American football is a sport with a significant fanbase; teams like the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, and the Chicago Bears are known around the world as well as throughout the USA. Along with attracting millions of viewers each week, and being one of the top sports betting markets in the US, over the years football has also been used as the main theme in some great movies. If you’re a fan of the sport, here’s a list of some of the best American football films to watch.
1. The Blind Side
The Blind Side tells the story of Michael Oher, a homeless African American teenager who is taken in by a family and becomes a star football player. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2010 and Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy, who adopted Oher after his mother died from cancer and became his legal guardian. Quinton Aaron, who played Oher in both this film and its sequel, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
2. Jerry Maguire
In 1996, a film about the world of sports agents hit the big screen. Although not directly about a professional football player, it’s still classed as one of the best football movies ever made. The movie was called Jerry Maguire and starred Tom Cruise as a sports agent who has a crisis of conscience about his job. Jerry had some NFL clients of his own, including from the Arizona Cardinals. It was nominated for five Academy Awards and went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year with over $273 million in sales worldwide. The film is based on the true story of Leigh Steinberg, who was an agent during this time.
3. Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon is a 1980 science fiction film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, and Max von Sydow. The film is loosely based on the pulp adventure comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond, which is about an athletic football player who saves the Earth from an evil emperor. Some argue it’s not an American football film, but seeing as it stars a fictional New York Jets football player called Gregory ‘Flash’ Gordon, we couldn’t leave it off our list.
This film tells the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who was discovered by his hometown football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The film is based on a true story and stars Mark Wahlberg as Papale. Elizabeth Banks plays his wife Beth and Greg Kinnear plays Harvey Robinson, the Eagles’ coach. The movie was directed by Ericson Core who also directed the film Apollo 13 (1995).
5. The Game Plan
Although Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, was a former professional athlete in the WWE rather than the NFL, he has starred in many comedy films in his acting career including, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Central Intelligence, and The Game Plan. The Game Plan is a 2007 sports film starring Johnson as Joe Kingman, a former NFL quarterback who must change his lifestyle when he becomes a single father to a daughter he didn’t know existed. Wealthy and carefree, Joe must learn how to balance his personal and professional lives with the needs of his child, Peyton (Madison Pettis). In the movie, Johnson’s character also takes ballet lessons which is a nod to Lynn Swann, a former American football player, who took ballet lessons himself when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers during his NFL career.