For many people, football season is a sacred time of year made up of fantasy leagues and epic interceptions. Meanwhile, others save their football viewings strictly for the Super Bowl (and, let’s be honest, that’s really only to watch the commercials or half-time show). But whatever side of the line you fall on, there’s one thing the world can collectively agree on: the amazingness of football movies. And now that the big game is over — go, Rams! — the time is right for cueing up films that will fill the Monday Night Football-size gap in your viewing habits. Although believe it or not, you don’t have to be an avid sports watcher to enjoy watching a fictional team come together both on and off the field to achieve a common goal (or even a literal goal, depending on the sport). Even better? It’s not just something grown adults can enjoy. There are lots of football movies for kids out there that can help to teach your little ones some pretty important life lessons about integrity, determination, and team unity.
So, if you and your kiddos are ever hunkering down on the couch with some blankets and popcorn, wondering what to watch together, here are a few fantastic football-themed options that everyone in the household can enjoy — even the family dog.
Best Football Movies for Kids
1. Little Giants (1994)
Rick Moranis may be best known to many for his work in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise, but that doesn’t mean his other projects like Little Giants should go overlooked. The film stars Moranis and Ed O’Neill as Danny and Kevin O’Shea, respectively — two brothers who have a longstanding history of not liking each other very much. However, their animosity reaches a new level when Danny’s daughter gets cut from Kevin’s football team based purely on the fact that she’s a girl. As a result, Danny decides to create his own rival team to compete against his brother and prove that talent can come in many forms, both on and off the field.
2. Remember the Titans (2000)
Based on a true story, this movie follows the story of Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), a football coach who gets tasked with running a newly racially integrated high school football team in Virginia. But before they have any chance of winning out on that field, they need to learn to work together and realize they have more in common than they may think. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll want to enlist Washington as a life coach. And it could spark some important conversations with your kids about racial bias.
3. Rudy (1993)
If you want to show your kids the power that can come from believing in yourself, then look no further than Rudy. The film follows the journey of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin), who dreams of playing college football one day. And while he doesn’t have either the money or grades to get him there, Rudy never gives up and manages to overcome those challenges, including his dyslexia, to make his dream a reality.
4. The Replacements (2000)
When it comes to sports comedies, you can’t go wrong with The Replacements. Plus, it’s never too early to teach your kiddos just how amazing Keanu Reeves is.
5. Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)
If you loved watching an adorable golden retriever play basketball in the original film, then odds are you’ll equally love seeing that same dog play football in the follow-up sequel. Is the plot ridiculous and silly? Absolutely. Will that stop you from having a great time watching it (and maybe wishing your own dog had some of that raw talent)? You better believe it.
6. The Blind Side (2009)
This film tells the story of Michael Oher, a homeless teen who becomes a professional football offensive tackle in the NFL. At the beginning of his journey, Micheal doesn't have anyone looking out for him until he meets Leigh Anne Tuohy and her family. She and her husband become Oher's legal guardians, and together, they become a family that brings out the best in each other. This football film is about teamwork, on and off the field.
7. The Longshots (2008)
The Longshots is based on the true story of Jasmine Plummer, an 11-year-old girl from South Chicago who became the first girl to play quarterback in the Pop Warner football tournament. A young Keke Palmer plays Plummer and also stars Ice Cube. Real-life Plummer had a national wrestling title and was an honor student, so she’s definitely an all-around great role model for kids.
8. The Game Plan (2007)
An NFL star, played by the super-buff Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has it all — a great career, ladies, and an awesome life. But one day, his life is turned upside down when he discovers he has a daughter. Getting to know his little girl proves to be his biggest challenge yet, and he learns that fatherhood is far from easy.
More Fun Football Movies for Kids
- Gus (1976) — rated G
- Radio (2003) — rated PG
- Safety (2020) — rated PG
- My All-American (2015) — rated PG
- Friday Night Lights (2004) — rated PG-13
- American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story (2021) — rated PG
- Invincible (2006) — rated PG
- When the Game Stands Tall (2014) — rated PG
- Run the Race (2018) — rated PG
- Woodlawn (2015) — rated PG
- Draft Day (2014) — rated PG-13
- 23 Blast (2013) — rated PG-13
- We Are Marshall (2006) — rated PG
- Carter High (2015) — rated PG-13
- The Express (2008) — rated PG
- Can of Worms (1999) — rated TV-PG
- Greater (2016) — rated PG
- Touchback (2011) — rated PG-13
- Home Team (2022) — rated PG
- Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story (1988) — not rated
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