Best Football Movies To Get You Pumped Up For Super Bowl LVII
The Super Bowl is around the corner and this list is bound to help you tap into your football spirit. The NFL revealed 99.18 million people in the United States tuned in for 2022’s Super Bowl LVI, showcasing just how popular of an event it is. This doesn’t even account for the number of international viewers who tuned in. In total, a whopping 208 million people watched Super Bowl LVI live!
If you can’t wait until the Super Bowl for more gridiron magic, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best football movies for you to watch before the big game.
Football Movies or Past Super Bowls: How to Decide
No need to argue over which option is better. Getting ready for the big game by watching past Super Bowls and reminiscing about how action-packed they were can be great! Of course, sometimes kicking your feet up and watching a movie instead feels best.
Regardless of your choice, it’s bound to help build your excitement for Super Bowl LVII.
Most Exciting Super Bowls From the Past
If you want a blast from the past to pump you up for the upcoming Super Bowl, this section is for you. I’ll go through some of the most popular highlights and exciting moments from past Super Bowls.
- 🏈 #5. Super Bowl XXXIV (Rams 23, Titans 16)
Where “The Tackle” happens — Titans almost tie the game, but fall two yards short before time expires. Super Bowl XXXIV is worth checking out if you haven’t seen it before; the best part is all the memorable action happens within the last few minutes.
- 🏈 #4. Super Bowl III (Jets 16, Colts 7)
It’s the 3rd official Super Bowl, which is already intriguing, but it’s the game itself everybody remembers. Joe Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl win before taking the field — something Broadway Joe would go eventually down in history for achieving.
- 🏈 #3. Super Bowl LI (Patriots 34, Falcons 28)
Did you see the Atlanta Falcons collapse during Super Bowl LI? Because I certainly did. 28-3 would go on to become a meme Falcons fans want to forget forever. Tom Brady is the GOAT, regardless of how he played during the NFL’s 2022-23 season.
- 🏈 #2. Super Bowl XLII (Giants 17, Patriots 14)
The Giants beat the Patriots and David Tyree makes one of the most impressive catches we’ve ever seen. Seriously, sports shows will randomly pull the highlight up to this day. If you haven’t seen his miraculous helmet catch, you’re missing out.
- 🏈 #1. Super Bowl XLIX (Patriots 28, Seahawks 24)
Malcolm Butler turned into an overnight sensation because of his stellar interception during Super Bowl XLIX. If you aren’t sure which one this is, it’s where Russell Wilson threw the Seahawks’ chances of winning directly to the defense — did I mention they had Marshawn Lynch in the backfield?
The 10 Best Football Movies to Pass the Time Until Super Bowl LVII
Time to check out 10 of the best football movies to watch before Super Bowl LVII. I’ve included a nice mix of drama, thrills, and comedy to keep everyone entertained.
One thing to remember about football films is you have a surprisingly big number of them to choose from. In my opinion, some of the greatest football movies I’ve ever seen were related to a true story. They’re inspiring and well-written with a touch of realism. Of course, I still love watching movies like The Waterboy and laughing all the way through.
At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt.
- 🎥 #10. The Blind Side (2009)
|IMDb: 7.6/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 66%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Google Play|
The Blind Side follows Michael Oher, a troubled teen who is taken in by a woman named Leigh Anne Tuohy. Leigh Anne and her family realize his potential in football and help him polish his skills to achieve his dreams of playing in the NFL.
The movie has recognizable names like Quintin Aaron and Sandra Bullock leading the pack. It even has cameo appearances from great NCAA football coaches like Nick Saban and Lou Holtz!
It’s a feel-good film perfect for both solo and family movie nights — and it’s based on a true story.
- 🎥 #9. Jerry Maguire (1996)
|IMDb: 7.3/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 84%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play|
It’s true — most people would consider Jerry Maguire a romantic film more than anything else. Tom Cruise plays a sports agent who thinks he’s untouchable since he represents some of the most prominent names in football. Unfortunately, he gets fired from his amazing job and you get to see his fall from grace.
Stars like Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise added to their catalog of impressive performances in this film. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s perfect for pre-Super Bowl streaming.
- 🎥 #8. Greater (2016)
|IMDb: 7.3/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 69%||Streaming: Apple TV, PLEX, Amazon Prime, Google Play|
Greater is a movie following Brandon Burlsworth, a former Arkansas Razorback player who passed away in a crash. He had recently been drafted relatively high in the 3rd round of the 1999 NFL Draft but died 11 days later.
The movie depicts how determined Brandon was, and how he still tried to walk on after being refused a sports scholarship. You’ll see Brandon shed the extra weight, build up muscle, and compete at the highest level possible in NCAA Football.
It’s a motivating biopic either leaving you crying on your couch or itching to lift some weights. Regardless of how you feel though, you’ll definitely be more pumped for the Super Bowl.
- 🎥 #7. Invincible (2006)
|IMDb: 7/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 72%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Google Play|
Invincible looks at the life story of Vince Papale, a former Philadelphia Eagles receiver and Special Teams player.
Mark Wahlberg plays Vince, a well-accomplished actor who is also an avid sports fan. He captures Papale’s personality perfectly; a hard-working guy simply looking for his chance to shine. He goes to a public tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles after they’ve struggled for a few seasons, and ends up making the squad.
If you’ve ever dreamt about walking on for a professional football team and genuinely having success on the field, this one’s for you.
- 🎥 #6. Draft Day (2014)
|IMDb: 6.8/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 60%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, CraveTV, Google Play|
Draft Day was poorly received when it was first released. People kept saying it wasn’t ‘real’enough, but it has aged quite gracefully. It’s got plenty of star power, as the late and great Chadwick Boseman plays Vontae Mack, one of the top prospects for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.
Kevin Costner tags along and plays the Cleveland Browns GM, Sonny Weaver Jr. He’s given a chance to secure the #1 overall draft pick this year, but he has to give up three 1st round picks himself. It would cripple the Browns, but team owner Anthony Molina (played by Frank Langella) forces him to do it. Will he be able to rebuild the team? Who will he pick with 1st overall? So many questions!
It’s a worthy film about what it’s like to try and run an NFL office, especially since we don’t have too many of those.
- 🎥 #5. The Longest Yard (2005)
|IMDb: 6.4/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 31%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Paramount+, Google Play|
A personal favorite of mine has to be The Longest Yard. Unfortunately, I’m a bit too young to prefer the original version. They’re both great, and it’s only right to at least mention the original here.
The new and improved version of this film features names like Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Michael Irvin, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and even Burt Reynolds (who was in the first one!).
Sandler plays Paul Crewe, a former professional football player who gets arrested for drunk driving. He ends up going to New Mexico State Penitentiary, where the warden forces him to be the captain of a football team comprised of convicts.
The Longest Yard is a blast from beginning to end, and if you haven’t seen it, you’ll certainly be ready for Super Bowl LVII after you do. It’s got comedy, drama, tragedy, and almost everything else in between.
- 🎥 #4. Little Giants (1994)
|IMDb: 6.4/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 36%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play|
Both kids and adults could fall in love with this film, which is why it’s on my list. Little Giants features a somewhat friendly competition between two brothers, both of which love football. Rick Moranis plays Danny O’Shea, a man who’s tired of living in his brothers’ shadow. His brother Kevin O’Shea, played by Ed O’Neill, is known as an elite peewee football coach.
Danny decides he’s had enough and challenges Kevin when he refuses to put Danny’s daughter, nicknamed “Ice Box”, on his team of elite talent. She’s a fantastic player and deserves a spot, but she gets rejected. Instead of pouting, she bands together with the other rejects and creates the Little Giants.
It’s a family-friendly tale offering up a strong message. It’s tough to go wrong with watching any football movie starring Rick Moranis, especially before the Super Bowl.
- 🎥 #3. The Waterboy (1998)
|IMDb: 6.1/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 33%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Google Play|
In yet another nod to Adam Sandler, The Waterboy makes an appearance on this list. As you can tell, I prefer light-hearted football films over anything else. Sandler plays Bobby Boucher, who starts as the waterboy for the University of Louisiana.
Boucher dedicated his life to being a waterboy after the death of his father, as his mother told him the cause was dehydration. It’s an incredibly silly take on sports movies in general, let alone just football films — but it’s bound to keep you laughing.
If you’re keen on the Sandlerverse and characters that appear in multiple Adam Sandler films, you may even notice a few familiar faces.
- 🎥 #2. Remember the Titans (2000)
|IMDb: 7.8/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 72%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Google Play|
One of my top picks is a nonfictional film called Remember the Titans. It’s based on the story of an African-American coach named Herman Boone (played by Denzel Washington) trying to teach a team of racially diverse teammates. Boone is brought over to T.C. Williams High School from a black school in the area and given a role as an assistant coach.
Although racially segregated schools are no longer a thing, T.C. Williams is one of the few to integrate students quickly. Many other schools in the neighborhood are still considered ‘whites only’.
It’s a racially charged film with a powerful name like Denzel Washington as the lead. I’m biracial myself, so I love empowering movies like this. You get a strong insight into how African-American student-athletes were treated, even in the progressive early 80s.
- 🎥 #1. Any Given Sunday (1999)
|IMDb: 6.9/10||Rotten Tomatoes: 52%||Streaming: Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play|
If you like star power in your movies, look no further. This film features Jamie Foxx, Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, LL Cool J, and even New York Giants linebacker legend Lawrence Taylor!
Foxx plays Willie Beamen, the third-string QB for the Miami Sharks. Al Pacino is Tony D’Amato, the head coach; he’s well-known for his winning ways and doesn’t like to lose. Dennis Quaid plays first-string QB Jack Rooney, who suffers a serious injury and is replaced by Willie Beamen.
The movie covers almost anything you could imagine about football. Rooney has to take pain pills to manage his injury, all while watching Beamen take his job and become a star. James Woods plays the team’s doctor, who is always ready to put the players at risk just to win. Any Given Sunday takes you from the field and directly into the locker room in the most realistic way possible.
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Yes, plenty of them are! A popular choice is The Express (2008), a film based on the life of Ernie Davis. Davis was the first African-American player ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Nonfictional American football films are a great way to learn about the history of the game and the most important figures who played it.
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It’s a matter of personal preference, and I love Any Given Sunday. It’s a realistic take on how much football players leave out on the field during every game; as well as how crazy things can get once the game is over.
Even commercials can become somewhat of an annual tradition. The best Super Bowl commercials are not only memorable but something you associate with the NFL for years to come, much like you would with films.
Looking at my top 10 list, I think you should watch Any Given Sunday or Remember the Titans. Jerry Maguire is another great choice featuring a young Tom Cruise, who famously screams “Show me the money!”.
The Blind Side is one of the best movies to watch because it covers an NFL player – it’s directly based on former Baltimore Ravens OT Michael Ohers’ life and tugs at the heartstrings. Regardless of which movie you plan on watching, PIA is compatible with every streaming app. Safely stream football films, highlights, and anything else for as long as you want.
Yes, unfortunately, you can find football movies where a player dies. Greater (2016) is one of the best gridiron films where a player passes away.
It follows Brandon Burlsworth, who was a walk-on offensive lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1994 to 1997. He died in a car accident 11 days after being drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. Keep the kleenex close, because you’re going to need it.
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