The best football movies to watch this Thanksgiving

Once you’ve gotten your fill of potatoes and pie and the turkey coma starts to take hold, the last thing you want to do is go out and dump the rind with Junior. Why play sports when there’s plenty of football to watch on TV? It’s the American way! But if you’re not interested in watching the Cowboys vs. Giants clash, maybe a football movie will do. “But there are so many choices and my brain is full of stuff!” you say. Never scared! We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. The following are the nine best movies to ever grace the grid that make Thanksgiving viewing perfect.

RELATED: From ‘Friday Night Lights’ to ‘All the Right Moves’: 11 Best High School Football Movies

The Little Giants (1994)

Let’s start with a movie you can watch with the kids while they wait for them to pass out. The little giants pits two football coaching brothers from Ohio, Danny (Rick Moranis) and Kevin (Ed O’Neill) O’Shea, against each other in the Pee-Wee league. While the film features big performances from bite-sized players, the greats of the NFL John Madden, Emmit Smith, Bruce Smith, and others make appearances. And, of course, “the annexation of Puerto Rico”.

Rudi (1993)

Image via TriStar images

Rudi is the quintessential family football film. The movie may not have redefined the underdog sports movie, but it definitely highlighted its power. Sean Astin plays the lead role of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who fights against the football establishment of the University of Notre Dame to fulfill his dream of playing for the Fighting Irish. No one is going to confuse soccer with real life, but the film focuses on the relentless heart Rudy possesses to live out his dream. Known for a variety of heartbreaking and thought-provoking scenes, the film’s pivotal moment of an entire stadium singing “Rudy” will have everyone in the house rising from the comfiest of chairs and cheering for the legendary on-screen underdog.

The blind side

In case the kids are still awake, you can drop them in front of the 2009s The blind sidea dramatic account of the life of Baltimore Ravens lineman Michael Oher (Fifth Aaron). In a role that earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress, Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mother of the family that adopted Oher. Though she’s more about football as a metaphor than the game itself, The blind side it’s a great movie that the whole family can enjoy on Thanksgiving.

Remember the Titans (2000)

As for the football movie, the Denzel Washington-LEDs Remember the titans, has something for everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner. Washington plays real-life coach Herman Boone, who is tasked with not only building a winning high school football team but also bringing together a racially divided community. The film seamlessly blends soccer field action with a cast of characters that give the film a realistic levity, including first roles for future TV stars, Donald Faison, Ryan Hurst, harris wood, And Hayden Panettiere. While it’s Washington’s emotional performance that captures the film, the football scenes serve as the film’s unifying force, demonstrating just how impactful the game can be.

Every Sunday

Now we can move on to the punchy stuff. Instead Every Sunday focuses on the lives of players, coaches and coaches off the field, it also contains great game footage between the lines. It features a fantastic ensemble cast including Al PacinoJamie FoxxAnd Dennis Quaidalong with NFL stars Dick Butkus, Johnny Unitas, Lawrence Taylor, and other. If you find yourself coaching peewee football, feel free to steal Pacino’s motivational speech.

Brian’s song

Let’s go back to real football stories because they honestly make the best movies. The 1971 television drama Brian’s song star Giacomo Cana And Billy DeWilliams such as Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. Piccolo was a Wake Forest University football player who was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after turning pro with the Chicago Bears. Brian’s song has long been considered the only film men can cry over, and while it’s an archaic way of looking at masculinity, it’s not hard to see why this film is the one that does. (But men, remember, you can cry over any movie you want!)

The water boy

the-waterboy-adam-sandler
Image via Buena Vista Images

Now that everyone has stopped crying, let’s relax again. Adam Sandler he has made two football-related films, but for this list I will follow his previous one (sorry, The longest courtyard). The water boy it’s easily one of Sandler’s most iconic roles (and I wish he’d make movies like this again) as well as being a fun football movie full of blockbusters and wild characters. Bobby Boucher’s mother (Katie Bates) and Coach Klein (Henry Winkler) provide some of the best scenes, but the overall cast is a great football comedy.

Friday Night Lights (2004)

Billy Bob Thornton in Friday Night Lights (2004)
Image via Universal Images

Before it became a popular starring television show Kyle Chandlerthe relentless and passionate Friday night lights sheds new light on how soccer is woven into the fabric of America. Based on the book of the same name, Movie Stars Billy Bob Thorton as head coach Gary Gaines, who faces local and state pressure to bring another championship to the Permian High Panthers. Instead Remember the titans blends drama and comedy in a way that only Disney can, Friday night lightsThe gritty version of high school football life goes far beyond the ups and downs of the game. Look for a stunning debut performance as an actress from a country star Tim McGrawwho plays a former Panther champion trying to regain high school glory through his son.

Invincible (2006)

Philadelphia fans have a passion for their Eagles that goes beyond what happens every Sunday. The team has become an extension of the city and Invinciblethe true story of the underdog by Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) going from local bartender to football player will brighten up any Thanksgiving dinner. While the movie’s football scenes won’t let you forget the NFL action, at the heart of the story is the sense that it’s never too late to chase your dreams, making it the perfect watch for the holiday season. Wahlberg’s onscreen chemistry with Elizabeth Banks adds a distinct flavor not often seen in traditional football movies.

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