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A definitive list of the 10 best Gridiron Movies ever made


best gridiron movies, american football, films

How many have you seen? Follow along, as we list the 10 best gridiron movies ever made.

It feels as if American football is perfectly engineered big-time Hollywood moments; the spectacular plays and iconic moments typically reserved for the cinema as by-products of 10 months of production work, not 10 seconds of sporting insanity.

Whether it’s a world-beating catch, a last-gasp Hail Mary throw right into the receivers bread basket or a bone-crunching hit that ends a player’s career, but paves a path for a lesser-known star to have their fairytale moment, American Football is littered with high-class cinematic plays.

Maybe it’s the reason why some of the finest sporting movies ever made, mixed with as much entertainment as motivation, focus on the sport. Our list of the 10 best gridiron movies ever made flows from the comedic to the inspiring and includes some truly remarkable biopics that spotlight some of the sport’s finest ashes-to-glory stories.

To compile our list of the best gridiron movies ever, we ran our eye over the rankings of some prestigious movie and sports sites and pulled together an aggregate score that formed our list. We felt this was the fairest way possible, ensuring our own personal opinions did not sway the final standings.

Are these the 10 best gridiron movies ever made?

If you feel we’ve let one of your favourites out, please let us know via our social channels below!

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Honourable mentions:

Concussion, The Express, North Dallas Forty, Draft Day, The Program, The Replacements, The Blind Side and Monday Night Mayhem all fell just short of our list of the 10 best gridiron movies ever.

10. Invincible, 2006

Mark Wahlberg portrays Vince Papale, one of the most unlikeliest stories in sporting history, in this flick. Invincible centres on Papale’s rise from being a 30-year-old bartender to playing for the prestigious Philadelphia Eagles. A simple remarkable story that, if it weren’t based on true events, would be truly unbelievable.

9. Heaven Can Wait, 1978

Perhaps the strangest plot of any entries on our list, Heaven Can Wait follows a LA Rams quarterback whose soul is taken away from his body by an angel and replanted in a recently murdered millionaire. Strange, but then again, most good films are.

8. We Are Marshall, 2006

As far as gridiron movies go, we believe We Are Marshall is one of the genre’s most underrated. It follows the lives of the Marshall University football team, its new coach, a collection of its fans and its players who survived a terrible plane crash as they try to keep the football program alive.

7. The Longest Yard, 1974

Fans may be more familiar with the 2005 Adam Sandler remake, but our list features the 1974 original starring Burt Reynolds. The plot remains the same; a former pro quarterback now in prison forms a team of inmates to take on the guards in a game of football.

6. Jerry Maguire, 1996

Show me the money!!!! Tom Cruise is at his best in Jerry Maguire which, we’ll admit, is a love story disguised as a gridiron movie. The film tells the story of Cruise’s character, Jerry Maguire, a maverick sports agent who quits his job after a professional epiphany, as he pushes his client Rod Tidwell towards fulfilling his potential. All while a love story plays out in the background.

5. Remember The Titans, 2000

Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling team up for the biographical film, Remember the Titans, which focuses on the true story of Herman Boone as he battles tense racial segregation and other social issues to unite his high school football team towards glory.

The film is two hours of poignant, motivational scenes that tell a story of brotherhood and uniting in the face of adversity. As far as gridiron films go, Remember the Titans feels almost in a class of its own.

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4. Friday Night Lights, 2004

While it does share the same name as the hit TV show, Friday Night Lights the film is similar in the sense it follows a small Texan town’s high school football team. It stars Billy Bob Thornton and Lucas Black, among others.

Best sports movies of all time, best sporting films ever, best gridiron movies
Enjoy our list? Check out our top 10 sports movies of all time

3. Any Given Sunday, 1999

We could wax lyrical about Any Given Sunday. Or, we could show you Al Pacino’s locker room speech that perfectly encapsulates what makes this powerful film one of the best gridiron movies ever.

2. Brian’s Song, 1971

A biographical film, Brian’s Song centres on the relationship between Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, that struggles initially but is transformed when Piccolo finds out he’s dying.

1. Rudy, 1993

Before he was Samwise Gamgee, Sean Austin was Rudy, a story about a young man who, following a significant personal tragedy, decides it is never too late to pursue his dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame.

Picture of Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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