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Top 17 American Football movies based On True Stories

Football is the most lovable sport of all time. This is not only a sport for people but a reason to live. People worship this sport. You must have seen players crying out loud on their win or when they lose the match, they don’t only just play for money, but they also have an emotional connection with the game. There are hundreds of different stories showing people’s love for this sport which you should definitely know. Keeping this thing in mind, we have curated a list of Football movies based on true stories, which you should definitely watch, if you are a football fan.

This list is definitely for you if you are curious to know why there is a next-level fan base for football.


Top 17 American Football movies based on true stories


Brian’s song (1971)

This is the first movie in the list of Football movies based on true stories. This movie is again a great example, showing a good relationship between black and white people.

Gale Sayers joins the football team of Chicago and meets Brian Piccolo, who is an overachiever. Although they are competing for the same position in the team and without even bothering about their colors, they became roommates and best friends later on.

There is a very emotional scene in the movie when Sayers is injured and Piccolo helps him in recovery. You must watch this movie to witness a strong bond between the two most controversial communities. this is one of the best American football movies based on true stories


Director: Buzz Kulik

Writers: William Blinn, Al Silverman, Gale Sayers

Star Casts: James Caan, Jack Warden, Billy Dee Williams


Remember The Titans (2000)

This movie is based on the true incident that happened in the year 1971. Two schools, one for Black people and one for white people, got closed and students were sent to T.C William High School to integrate under federal mandate.

Now the problem starts when a Man was hired to coach Black School and appointed as Head over the Successful White Coach. This change was initiated to form one team. But it was the beginning of a new battle. This is one of the best movie in the list which you should definitely watch.


Director: Boaz Yakin

Writer: Gregory Allen Howard

Star Casts: Denzel Washington, Wood Harris, Will Patton


 North Dallas Forty (1979)

This is a brutal story of American professional football which tells about the veteran pass catcher’s individuality and their refusal to become a part of the family. All these incidents were resented by disciplined coaches.

The National Football League didn’t helped in the production of the movie but suggested some changes to add more realistic feel.

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Writers: Peter Gent, Ted Kotcheff, Frank Yablans

Star Casts: Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, Charles Durning


Also Read – War Movies on Peacock: A Cinematic Journey through Courage and Conflict


Friday Night Lights (2004)

This is the story of the village of Odessa which is divided on the basis of color and it is also dying economically.

There is only one thing this village is living for: Friday Night. Football team Permian Panthers is winning the game from many years in Texas High School, led by superstar tailback Boobie Miles QB Mike Winchell, but things are not well in the first season of the game as Boobie is suffering from career ending injury. Hope is lost in the team and in the citizens also.

But Coach Gary Gaines believes in the team and said, perfection is when you can see in your friend’s eye and can say that you did your best to not let them bring down. And this somehow helps the team to make a huge comeback in the team.

You must watch this really motivating movie in the list of  Football movies based on true stories.


Director: Peter Berg

Writers: Buzz Bissinger, Peter Berg, David Aaron Cohen

Star Casts: Billy Bob Thornton, Derek Luke, Jay Hernandez


The Blind Side (2009)

This story is based on a true incident, where a homeless teenage African American Michael Oher is adopted by Sean Tuohy and Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Michael’s biological mother is a drug addict and he had no idea about his father.

He had a basic formal education and extra skills that will help him learn. Leigh Anne took charge later and ensured that his career will not be the same as of now.

When he expresses his interest in Football, without wasting time she goes out to help him. She provided him with the best coaching and even discussed with the coach how he could make use of Michael’s skills. They not only provided him a loving home but hired a tutor who could help him out in improving scores to apply to the NCAA Division.


Director: John Lee Hancock

Writers: Michael Lewis, John Lee Hancock

Star Casts: Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Sandra Bullock


Rudy (1993)

This is the story of Rudy who grew up in a steel mill town but wanted to play football for Notre Dame.

There were few problems in his path like his grades were a little low, his athletic skills were poor and he was half the size of other players. But he was very determined to join the team and he was working on the things where improvement was required.


Director: David Anspaugh

Writer: Angelo Pizzo

Star Casts: Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Jon Favreau


We are Marshall (2006)

This movie is based on a 1970s incident when an entire football team and coaches of Marshall University died in a plane crash. There was a player who missed that fatal flight because of his illness and organized a students rally to convince the board of governors to play the 1971 season.

The President of the College, Don Dedman must find a coach, who then finds players to form a team.

They requested the NCAA to allow freshmen to play, and coach Jack Legnyel was there to motivate and lead youg players. This story available in the list of Football movies based on true stories is very emotional yet very inspiring which you should definitely watch if you are a true football fan.


Director: McG

Writers: Cory Helms, Jamie Linden

Star Casts: Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Mackie, Matthew Fox


Leatherheads (2008)

Dodge Connolly, captain of 1920s football team, wants to give a lost team a boost and craves for the country’s attention. He approached Carter Rutherford to play for the team who was a former war hero, a very handsome guy and guaranteed to pack fans in the stands.

Newswoman Lexie Littleton knew that there was something fishy in Carter’s life, so she started digging for dirt, while both Dodge and Carter were trying to score with her off the field.

This is a humorous story in the list of Football movies based on true stories.


Director: George Clooney

Writers: Rick Reilly, Duncan Brantley

Star Casts: George Clooney, John Krasinski, Renée Zellweger


My All Americans (2015)

This is the story of Freddie Steinmark who only wants the world to play football. Although he is not a perfect choice according to the usual athletic standards, his father trained him very hard. Freddie luckily gets noticed by none other than the legendary University of Texas Coach Darrel Royal when he brings the fight to the game.

He was awarded a scholarship and also gets the opportunity to play for the Longhorns, he sets off to Austin with his girlfriend Linda to make a team. Everything was going good in Freddie’s career but he got injured suddenly and diagnosed with something shocking and there is one challenge waiting for him. My All Americans is a true story that showcases the real heart of the Champion.


Director: Angelo Pizzo

Writers: Jim Dent, Angelo Pizzo

Star Casts: Aaron Eckhart, Robin Tunney, Finn Wittrock


Invincible  (2006)

This movie is a real-life story of 30-year-old Vince Papale, who is having a tough time in his life.

He worked as a substitute teacher for two days a week. Later on, he found out that he has been eliminated from the job because of the budget cuts.

His wife give up on him and asks him for divorce, she said that he will never have money for anything. After That, he started working as a part-time Bartender and plays football in his free time with friends. One day, he came to know that the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil is conducting open tryouts for the team and Vince is definitely not going to leave this opportunity.


Director: Ericson Core

Writer: Brad Gann

Star Casts: Mark Wahlberg, Elizabeth Banks, Greg Kinnear


American Underdog (2021)

This is a true inspirational story of Kurt Warner whose journey started as a stock boy at a grocery store and he ended up being a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl Champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback.

This movie follows Warner’s unique story, the challenges he faced for years, and the setbacks that could have affected his aim to become an NFL player. His dreams came into reality due to his wife Brenda’s support, his encouraging family, teammates, and coaches, and the strength he finds out to show the world the champion he already is.


Directors: Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin

Writers: Kurt Warner, Jon Erwin, Michael Silver

Star Casts: Zachary Levi, Hayden Zaller, Anna Paquin


The Longshots (2008)

This is the story of Curtis Plummer, a former football player, who now becomes the coach of Pop Warner football team, Minden. With his niece Jasmine who was installed as a secret weapon and team’s quarterback.

Curtis has a chance to turn his life around, while the people of Minden have a chance to revive the team’s spirit and civic pride.


Director: Fred Durst

Writer: Nick Santora

Star Casts: Ice Cube, Tasha Smith, Keke Palmer


Concussion (2015)

This story is based on a disease that is found in football players. The movie commences with conducting an autopsy on former NFL football player Mike Webster, a forensic pathologist Dr Bennet Omalu discovers some disorder similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

Omalu named this disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy and noted down his findings in a medical journal. Later on, he finds out that other athletes are also diagnosed with the same diseases. Then, he embarks on a mission to generate awareness about football-related head trauma.

Director: Peter Landesman

Writers: Jeanne Marie Laskas,  Peter Landesman

Star Casts: Will Smith, Albert Brooks, Alec Baldwin


Any Given Sunday (1999)

Four years ago, DAmato’s Miami Sharks were at the top.

Now, the team is going through some major losses like players are getting old now, particularly 39 year old Cap Rooney is out of the team, Sliding attendance and off the field, DAmato is going through a failed marriage, children are not comfortable living with them. His terms are not good with Christina Pagniacci who is a young President/ Co owner of the Shark organization.


Director: Oliver Stone

Writers: Daniel PyneJohn LoganOliver Stone

Star Casts: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid


The Longest Yard (1974)

A Football player organizes a team of inmates to play against a team of prison guards. But there is one problem, Warden asks him to organize a game in return for an early release, but he is also concerned due to the lack of self esteem in inmates..


Director: Robert Aldrich

Writers: Albert S. Ruddy (story), Tracy Keenan Wynn (screenplay)


The Express (2008)

This movie is a biopic that focuses on the relationship between an African American Athlete Ernie Davis and his coach at Syracuse University,  Ben Schwartzwalder. Schwartzwalder recruits Davis with the help of American running Back, Jim Brown.

Due to the Civil Right Movement, Davis experiences prejudice in town, on campus, and from his teammates as well. It is a must-watch how he handles the situation and how he challenges Schwartzwalder to take a stand in favor of his team and provide a counterpoint to several great sessions that leads to Heisman Trophy.


Director: Gary Fleder

Writers: Robert Gallagher, Charles Leavitt

Star Casts: Rob Brown, Clancy Brown, Dennis Quaid


Radio (2003)

This is the story of real-life coach Jones who befriends disabled Black student Radio. Soon, Radio becomes Jone’s loyal assistant and Principal Daniels notices his skyrocketing self-confidence.

Things get worsened when certain fans and parents feel that Radio is just a distraction in the team and it will affect the team’s performance. You should definitely watch the movie in the list of Football movies based on true stories to witness the bond between a student and a teacher.

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This is the list of Football movies based on true stories.

If you are looking to build a career in this sport, then you should watch these movies and you will come to know about the problems you may face in the future.

This is a perfect list for football fans, you can binge-watch these movies with your friends and family.

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Kunal Nanda

Digital marketing professional with 5+ years of experience in everything digital. Who blends performance, creativity, analytics, social media, and product for building digital experiences across mediums and brings immense value to an organization. Colleagues know me as a passionate digital marketer and team player who knows how to navigate through various business challenges and can make things happen (on time, all the time). For Enqueries - Specialties: Digital Marketing, Marketing, Branding, Social Media, Digital Marketing Consulting, FB Ads, Google Ads, E-Commerce, Amazon, and Flipkart Listings.

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