* Get ready for the NFL season with these ten flicks
* The regular season kicks off September 7
* Stream or download these movies to watch at home
The start of the 2017 NFL season jumps off with preseason action this Thursday, with the regular season set to kick off after Labor Day on September 7. Before that happens, though, you should check out any or all of our ten picks for Best Football Themed Movies of All Time. Are you up for the challenge?
Released in 2008, Leatherheads was directed by George Clooney and tells the story of the fictional Duluth Bulldogs football team that takes place during the early years of professional football in America. Co-starring John Krasinski, Renée Zellweger and Clooney, the sports flick is loosely based on both the real-life Duluth Eskimos football team and the signing of University of Illinois football star Harold “Red” Grange by then-Chicago Bears head coach, George Halas.
Based on Jeanne Marie Laskas’s 2009 exposé “Game Brain,” published by GQ, Concussion tells the story of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennett Omalu, played by Will Smith, as he not only discovers a degenerative brain disease found in athletes called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), but also his fight with the NFL to suppress his findings. Download the movie below or watch it for free on STARZ.
8. Necessary Roughness
Loosely based on the “death penalty” handed out by the NCAA to Southern Methodist University in 1987 for multiple violations, Necessary Roughness takes place at the beginning of the football season for fictional Texas State University after all but one player have been suspended or expelled. The 1991 comedy stars Scott Bakula, Héctor Elizondo, Sinbad, and Robert Loggia.
7. The Blind Side
Some of the best movies about football seem to be based on true stories and there may be no better story than that of Michael Oher’s climb to the NFL in the 2009 film The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock. The film won Bullock an Oscar in 2010 for Best Actress.
6. Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans follows the story of the T.C. Williams High School football team in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971, as head coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, works to integrate the football team and, inadvertently, the town as well. Look for a pre-blockbuster Ryan Gosling in the film as well.
5. Any Given Sunday
There’s a lot to unpack in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday but if you’re looking for a film about the clash between new versus old, this is it. It’s 162 minutes of non-stop gridiron madness starring Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, Aaron Eckhart and Cameron Diaz.
Arguably one of the most recognized stories about football in America, Rudy chronicles the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, played by Sean Astin, as the small-town, small-statured boy fulfills his dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame.
3. The Longest Yard
Burt Reynolds originally starred in The Longest Yard when it released in 1974 and then again in the 2005 remake with Adam Sandler taking the lead as Nate Scarborough, a former professional football QB. The original, though, is still the best of the two and if you’ve never seen it, just imagine how a game between the inmates and guards of a jail might play out.
2. Friday Night Lights
If there’s a singular story about football that’s captivated the broadest audience possible in the last two decades, it is without a doubt some version of Friday Night Lights. The 2004 film, which is based on H.G. Bissinger’s 1990 book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, tells the story of 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team in Odessa, TX and the town’s obsession with the team and sport. The TV series version is pretty damn good, too.
1. Jerry Maguire
Taking the top spot is Jerry Maguire if for no other reason than the fact that it continues to be relevant some 21 years later. Name another movie from 1996 that has produced as many memes and pickup lines that are still circulating today.
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