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The Best Films Based on American Football

It’s time to race for the field goal as we bring you the best films based on American Football right here on Back to the Movies.

American Football

Sports films often provide a realistic interpretation of life within the sports world which gives fans of cinema a sense of the drama within. Over the years, no sport has provided a greater backdrop for this crossover than American football has.

There are tons of movies which has drawn on themes of the game and many that have even drawn from real life stories for the silver screen. Some have even had cameos from huge stars with a number of Super Bowl winners appearing in box office hits.

When I was checking the other day the Kansas City Chiefs’ odds to win Super Bowl are currently favorable and who knows, we could one day see Pat Mahomes himself on our screens in a biopic of his very own.

The Chiefs have one hell of a team and usually find themselves in and around that SuperBowl fixture every single season.

Without further ado let’s take a look at some of the best films based on American Football.



Arguably the quintessential football movie, Rudy is a heartwarming and sentimental story of determination. Based on the true story of the titular Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, Sean Astin stars as the dyslexic steel mill worker who harbors dreams of playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Although deemed to lack the size, talent and academic qualities to play for and attend Notre Dame, Rudy fights to overcome his hardship and achieve his ultimate goal. Released in 1993 and filmed on a budget of just $12 million, Rudy was the first film that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.

We also get to see a young Jon Favreau in one of his earliest movie rolls as teaching assistant D-Bob. Though many sports films are uplifting in nature, Rudy ranks right at the top for it’s earnestness.

Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire

Although this movie features less football on-screen than some other entries here, there is no denying that Jerry Maguire is an American Football movie. A star-studded cast is lead by Tom Cruise in the titular role— a sports agent who, after being fired from his job, is left with just disgruntled free agent Rod Tidwell as his only client as he tries to build his own agency.

Cuba Gooding Jr. supports as Tidwell as well as Renee Zellweger who plays Cruise’s love interest, Dorothy Boyd. There are tons of cameos from famous football faces including Drew Bledsoe, Roy Firestone, Troy Aikman and Al Michaels.

The 1996 releae was shot on a budget of $50 million and made an incredible $273.6 million at the box office. Over 25 years later it is still recognized among Cruise and Gooding’s best performances with the latter winning a Best supporting actor Oscar for his efforts.

The Longest Yard (1974)

Longest Yard 1974

While drama acts as the main theme of many sports movies, we often see great comedy movies sprinkled in between. The Longest Yard is perhaps the most fondly remembered example of this. It stars Burt Reynolds as Paul Crewe, a one-time pro quarterback who finds himself behind bars after leading police on a car chase in a ‘borrowed’ vehicle.

Across from him is Eddie Albert as the villainous Warden Rudolph Hazen warden who’ll stop at nothing to push his team of guards to a national championship. Crewe is tasked with putting together a team of convicts to take on the guards. I

t also features many real-life pros such as Ray Nitschke and Joe Kapp. The movie returned an incredible $49 million from its $2.9 million budget and has since spawned a number of remakes including the Adam Sandler lead 2005 release.

I actually really enjoyed the remake with Adam Sandler, it’s hilarious classic Sandler comedy and has some really memorable moments and a great cast!

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans

This Denzel Washington lead biographical movie is one of the most loved sports movies of the century. Set in 1971 Virginia, Washington stars as Herman Boone, the high school football coach tasked with bringing together a team of teens who have merged from all-white and all-black schools.

The true story is a great look at post-segregation America and tells an incredible narrative of breaking down barriers and diversity over adversity.

It also served as a launching point for future stars like Ryan Gosling, Ethan Suplee and Hayden Panetierre.

Released in 2000, the movie made $136.8 million from its $30 million budget. An inspirational crowd-pleaser, Remember The Titans’ social commentary is just uplifting and rousing today as it was 23 years ago.

The Blind Side

Blind Side

Another movie based on a true story, The Blind Side went on to become one of the most successful American football movies of all time. The movie stars Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, an impoverished African-American high school student with dreams of playing in the NFL who is adopted by a white family, the Tuohy’s, played by Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

The movie was a huge commercial success making over $300 million on a $29 million budget. Bullock received universal praise for her performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy and lead to her winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.

Out of all of the films based on American Football, which one would you say is your favourite? 

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