soccer ball on grass field during daytime

Bend it like Beckham: The top 10 highest rated football films, ranked

With the excitement of the Qatar 2022 World Cup at its peak there is no better time for fans to immerse themselves in their favourite football movie as they eagerly await their next match. From charming romantic comedies, to gritty football dramas, the film industry has given us a broad selection of movies to choose from this World Cup season.

Interested to find out which movie best captures the ‘beautiful game’, Voetbal Travel kicks off with a list of the most iconic football movies of all time, ranked by IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings. 

The top 10 highest rated football films, ranked

RankingFilm titleRelease yearIMDb score (/10)IMDb score (%)Rotten tomatoes audience score (%)Average rating (%)
1Montevideo: Taste of a dream20108.282%82%82%
2The Damned United20097.575%85%80%
3Shaolin Soccer20017.373%84%79%
4Goal! The dream begins20056.767%77%72%
5She’s The Man20066.363%79%71%
6Bend it like Beckham20026.767%73%70%
7Mean Machine20016.464%72%68%
9A Shot at Glory20006.262%65%64%
10Fever Pitch19976.767%59%63%

1. Montevideo: Taste of a dream (2010) – Overall score 82%

Genre: Adventure, Drama

Scoring on many levels is Montevideo: Taste of a dream, which takes the number one spot on our list with an average rating of 82%. This fine sentimental film has true story origins, following the Yugoslavian team competing in the 1930 World Cup. With hints of comedy throughout, this must-see movie is not only about football, but also true friendships and dreams.


2. The Damned United (2009) – Overall Score 80%

Genre: Drama, Biographical 

It is unsurprising that this film nears the top of our list, The Damned United is a superb sports film that follows the short time that David Clough was Leeds manager in 1974. A high-quality British drama, it is an interesting watch even if you are not an avid football fan. With an average score of 80%, this Biographical film comes in at second place in our list. 

3. Shaolin Soccer (2001) – Overall score 79%

Genre: Action, Comedy 

Shaolin Soccer is a spirited crowd-pleaser that combines football with martial arts, following a group of friends seeking to popularise kung-fu through utilising their skills whilst playing football. Hilarious from beginning to end, this whacky comedy tells the classic sports underdog story in a non-traditional way – scoring it a high average rating of 79%

4. Goal! The dream begins – Overall score 72%

Genre: Drama

The first instalment of the Goal! trilogy is one of the most popular and admired football films of all time. It tells a heartwarming rags to riches tale of a young immigrant living in Los Angeles who is given a chance to play professional football when he is spotted by a Newcastle United scout. With great cinematography and an impressive soundtrack, this triumphant story is a cherished fan favourite with an overall score of 72%.  

5. She’s the Man – Overall score 71%

Genre: Romantic Comedy 

With a modern twist on Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, She’s the Man is a hilarious teen comedy that situates its drama at a high school football team. The protagonist of the film, Viola (Amanda Bynes) disguises herself as her brother so she can play on his team after her women’s team gets cancelled. This witty comedy is a fun family favourite, and comes in fifth place with a 71% average rating. 

6. Bend it like Beckham (2002) – Overall score 70%

Genre: Sports-Comedy

The iconic sports-comedy Bend it Like Beckham is an enjoyable watch for the whole family. Starring Kiera Knightley in her breakthrough role, this feel-good movie follows the story of Jess (Parminder Nagra) who dreams of reaching her goals in professional football, but this is not quite to the tastes of her traditional parents. Indeed, monthly global google searches for this film are still at a whopping high of 162,000 per month, it seems that this film still peaks audience interest even after twenty years. Full of wonderful comedic moments, romance and unpredictable twists, this movie gets an overall rating of 70% and comes in at 6th place in our list. 

7. Mean Machine (2001) – Overall score 68%

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Mean Machine follows is the adaptation of the 1974 American film The Longest Yard. When Ex-England captain gets sent into jail, he creates a team of the prisoners to play against the guards.It appears that this movie is still a much-loved fan favourite, being searched for 41,000 times per month on Google. Featuring a lively plot with spells of comedy this movie comes in at 7th place with an overall rating of 68%.

8. Gracie (2007) – Overall score 65%

Genre: Drama 

Carly Schroeder executes a great performance as a hard-working underdog as she fights to give women the opportunity to play football after she deals with the death of her brother. Since 55,000 people are searching for this film monthly on Google, it is clear that Gracie is still a well-loved football movie. With its moving and compelling story of female empowerment, this movie comes in 8th place with an average score of 65%.

9. A Shot at Glory (2000) – Overall Score 64%

Genre: Drama 

An exciting underdog story that tells the story of modern Scottish football, A Shot at Glory Stars Academy Award winner Robert Duvall who plays a losing football coach that takes a chance on his talented, yet dishonourable son-in-law. With realistic football scenes captured and edited in TV broadcast style throughout, any football fan can appreciate this classic from the year 2000, landing it in ninth place on our list. 

10. Fever Pitch (1997) – Overall Score 63%

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Coming in at number 10 is Fever Pitch, a wonderfully charming romantic comedy that follows Paul (Colin Firth), whose romantic relationship clashes with his obsession for football. Although the lowest rated movie on our list, it is a delightful, whole-hearted comedy that you don’t necessarily need to be a football fan to enjoy. 

Leave a Reply