Unfortunately, some of the greatest football movies of all-time are not streaming on Netflix Instant at this point. That means no Brian’s Song, no Necessarily Roughness, no Remember the Titans, etc. There is, however, a smattering of movies with considerable variety. These are the six best available.
This inspiring, passionate film tells the true story of Sirr Parker, a talented young football player who overcame a troubled inner-city life to become a USA Today All-American and an NFL professional. Even while dealing with an alcoholic mother and raising his little brother alone, Sirr (Kente Scott) managed to work and study hard, receiving constant praise and encouragement from his high school football coach (Michael Clarke Duncan).
Johnny Walker (Anthony Michael Hall) is a nice, normal teenage boy who happens be a star football player — such a star that he’s got every college in America bucking to get him on their team. As he’s lured and baited with a dizzying array of extracurricular temptations, can Johnny really be good — and stay that way? Robert Downey Jr. co-stars.
In 1972, the Taft High School football team challenged its archrival in a game to end all games — and might have won if Jack “Butterfingers” Dundee (Robin Williams) hadn’t dropped the ball. Still haunted years later, Jack cooks up a rematch to settle old scores. His old friend and quarterback (Kurt Russell) agrees to go along with the harebrained plan, but winning will be an uphill battle. Roger Spottiswoode directs this sports comedy.
A small-town high school football coach (Ed Harris) befriends a developmentally disabled man (Cuba Gooding Jr.) nicknamed “Radio,” who has always been the target of jokes and teasing, in this heartwarming drama based on the real-life experiences of James Robert Kennedy. Although their friendship raises eyebrows at first, Radio’s growth under the coach’s guidance ultimately inspires the local townsfolk to think differently about being different.
Burt Reynolds stars in this rough, hilarious comedy as washed-up National Football League quarterback Paul Crewe, who’s sent to jail and forced to put together an inmate gridiron team to take on a group of cocky prison guards. But when the warden tells Crewe to throw the game, the former pro must choose between himself and his team. The climactic football game is a bone-crunching howl from start to finish.
Obsessed with pitching a first-person story to Sports Illustrated about what it’s like to be a professional quarterback, klutzy journalist George Plimpton (Alan Alda) persuades the Detroit Lions to let him participate undercover in the team’s training camp. The supporting cast includes Lauren Hutton (in her film debut) and bona fide National Football League personalities Alex Karras, Lem Barney, Frank Gifford and Vincent Lombardi.