Football Movies for Fall
Fall is fully upon us, and so is America's favorite fall past-time: football. We're finishing up week eight, which means we've got another eight weeks to go before the play-offs. Instead of rolling in bed waiting for the next game, spend some time catching up on the best football movies, perfectly curated for these fall months. Watch one a week until the play-offs or binge them all now, the choice is yours. Who are you rooting for? Leave your team in the comments below! #CowboysNation
Remember the Titans (2000)
Who doesn't love Denzel Washington rallying support and success in his team of Titans? Part-social justice, part-football, all inspiring. Washington plays newly-appointed African American coach Herman Boone, and the small town of Alexandria, Virginia isn't happy about it. Tasked with bringing the newly desegregated T.C. Williams High School team to victory, Boone must overcome racial prejudices and create a team brought together regardless of skin color, and he does just that. Also, we all know a young Ryan Gosling never disappoints.
"I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is." — Coach Boone
Any Given Sunday (1999)
Catch Cameron Diaz in her prime as fictional Miami Sharks team owner Christina Pagniacci, who's at odds with Sharks coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) after their team's first and second string quarterbacks are forced to leave the field from injuries, replaced by Jamie Foxx's Willie Beamen. Beamen changes the game to the chagrin of his coach and his teammates, and any given Sunday, a hero can rise.
"I been warmin' the bench the whole time I been in the Pros... I don't plan on goin' back." —Willie Beamen
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ed Harris will melt your heart in this feel-good story of trials and triumphs. Gooding Jr. plays Radio, a man who mentally runs "just like everyone else but slower." The local high school football team is at first resentful of Coach Jones (Harris) allowing Radio to help out with games, until it becomes clear that Radio is the glue holding the whole team together. Perfect for a movie night with grandma, or for anyone with a soul.
"... but the truth is, we're not the one been teachin' Radio, Radio's the one been teachin' us - cause the way he treats us all the time is the way we wish we treated each other even part of the time." —Coach Jones
We are Marshall (2006)
Football may not be one for tears, but damn... We are Marshall will get you. Based on the true events of Marshall University's fatal airplane crash in November of 1970 — in which 75 members of the Marshall football athletics team, faculty, and staff were killed — Marshall stars Matthew McConaughey as new head coach Jack alongside Matthew Fox (one of the surviving coaching faculty) as Red Dawson. The Marshall Thundering Herd is slowly and painfully rebuilt, and as the team rebuilds, so does the town.
"When you take that field today, you've got to lay that heart on the line, men. From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose." —Coach Jack
The Blind Side (2009)
Based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side is the biographical story of Michael Oher, who would eventually play for the Baltimore Ravens (as their 1st draft pick no less). Impoverished and orphaned in Tennessee, Oher (played by Quinton Aaron) is taken under the wings of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock). With some serious TLC, respect, and space, the Tuohy family helps Oher find his potential, his worth, and his heart (oh, and he's an outright football star). When Oher gets a real bed for the first time in his life, you'll be wrapped right around this story's fingers.
"No, you hear me, bitch! You threaten my son, you threaten me. You so much as cross into downtown, you will be sorry. I'm in a prayer group with the D.A., I'm a member of the N.R.A. and I'm ALWAYS packing." —Leigh Ann Tuohy
Friday Night Lights (2004)
Yet another great high school football movie, this time with Billy Bob Thornton as Permian Head Coach Gary Gaines in the windswept and broke town of Odessa, Texas. Odessa is obsessive over its local football team, and Friday Night Lights serves as a spotlight to the team's strengths and weaknesses. From player riffs to team failures and town victories, this one is less about winning the big game (though they try for that, too), and more about just being there for the game in general. Friday Night Lights is infectious and spirited, and will want to make you watch/play/love football more than any other.
"Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down." —Coach Gary
My All-American (2015)
Freddie Steinmark (played by Finn Wittrock) is dreamy, steamy, and all things American. He defies all odds against his small stature, gets the girl, and the scholarship to play football for the Texas Longhorns. When he's diagnosed with cancer, it tests every ounce of will he's fought so hard to make. Wittrock and Aaron Eckhart (who plays his Texas coach) will make you want to fight for your dreams, too. While this may not be a critical favorite, it's a touchdown for date night.
"That boy's never backed down against nothin' or nobody and he won't now. He's gonna need all of you." —Coach Royal
The Longest Yard (2005)
Okay, so The Longest Yard may not be winning any awards, but it's a finger-lickin' good time. Prison, football, and Adam Sandler... doesn't seem like a great pairing but you'd be surprised. Sandler plays Paul Crewe, a washed-up football legend who gets himself incarcerated after a drunk driving incident. He's employed by the prison to put together a ragtag football crew of inmates to play against the guards. From Chris Rock to Terry Crews to Burt Reynolds, The Longest Yard has the comedian for you.
"Whatever your pleasure, I can facilitate. You need weed, you need meth- hey, you need Prozac, I'm your man. I know how you white boys always deal with that depression. I mean me personally, I don't understand what you white boys are all depressed about. Hey, you're white! Smile!" —Caretaker (Chris Rock)