-on. When it comes time for his senior night, Rudy has still yet to have suited up for an actual game. After his teammates convince their new coach to let him suit up for the final game, the ending of his one play of his entire career went down as one of the most memorable moments in the Fighting Irish’s storied history. If you love an underdog story, this movie should be right up your alley.

“Rudy” is available to stream on Vudu, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

3. “We Are Marshall” (2006)

This is a historical film about one of the biggest tragedies in the history of sports when a 1970 plane crash killed 75 people, including 37 Marshall University football players and five coaches. Some of the remaining players who survived or were not on the plane convince their president, Donald Dedmon (David Strathairn), to keep the team and hire new coach Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey).

In a tragedy that shook up the small town in West Virginia, Dedmon gets an approval from the NCAA to allow freshmen to play varsity football. This allowed Lengyel and his new staff to start recruiting players and field a team in 1971. If you love a movie with highs and lows, this is a great choice for you. 

“We Are Marshall” is available to stream on HBO Max.

2. “Remember the Titans” (2000)

This is a perfect movie that shows what sports can do for a community. Based on a 1971 high school football team in Virginia, coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) takes on the role of head coach for a newly desegregated school. Boone took over the job from legendary coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton), who was demoted to an assistant. Not being fond of it at first, Yoast eventually thrives and makes a good pair with Boone throughout the season. 

Drawing negative feedback from town locals and biased officials, the Titans’ journey isn't always the smoothest. However, this film is a great reminder of what a team can accomplish if they have a common goal, no matter their differences. 

“Remember the Titans” is available to stream on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

1. “The Blind Side” (2009)

This film about homeless Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) being taken in by Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) and Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) was a no brainer for being the top football film of all time. Leigh Anne does an outstanding job of getting to know Micheal and his story of how he got on the streets. After the Tuohys take him in, Oher becomes friends with his new little brother S.J. (Jae Head), who helps him get ready to start football at his new, predominantly white, Christian school. 

After struggling at first, his new mother urges Oher to protect the quarterback. The left tackle takes those words to heart and kills it that season, with SEC coaches all vying for his talents. After committing to Ole Miss, the Tuohy's alma mater, the NCAA investigates Oher and attempts to break up his family. Cue the tissues for this one, but this is a movie every football fan should see. 

“The Blind Side” is available for streaming on Vudu, Sling TV and Amazon Prime Video.

Honorable Mentions: 

With so many great football films, it was hard to choose just five. These incredible movies just missed the cut: “Radio” (2003), “Invincible (2006)”, “Friday Night Lights” (2004) and “The Waterboy” (1998)

Staff Writer

I’m Will Thornhill, a staff writer for the Technician’s sports department since March of 2019. I am in the class of 2022 at NC State, with a double-major in Sport Management and Communication Media.