No matter the time of year, thanks to the movie industry, it's always football season. From high school teams to the NFL, moviemakers have brought the gridiron to the big screen and recreated many of football's greatest moments. Here's a look at 10 great films no football fan should miss.
1. "Friday Night Lights" - 2004
Based on the nonfiction book by H. G. Bissinger, the 2004 film "Friday Night Lights" paved the road for the Emmy-winning television series of the same name. Following the Permian High Panthers from Odessa, Texas, director Peter Berg captures the extreme pride and incredible pressure endured by members of the small town football team.
2. "The Blind Side" - 2009
The true story of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, the Oscar-nominated film follows Oher from his impoverished childhood through his adoption by Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy. Leigh Ann, played Academy Award-winner Sandra Bullock, takes Michael under her wing and into her heart, helping him improve his grades and eventually land an NCAA Division I scholarship to Ole Miss.
3. "Invincible" - 2006
Based on the story of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver and special teams captain Vince Papale, "Invincible" centers on his unlikely transformation from 30-year-old bartender to pro football player after he attends the team's open tryout. One of the oldest rookies in NFL history, Papale becomes a hometown hero and a symbol of hope for the down and out.
4. "We Are Marshall" - 2006
"We Are Marshall" is the true story of the devastating 1970 plane crash that took the lives of 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team. Thirty-eight additional coaches, trainers, and athletic boosters were also killed in the crash, and the film centers on the grieving school's struggle to rebuild the team in honor of those who were lost.
5. "Jerry Maguire" - 1996
One of the most frequently-quoted movies of all time, the film follows sports agent Jerry Maguire and fictional Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell as they balance the desire for fame and wealth with the importance of love and family. From "Show me the money!" to "You complete me," the Oscar-nominated film is full of quirky lines and memorable moments.
6. "Remember the Titans" - 2000
Based on a true story, "Remember the Titans" stars Denzel Washington as Herman Boone, the African American coach of a newly desegregated high school football team. Members of the team and coaching staff overcome racial tensions and complete their season undefeated, becoming a symbol of unity for their community.
7. "Rudy" - 1993
A heartwarming and tear-jerking fan favorite, "Rudy" is the true story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettinger, who overcomes tremendous odds in order to achieve his dream of playing football for Notre Dame. Despite having no scholarship and mediocre grades, Rudy refuses to give up hope, eventually earning the respect of his teammates and a place on the field.
8. "Any Given Sunday" - 1999
With an all-star cast including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, and LL Cool J, "Any Given Sunday" highlights the inner workings of a struggling football team. Grappling with new players, new management, and changing philosophies, long-time coach Tony D'Amato (Pacino) must lead his team through a successful season while reevaluating his future with franchise.
9. "Big Fan" - 2009
Nominated for Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury prize, the film follows die hard New York Giants fan Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt), whose loyalty to the team is tested when he gets beaten up by his favorite player. Despite pressure from his family and the police, Paul refuses to press charges, fearing that an arrest could harm his beloved team's chances for victory.
10. "The Express" - 2008
Based on a true story, "The Express" is a tribute to the remarkable life of Ernie "the Elmira Express" Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. The film follows Davis through his years at Syracuse University, relationship with coach Ben Schwartzwalder, NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, and tragic illness.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Michael Oher