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Created Jan 21, 2011 11:32PM PST • Updated Jan 23, 2011 01:14AM PST

The good, the great, the concussed. America’s game via Hollywood’s medium.


  • Very Good
  • 76 Points
Title Released Trust Weighted Summary Viewable
1st Rudy
1993 Really Great 83 Points

Rudy is the first perfect boyhood football movie, if not necessarily the first overall perfect football movie. It beatifies a tough Irish-Catholic boy from Chicago who lionizes football, then plays it and is defined by it.

Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger grew up craning his neck one state over, towards South Bend, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame football and by extension Notre Dame University was how the Ruettiger men defined themselves, none more than the little man of the family – all 5’6", 185 lbs. of him.

Sean Astin jumped in the box, assumed the position, took on all…

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Added Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
2nd Concussion
2015 Great 83 Points

Mike Webster was a hero of mine, at a time when heroes were very, very influential in a young man’s life. Iron Mike Webster snapped the ball to Terry Bradshaw in four Super Bowls, all of which the Steelers – my Steelers – won. He famously wore short-sleeves and no arm-pads to avoid getting grabbed by defensive linemen and linebackers, who often outweighed him by fifty pounds. Webster – number 52 – regularly pulled round end from the center position – an extraordinary act of athleticism – to lead Franco Harris on bounding runs through the killer defenses of the Cowboys, Raiders and Vikings. …

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Added Jan 11, 2017 10:17PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
3rd We Are Marshall
2006 Really Great 66 Points

Arguably the best football movie ever, We Are Marshall is about much more than sports. Don’t shy away because 75 people – including dozens of collegiate football players – died in the horrific plane crash that forms its centerpiece. The movie is about what led up to the tragedy and mostly about how the team, the school and the community picked themselves up afterward.

The crash itself is over in a flash, like a band-aid ripped off a wound. Only this flash opens a wound, one almost too big to comprehend, too big to overcome.

American spirit rises to the challenge, at least as this…

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Added Jan 22, 2011 09:46PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
4th Remember The Titans
2000 Really Great 71 Points

Poignance, glory, Denzel: three ingredients that make Titans a great football movie. Poignant as in funny and affecting, glorious as in achieving great and meaningful victories, Denzel as in pure movie star charisma.

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Added Jan 21, 2011 11:32PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
5th Invincible
2006 Great 83 Points

Invincible is a great football movie, tough yet sensitive in a manly sort of way. Relationships between fathers and sons and buddies and girls-who-wear-jerseys are all well mined for emotional wallop.

The movie has added resonance for those of us familiar with Philly and the 70s, especially Philly in the 70s. The music (Nugent, Edgar Winter, et. al.), The Vet, the plaid slacks, it’s all here in its funky glory.

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Added Jan 29, 2011 10:11AM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
6th The Express
2008 Very Good 83 Points

A treat for football fans and civil rights era history buffs, this charming and affecting but overly reverential biopic will likely bore everyone else.

That said, excellent performances by Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid and others, top notch production values, and first-rate football action do this important story proud.

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Added Jan 21, 2011 11:32PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
7th North Dallas Forty
1979 Very Good 66 Points

Perhaps a movie past its time – when the Dallas Cowboys were TV America’s Team – but a rousing and funny movie nonetheless. Notable for a classic Nick Nolte man’s man performance, football action that for the first time seemed real, and a whiff of the larger changes going in 1970’s society outside of football.

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Added Jan 21, 2011 11:32PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
8th Brian's Song
1971 Very Good 66 Points

The original manly tear-jerker football movie. So what if it was made-for-TV. Big time movie stars (led by a never better James Caan) and a compelling drama of adversity gamely addressed in the shadow of superstardom make Brian’s Song one for the ages.

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Added Jan 21, 2011 11:32PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
9th The Blind Side
2009 Very Good 86 Points

A three hanky weeper of the best kind – uplifting and funny. I was fortunate to watch it in the darkened cabin of an overnight flight to London, otherwise the tears streaming down my face would have been noticeable to others. But a good man-cry is one reason I love the movies, and The Blind Side triggered more than a few.

One needn’t be a football fan to fall for this richly affecting true story. An appreciation for a wholesome human interest story – well told and performed – is enough to fall in love with it.

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Added Jan 29, 2011 10:11AM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
10th The Replacements
2000 Barely OK 66 Points

The dramatic depth of a lite beer commercial, egregious stereotyping and one-note performances consign The Replacements to cellar-dweller status. Even the great Gene Hackman can’t rescue it from ridiculousness, triteness and mean spiritedness. Consider it a weak replacement for a quality football movie, of which there are many.

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Added Jan 21, 2011 11:34PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST
11th Any Given Sunday
1999 Barely OK 83 Points

Yuck. A big F. U. to the NFL that hypocritically revels in jock sniffing, Any Given Sunday qualifies as a guilty treat mainly due to its extensive use of legendary players. Non-fans should steer clear.

Oliver Stone manages the near impossible: making the NFL banal. He wastes copious star power in caricature roles, gives them dialogue consistently dripping with disgust and employs them in a trite plot full of cheesy melodrama.

Did I mention that at 2.5 hours the entire abomination is way too long. And way … too … jumpy.

Flag it for delay of game, offsides and unnecessary …

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Added Jan 21, 2011 11:32PM PST • Updated Jan 11, 2017 10:25PM PST


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Dec 27, 2011 11:39PM

Good ones.

Dec 27, 2011 1:45PM
Randy Small

The Longest Yard

Just some suggestions :)