Football season is in full-swing. While there aren’t nearly as many quality football movies as baseball, there are some standouts. So, the ALL-TIME BEST 10 FOOTBALL MOVIES!
10. Any Given Sunday (1999)
Honestly, this one’s pretty overrated and is a low-point for much of Oliver Stone’s work. “Any Given Sunday” makes this countdown though, on the strength of Al Pacino’s performance. His locker room monologue is one of the best in movie history. 20 years from now, we may not remember the movie, but the speech will still be a standout in film history.
9. The Replacements (2000)
While schmaltzy and cliched, there’s something truly endearing and heartfelt about “The Replacements.” Yeah it’s not the best football movie ever, but it’s a fun and easy watch with characters you truly care about. That’s gotta count for something, right? If not, stick to your freaking Goddard cinephiles.
8. The Waterboy (1998)
People today bash this one, but it still holds up as hilarious and off-the-wall comedy. Sandler is wonderful, but Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler completely steal the show, showing their incredible versatility. Plus, if you’re a wrestling fan, Big Show/The Giant/Paul Wight makes a memorable appearance. So that’s something…
7. North Dallas Forty (1979)
If you like your football movies a little more raucous, this movie’s for you. Twas the 1970’s and pro football was just starting to find it’s legs. Thus, gridiron greats were like rockstars and stadium lockerooms were the most exclusive club in town. “North Dallas Forty” is kinda like “Remember the Titans” meets “Boogie Nights.”
6. Knute Rockne All American (1940)
If you’re a fan of college football, you know who Knute Rockne is and why he’s important enough to warrant his own movie. What you may not know, is that future-President Ronald Reagan has a significant role in this flick. Yep, that’s right…the old jelly-bean loving hero to conservatives is smack in the middle of this one.
5. Remember the Titans (2000)
While slightly overrated, “Remember the Titans” is a solid sports flick. Having Denzel Washington doesn’t hurt either. The man truly is one of the best actors in modern cinema. Will Patton is pretty great as well in a supporting role. The whole tone of the film is enjoyable, albeit sometimes preachy. With Denzel doing most of the preaching though, you kinda don’t care.
4. The Longest Yard (1974)
Long before the Adam Sandler remake, the original film was a laugh-fest. What many may not know, is that Burt Reynolds was actually a stellar football player in his own right. This probably helped during filming, kind of like when Billy Crystal made “Forget Paris.”
3. Jerry Maguire (1996)
This one’s not entirely a football or even a sports movie for that matter. The sidebar that is journeyman wide receiver, Rod Tidwell is crazy engaging though. So engaging that, Cuba Gooding Jr. was asking everyone to “show me the money” after this one. Oh jeez, I remember when everybody and their brother was throwing that phase around like air quotes. Oh the 1990’s…
2. Brian’s Song (1971)
Trying not to spoil this one, but if you don’t shed a tear at the end, you’re not freaking human. That’s right, you’re a robot and not one of the cool ones. You’re more like that creepy kid robot in “A.I.” Anyways, the movie is both incredibly moving and sad. So, if you do watch this one, bring some tissues.
1. Rudy (1993)
“Rudy” has some pretty corny dialogue, but it’s still a fantastic sports movie. Maybe it’s not Notre Dame, but for many of us, we dreamed of being sports stars somewhere. For all but a handful of us, we’ll never get there. That’s why “Rudy” is such a special movie. At the very heart, sports is about underdogs and long odds. On those very rare and special occasions, dreams really can come true.
Tomorrow, the ALL-TIME BEST 10 LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS!