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NFL Legend Kurt Warner Reveals His Favorite Sports Movies Ahead Of American Underdog’s Release

Kurt Warner giving a speech during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
(Image credit: NFL)

There aren’t many NFL quarterbacks who have seen bigger highs than Kurt Warner, and there aren’t many who have seen lower lows either. From stocking groceries to Super Bowl MVP, his journey inspired millions of people and felt like something out of a movie to the point where people continually told him they’ll make a movie about this one day. Well, that day is here, and now Warner is about to add his own film to a long line of sports movies, a constantly expanding genre he’s very familiar with.

I got a chance to speak with Kurt Warner in the lead-up to the film’s release. We talked about his journey, his faith and of course, other classic sports movies. When I asked for his favorite in the genre, he was unwilling to commit to just one and instead threw out a really solid list. Here’s a portion of what he said…

I got a million of ‘em. Hoosiers is one of my favorite movies. I used to watch it everyday. I would watch different scenes of it before I would go play my high school basketball games. Rudy, I think everybody loves Rudy. I love Remember The Titans. A movie that (my wife and I) both love, whether you call it a sports movie or not, is a movie called Radio. It just connects through football and relationships and a young man that’s got some challenges that connects with our son and some of the challenges that he faces.

First of all, as someone who was born and raised in Indiana and went to Indiana University, I too will enthusiastically endorse Hoosiers. That is an absolutely tremendous movie. It’s one many sports fans really love, and while I never went through a period where I watched it everyday, I will enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it. 

Rudy and Remember The Titans are, of course, favorites of many. I feel like I get sucked into Remember The Titans at least a couple times a year when I random come across it on TV and feel like throwing on my own copy, and I don't even want to publicly admit the number of times I've seen Rudy. It's too many and is somewhere in the lower double digits.

The outlier choice here is obviously Radio. The 2003 movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Ed Harris follows a young man with some mental disabilities who connects with the local football coach. They quickly become very close and learn a lot of touching lessons from each other. The film was especially meaningful for the Warner family as one of their children has some challenges he’s had to deal with following a childhood accident in which he was dropped.

The forthcoming American Underdog, which stars Zachary Levi and Anna Paquin, follows Kurt Warner’s journey from a University Of Northern Iowa quarterback mostly sitting on the bench to an NFL MVP. It traces how he got there and explores his relationship with Brenda Warner, who at the time they met was a single mother and ex-Marine raising two kids in Iowa. 

The film hits many of the same beats we’re used to in sports movies, but it’s still a fun ride that also addresses his faith in a way that’s organic and not overbearing. It’s currently running at 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and is a good option if you’re heading to the theaters with your family over the holidays. 

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.