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Five Football Movies Based on True Stories

by Adeel Ikram

Five Football Movies Based on True Stories You Can Watch on Netflix

Netflix offers many football movies based on true stories that are inspirational and heartwarming, while others can be hilariously amusing.

Five Football Movies Based on True Stories

Remember the Titans is an outstanding film that shows redemption and reminds audiences that hard work always pays off. Other good films include Rudy and the sports comedy The Waterboy.

Home Team

Sports movies span many genres, from iconic football films (Remember the Titans and Rudy) to comical comedies that play off of sports (such as Invincible), inspirational tearjerkers that tug at your heartstrings, and tear-jerking heartbreakers; but nothing quite beats true stories set within a sport for getting adrenaline pumping!

Home Team from Happy Madison’s stable of films certainly doesn’t disappoint in that respect. Based on Sean Payton, former New Orleans Saints head coach who became embroiled in the Bountygate scandal and was suspended from football, Home Team details his return home after serving his suspension – taking on coaching duties for his son’s sixth-grade football team back home.

Kevin James plays Payton and seems to be channeling his best Michael Jordan impression for this role, yet is also an experienced actor capable of carrying the film all on his own.

Tait Blum of Shooter fame and Apple+’s For All Mankind fame is just one of many rising stars to appear in this film, joining veteran actors Jacob Perez and Maxwell Simkins – as well as Bill Cowher, an accomplished professional athlete and television analyst whose long career includes both roles.

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans is a true tale of racial integration in high school football, taking place in Alexandria, Virginia’s T. C. Williams High School in 1971. At first, it wasn’t easy for black and white players to coexist on one team despite differences, but Coach Herman Boone showed that anything was possible given enough hard work from everyone involved. This movie depicts this remarkable tale.

The film also showcases how racial prejudice can obstruct sports success. People make assumptions based on skin color that lead to prejudice and unfairness; for instance, referees can be biased and some restaurants wouldn’t serve the football team due to race discrimination.

Spencer Paysinger stars as Brandon Burlsworth in All-American, another hit Netflix film inspired by real events. This moving tale tells of an inspiring football player who was told he would never divide 1 but refused to give up his dream of becoming one despite opposition from others.

Instead, he worked tirelessly on improving his strength and skills until finally becoming an All-American himself! This inspiring tale should inspire anyone who appreciates football while admiring an ordinary person with extraordinary courage!

The Longshots

Blame Rocky movies for inspiring sports dramas being so enduring; yet inspiring sports dramas continue. Although The Longshots recycles an old plot, the movie does deliver some good acting and humor as well as show great depth. All ages will find much enjoyment in watching this one!

The film takes place in an impoverished town where an underdog girl finds comfort through football. Her hard work pays off and inspires an entire community – an unforgettable tale about sports’ power to change lives, never giving up your dreams, and never giving in. Starring Ice Cube, Keke Palmer, and Tasha Smith and is directed by former Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

This movie serves as an excellent family sports movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously while teaching us that anything can be accomplished if we put our minds to it. A must-watch for any fan of sports or movies!

This endearing movie follows Brandon Burlsworth’s true story as a Division I football team is told he cannot make their roster. Instead of giving up and giving up trying hard at his craft, he worked hard and eventually joined the University of Arkansas football team as a walk-on player – an amazing story! This is a fantastic movie to share with children who enjoy watching sports movies together!

The Waterboy

Football fans worldwide love watching movies about the sport they adore. Not all movies about sports feature equal content: while some focus on gameplay alone, others tell more emotional stories with lasting emotional impacts that touch viewers’ hearts deeply.

Adam Sandler stars as Bobby Boucher, an endearing yet inspiring dolt from Louisiana who works as a waterboy for a college football team. When its quarterback mocks him, Bobby unleashes an explosive tackle that shocks everyone on the field; Coach Henry Winkler recognizes Bobby as a natural footballer and recruits him under the promise not to tell his overprotective mother about this development.

Bobby learns to play linebacker and becomes the star player on his team throughout the movie. However, he must contend with an overprotective mother and other obstacles which threaten to derail his dream; but by working hard and staying focused, Bobby ultimately achieves his goal.

Netflix also features other great football movies based on true stories, including Remember the Titans and Rudy as inspirational dramas; comedies such as The Longshots and Jerry Maguire serve up comedy; while Greater is a film that follows an outcast footballer from Crenshaw who joins an affluent Beverly Hills high school team and struggles to adapt.


Rudy tells the tale of an inspirational working-class hero whose determination is enough to overcome any challenge in pursuit of his dreams, yet this film contains certain inaccuracies and distortions which leave some questions unanswered.

Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger grew up in Joliet, Illinois where he worked in a steel mill with his father and older brother. Due to lacking both grades and money for college attendance – let alone playing football for Notre Dame – Rudy decided against following his dreams until one of his closest friends Pete tragically perished in an industrial explosion at work and provided the encouragement necessary to follow through with them.

Rudy begins working for an entry-level job at a university and attempts to join the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football practice squad, even when many naysayers suggest this won’t be possible. Rudy possesses an intense, obsessive drive and refuses to tolerate insults from fellow players which often leads to confrontation with rivals – often leading to fights.

Rudy perseveres, eventually wearing his uniform for the first time on an inter-conference game against Georgia Tech at a stadium and being carried off the field by cheering fans – an iconographic moment from Rudy that reminds us all that hard work pays off and persistence pays dividends. Although the film contains some strong language as well as references to deity, you will leave inspired to tackle your toughest goals with renewed determination.


Radio is an inspiring tale written by the same author as The Rookie about an emotionally challenged individual who finds great support among his small-town football team and community. Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as Radio, making friends with high school coach Harris (based on real events). Based on true events, this movie shows how one person can make an impactful difference in the lives of others.

Radio lives on the outskirts of town with his mother. His days consist of pushing a cart around his neighborhood and watching high school football team practices; eventually catching Coach Jones’ attention, who invites Radio to help out during his practices.

Over time, Coach Jones gradually integrates Radio into his life, becoming part of their football family while teaching him basketball at practice sessions; together they form an unbreakable bond that lasts a lifetime.

Harris and Gooding create complex characters who remain relatable while others fall into more stereotypical tropes. Harris and Gooding provide depth and decency, keeping the film from becoming overly sweetened. Debra Winger and Sharon Epatha Merkerson round out the cast with performances that demonstrate their talents and range.

Radio is an endearing tale, yet not without flaws. One such flaw is how difficult it can be for movies to portray disabled people positively; while Radio attempts to show compassion and teach about tolerance successfully, its goal doesn’t always get met.

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