Football World Cup 2018 came to a grand end in Moscow with France clinching the coveted trophy, but there is a downside to it – no more no nail-biting matches to watch or to a penalty shootout to yell your heart out. Ergo, millions of fans worldwide are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
To keep the football frenzy in you alive and cure the estranged feeling, there are several football-themed movies to binge on. Here are the selected picks, handpicked for you by the IMDb staff, including Founder and CEO Col Needham, to help you cope with FIFA withdrawal.
Bend It Like Beckham
The 2002 British-Indian family sports film is about an 18-year-old daughter of a Sikh immigrant in London, who is a football fanatic and a huge fan of former football player David Beckham. But her parents have forbidden her to play because of her gender.
She, however, defies her family to join a local women’s team, and her team later make to the top of the league. The film stars Parminder Nagra in the lead with actors Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Shaznay Lewis and Archie Panjabi as supporting cast.
She’s The Man
This 2006 romantic comedy is sure to give you all the football feels! Drawing inspiration from William Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night, the movie stars Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum in lead roles and takes on the gender-switch theme and efficiently pairs it with light comedy.
It centres on a teenager, Viola Hastings, who enters her brother’s school in his place, pretending to be a boy, to play with the boys’ soccer team. Her histrionics mixed with high school politics with the love story angle on the side will make you cheer for the game again.
With tons of action, eye-popping special effects, this 2001 Hong Kong martial arts film, about a team of misfits who take their best shot at winning a championship, is hilarious at its best, but it has some flying goals alright!
Is Kung fu and football throwing you off? Well, it should, as the plot revolves around a distraught former Shaolin monk, who reunites his five brothers, years after their master’s death, to use their superhuman martial arts skills to play football and bring Shaolin Kung Fu to the masses.
This 2001 British sports comedy film starring former footballer Vinnie Jones, is an adaptation of the 1974 American film The Longest Yard.
The plot follows the life of England soccer captain, Danny Meehan, who is sent to prison after a brawl with the police. In prison, he leads a group of inmates in a match against the warden and other officials. Often described as a football feature with a prison cliché, the movie is a crowd pleaser especially amongst sports fans and it will not disappoint you!
The 1981 American film is about a football match, in the background of World War II in Germany. While Football is a central theme of the film, the film takes on many more aspects of the era.
The plot revolves around a group of Nazi officers come up with a propaganda event in which an all star Nazi team will play a team composed of Allied Prisoners of War in a Football game. The Prisoners agree on playing the game and use the chaos to escape from the camp. While this isn’t your conventional sports film, give it a try anyway!
The late football movie with an animated, caveman twist in the list is Early Man. The 2018 sports comedy movie has a star-studded voice cast like Eddie Redmayne as the protagonist and Marvel star, Tom Hiddleston as the villain with Maisie Williams and Timothy Spall as the supporting cast.
The plot follows a tribe of primitive Stone Age valley dwellers who have to defend their land from bronze-using invaders in an association football match.
Green Street Hooligans
The 2005 British-American independent drama film is all about the violent underworld of football hooliganism in the United Kingdom.
The movie features a wrongfully expelled Harvard undergrad moving to London and is drawn to a violent West Ham football firm (the Green Street Elite) run by his dangerous brother-in-law. The bright student is transformed into a bloodthirsty gang fighter and lead actor Elijah Woods is hailed for his convincing performance.
It is basically Fight Club meets football for a sports fan!
The Damned United
The 2009 British biographical sports drama film is based on David Peace’s bestselling novel The Damned Utd. The fiercely entertaining football movie will keep you hooked as it delves more in pride and obsession than penalty kicks.
Set in the 1960s and 1970s England, the plot highlights the provocative and darkly humorous story of Brian Clough’s doomed 44-day tenure as manager of the reigning champions of English football–Leeds United.
Another movie about football hooliganism has made the list! This 1995 British film made by BBC is set in 1980’s England, wherein 4 policemen go undercover and infiltrate a gang of football hooligans hoping to root-out the shadowy gang leaders, but finds himself becoming one of the gang members instead.
The true events that inspired the movie are chronicled in the 2013 book, Running with the Firm written by a former undercover detective, James Bannon.
My Left Foot
For those looking for some inspiration in life, this is the one for you! The 1989 movie is a gritty yet uplifting tale of a remarkable man, Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy into an impoverished family.
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the Irish writer and painter, the autobiographical film is a touching portrayal of a man with a brilliant brain trapped inside a damaged body – he could control only his left foot. Lewis even nabbed the Academy Awards for Best Actor for his accurate and brilliant role of Brown and the movie is a classic in itself.