‘Remember the Titans’: Game on with these dramatic movies about football
Here’s one of the most reassuring truths for a film buff: you don’t need to be a football fan in order to enjoy movies about football. The beauty of most sports films is that the sport itself is just the backdrop to the real story. So movies about football are really movies about perseverance, about teamwork, about passion, and about anything else the filmmakers want to throw in there. Sports make for flexible thematic vehicles.
Now that we’ve lifted that burden off your shoulders, perhaps you’d like to check out some of the best movies about football currently being streamed. Here’s a handful of picks to get you started! Just don’t fumble the opportunity and check them out before they go away.
Not to be confused with the hit animated series from Amazon Prime, this Mark Wahlberg vehicle is inspired by the true story of Vince Papale. This real life substitute teacher joined the Philadelphia Eagles at age 30, with no prior experience in professional football in a desperate attempt to turn his life around by reporting to an open tryout. The results were good enough to merit a movie be made about them.
Invincible is currently streaming on Prime Video.
Friday Night Lights
Before Friday Night Lights was an inspirational feel-good TV show, it was a gritty feature film about a high school football team from Odessa, Texas. Inspired by H. G. Bissinger’s book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, the movie follows the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers team as they took a shot at the state championship. It’s an intense underdog story, and aren’t those the best kind of stories?
Friday Night Lights is currently streaming on Starz.
Remember the Titans
Denzel Washington coaching a high school football team? Sign us up! The film is based on the true story of coach Herman Boone (Washington), who attempted to integrate the T.C. Williams High School football team in Alexandria Virginia back in 1971. You can imagine how that went. Thankfully, this Walt Disney co-production keeps things PG, so it can be fun for the whole family without casting a shadow on the history of it all.
Remember the Titans is currently streaming on Disney+.
The John Krasinski / George Clooney team-up you didn’t know you needed is not based on a true story, but it is a period piece. Leatherheads is a football comedy (you don’t see those words together often) set in the early days of the sport, in 1925 America. Krasinski plays a decorated WWI hero who joins Clooney’s football team. Both men soon find themselves competing for the attention of a reporter played by Renée Zellweger.
Leatherheads is currently streaming on Showtime.
Any Given Sunday
When you think of movies about football, you don’t usually think of Michael Corleone. And yet, here he is, Al Pacino, headlining a football movie directed by Oliver Stone. Pacino plays the coach of The Miami Sharks, a fictional team with players like Jamie Foxx and Dennis Quaid in it. It’s an unusual film from Stone, in a good way, as it’s way more fun than you’d expect. The lack of conspiracy theories doesn’t hurt either.
Any Given Sunday is currently streaming on Tubi.
Let’s stay in the realm of fiction but go back to high school for this last pick. Varsity Blues is the movie where Dawson from Dawson’s Creek plays the star quarterback of his high school football team. All the other elements just fall into place after that: Overbearing coach? Jon Voight. Charismatic girlfriend? Amy Smart. Dreamy best friend? Paul Walker. And best of all: It’s Regina George’s favorite movie.
Varsity Blues is not available for free streaming anywhere right now – you gotta pay for your Beek – but you can rent it on most platforms for $2.99. James Van Der Beek will thank you forever.
What are your favorite movies about football? Let us know in the comments!