The 2020-21 NFL football season might be over, but fans don’t have to live in retirement until the next season starts in the fall. Instead, they can watch some great movies about soccer. Some of the best sports movies of all time are about soccer. Audiences love to watch an inspiring drama about the underdog who overcome their challenges to achieve victory.
Many of these films are about the National Football League (NFL) itself. Movies are perfect for football fans. As with most genres, some are better than others. The ratings on IMDb can help you choose the best movies that involve the NFL.
10 Number One (1969) – 5.6
The careers of professional footballers have many ups and downs. In the 1969 drama, Number one, Ron Catlan (Charlton Heston) is an aging quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. After injuring his knee, his career is almost over. He is threatened by a new rookie (Richard Elkins), who could replace him entirely.
Dealing with stress, Ron engages in an extramarital affair, threatening his marriage to his wife (Jessica Walter). He fell from the best player on the Saints roster at the end. It doesn’t take much for a soccer player’s career (and personal life) to plummet in this story.
9 Paper Lion (1968) – 6.3
The 1968 comedy Paper lion, it’s different from most sports movies. It focuses on a Illustrated Sports writer, George Plimpton (Alan Alda), who has come up with the perfect idea for a new story. He previously tried to pitch a baseball game and participate in a boxing match. Now he wants to try playing professional soccer.
The New Yorker ends up playing for the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, he has no idea what he is doing on the soccer field. He is caught by losses and ends up crashing into a post. This is the story of his life. To be precise, the film used footage from the September 8, 1967 game between the Lions and the St. Louis Cardinals (now known as the Arizona Cardinals).
8 Black Sunday (1977) – 6.8
In the 1977 thriller Black sunday Vietnam War veteran Michael Lander (Bruce Dern) now flies the Goodyear Blimp over NFL games to film them for viewers who can’t make it to the games. Unfortunately, he is caught up in the life of crime by a terrorist (Marthe Keller) from the group known as Black September.
Michael’s mission is to use a Goodyear Blimp to set off a bomb in the Super Bowl. The purpose is to punish Americans for supporting Israel. The story was inspired by the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
7 Draft Day (2014) – 6.8
Sports movies need not just depict action on the field. They can also focus on commercial work behind the scenes of the industry. The 2014 drama, Draft Day, focuses on Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner), the Cleveland Browns’ general manager who takes risks. As the NFL Draft approaches, Sonny is facing a lot of problems, both with his job and his personal life.
When Sonny accepts a deal with Seattle to give the Browns the No. 1 pick, he begins to wonder if he made the right decision for the franchise. While the movie has some flaws with the story, it does portray the dramatic decisions involved in the day of the NFL Draft in a way that gives soccer fans a fresh perspective.
6 Heaven Can Wait (1978) – 6.9
In the 1978 fantasy comedy film The sky can wait, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty) is killed in a car accident. Now in the afterlife, Joe meets his guardian angel (Buck Henry), who allows him to assume the identity of a greedy billionaire industrialist, Leo Farnsworth.
In his new form, Joe tries to get back to soccer, the game he loves. He’s trying to buy out the Rams and rejoin the team as a starting quarterback just in time for the team to play in the Super Bowl. Beatty and Henry collaborated to co-direct the fun film that tests fantasy can work in sports movies.
5 Invincible (2006) – 7.1
It is every soccer fan’s dream to one day play in the NFL. In the 2006 drama, Invincible, This dream comes true for Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. Based on a 1976 true story, Vince goes from being a South Philadelphia bartender and teacher to playing for his favorite team.
Vince did not play football in college, so it seems unlikely that he will perform well in the NFL. He works hard to become invincible and finally scores a touchdown. While the story stretches the truth, the movie is a true underdog story. Who doesn’t love those?
4 The Longest Courtyard (1974) – 7.1
In the 1974 film The longest patioBurt Reynolds plays Paul “Wrecking” Crewe, a former NFL player who was fired for dropping points. Later, he is involved in a chase in a police car and is finally sentenced to organize a soccer team made up of inmates at Citrus State Prison.
Paul has a hard time working with prisoners because they have their own ideas for the team. They will take this opportunity to seek revenge for the brutality they received in prison. Not only is the movie a great football story (with Green Bay Packers middle linebacker Ray Nitschke), but also one of the best prison movies of all time.
3 Concussion (2015) – 7.2
Everyone knows that soccer is a very dangerous sport. With the intense tackles, players have concussions all the time. The biographical drama of 2015, Concussion, focuses on how the NFL handles concussions.
After Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster (David Morse) is found dead, forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) discovers that he had a neurological impairment similar to Alzheimer’s disease while conducting an autopsy. Omalu continues his research, eventually determining that too many concussions lead to dangerous brain degeneration. The movie is an honest look at how the NFL deals with injuries and the dangers of head trauma.
two Jerry Maguire (1996) – 7.3
It’s rare that a sports movie is also classified as a romance. The 1996 movie Jerry maguire, is the exception to this tradition. Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a sports agent with only one client, the unpredictable Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.).
Jerry has to work hard at his job and eventually start his own company. He is often successful and requires team owners to “show me the money.” However, he wonders if he should give up his career for the love of his life, single mother Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger). Jerry can give up everything he’s ever known, but that’s okay. After all, he says to Dorothy, “You complete me.”
1 Brian’s Song (1971) – 7.6
TV movies don’t usually stand out, but the 1971 drama, Brian’s song, is one of the best television movies ever made. Based on a true story, the film, set in the mid-1960s, tells the story of Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams).
While the NFL was still largely segregated at the time, the players form a close bond despite their social barriers. The players become brothers and bond through their trials, even as Piccolo is dying of cancer. While the film focuses on soccer, it is actually a story about friendship and racial barriers. Grab the tissues with this movie.
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