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The 10 best football films

Looking for a great football film to enjoy? There are plenty of options available. Discover 10 of the best football films to watch right now.

The best football films

There are lots of great films about football to enjoy for those who want to inspire their own game on the pitch or for anyone looking for some great entertainment about the sport. From hard-hitting dramas to laugh-out-loud comedies, discover some of the best football films available today and where you can watch them.

The Damned United (2009)

One of the very best films about football, The Damned United, is a drama about football coach Brian Clough and his 44-day tenure in charge of Leeds United in 1974. Despite some historical inaccuracies, The Damned United was well-received by critics upon release.

The film stars Michael Sheen as Clough, and the story explores Clough's abrasive personality, his clash with the players and management, and the challenges he faced during his short tenure.

For those interested in the world of football management, it’s a great option, but the movie also delves into relationships and the impact of one man's controversial approach to the sport. The Damned United also provides a fascinating look at the dynamics within the football industry during the 70s.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Purchase on Amazon Prime Video

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Bend It Like Beckham made a big impact on pop culture when it was released in 2002, providing viewers with an entertaining football flick with a lot of heart. It also didn’t hurt that it had the name of one of the most famous footballing icons in the title.

The story is a coming-of-age tale about a British-Indian teenage girl who wants to play football but faces cultural expectations from her family that discourage her.

The film is great fun while exploring themes of cultural identity and the pursuit of dreams against societal expectations. If this is one you haven’t seen in a while, or if you perhaps have a young daughter interested in football, this is the perfect movie to put on.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Disney +

United (2011)

United, starring David Tennant, is based on the true story of Manchester United’s legendary ‘Busby Babes’ - the youngest side ever to win the Football League. The movie dramatises the true events of the Munich air disaster in 1958, which took the lives of eight of this famous team.

Focusing on the aftermath of the tragedy, the film expertly portrays the emotional and physical struggles faced by the surviving players and the efforts to rebuild the team.

The events that the movie captures are some of the most significant moments in football history, so the film is well worth a watch for anyone interested in the game and not just fans of Manchester United.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Netflix

READ ALSO: The 10 best football documentaries

Fever Pitch (1997)

Fever Pitch is one of the best football films about being a fan of the game. This romantic comedy-drama is based on Nick Hornby's 1992 memoir of the same name.

The story revolves around an obsessive fan of Arsenal Football Club. The film follows the man’s life over two decades, exploring the ups and downs of his personal relationships and friendships and how his passion for his favourite club impacts his life.

Die-hard football fans will definitely be able to relate to the events of the film and the main character’s tribulations. While we all love the game, it’s important to remember that the summer isn’t just about waiting for the new season’s fixtures to be announced!

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Purchase on Amazon Prime Video

Shaolin Soccer (2001)

Shaolin Soccer is a slightly different type of movie and unquestionably one of the best comedy movies about football. Combining comedy, football, and martial arts, this unique piece of entertainment is unlike any movie on this list.

The story follows a former Shaolin monk who teams up with five former martial arts brothers to incorporate their superhuman kung fu skills into the game of football. Their aim is to compete in a tournament and prove to the masses the effectiveness of their martial arts skills.

It’s a great laugh and will prove a hit for those looking for something light-hearted. With over-the-top action sequences, quirky humour, and creativity, Shaolin Soccer is certainly worthy of being added to your list of the best football films to watch.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Netflix

Mean Machine (2001)

Mean Machine is a remake of the 1974 film The Longest Yard. Starring former footballer Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham, the film follows the story of a former professional football player who is sentenced to prison due to a match-fixing scandal.

While in prison, the ex-player is given the opportunity to coach a team of his inmates in a football match against the prison guards. Vinnie Jones is good value for money, and as a former professional with a tough-guy reputation, he adds an aura of credibility to the film.

If prison drama meets football flick sounds like your cup of tea, then seeking Mean Machine out is a great idea for your next movie night.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Purchase on Amazon Prime Video

Looking For Eric (2009)

Looking for Eric is a quirky, fantastical film about a postal worker named Eric Bishop, who relies on the help of his footballing idol, Eric Cantona.

The postal worker is struggling with his personal life, so he seeks guidance and inspiration from the legendary Cantona. In a surreal twist, Cantona appears as an imaginary friend to the postal worker, offering him advice and support to navigate his challenges.

Looking for Eric is a film about friendship and discovery, combining comedy and drama in a heartwarming package. Eric Cantona provides his trademark charisma and personality to the role, helping to make this interesting film one of the more touching football movies out there.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: ITVX, Amazon Prime Video

Escape to Victory (1981)

A prisoner of war film about football starring Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, and Pelé. Need we say more? Escape to Victory centres on Allied prisoners of war in WW2 who play a football match against a German team in Nazi-occupied France.

Meanwhile, the French Resistance and British Officers are planning to help the prisoners escape. With an all-star cast and a bunch of footballing icons involved, there is a lot to like about this war drama, especially for football fans.

Beyond the major stars, players from Ipswich Town acted as extras and stand-ins during the football scenes.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Purchase on Amazon Prime Video

She’s the Man (2006)

For another dose of comedy to go along with your football, She’s the Man is well worth considering. It might not be the best option if you only care about football, but this US adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night will appeal to a broad audience.

The film is about a teen girl called Viola who loves football. When her school cuts her soccer team, Viola disguises herself as her twin brother Sebastian and joins the boys' team at a rival school.

As Viola navigates the challenges of maintaining her dual identity, she becomes entangled in a romantic comedy of errors, with mistaken identities and romantic complications.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Home Video

There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000)

When it comes to the best football films, we have to mention There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble. This comedy-drama is about an aspiring 15-year-old football player named Jimmy Grimble.

Jimmy is insecure about his skills and faces various challenges, including bullies and a troubled family life, but everything changes when he finds a pair of football boots with magical qualities.

With his new boots giving him the confidence he needed, Jimmy tries out for his school’s football team. It’s a heartwarming story that the whole family can enjoy, even if not everyone is a massive football fan.

More Info: IMDB

Where to Watch: Home video

READ ALSO: The 50 best football quotes

The best football films to watch

  • The Damned United (2009)

  • Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

  • United (2011)

  • Fever Pitch (1997)

  • Shaolin Soccer (2001)

  • Mean Machine (2001)

  • Looking For Eric (2009)

  • Escape to Victory (1981)

  • She’s the Man (2006)

  • There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000)

We hope you enjoy watching one or two of the football films from our list.

Whether you are a player wanting to watch something to inspire your game or just a fan looking for a good movie, there are some fantastic football films available.

If you want to enhance your football skills, ensure you have the best football training equipment. Browse our website for the likes of football rebounders or for whatever else you might need.

For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our news page.

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