A Heartwarming And Genuinely Enjoyable Film Capturing The Essence Of Teamwork, Perseverance And The Human Spirit
Published: November 16, 2023
By: David E., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Directed by Academy Award® Winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) and based on a true story, Next Goal Wins follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamously known for their brutal 31-0 loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around in this heartfelt underdog comedy.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic David E. comments, “Next Goal Wins, based on a true story, is a heartwarming and genuinely enjoyable film that captures the essence of teamwork, perseverance, and the human spirit. It’s a family-friendly movie that offers both humor and feel-good moments and is told with an authenticity that makes it relatable and engaging.” See his full review below.
Next Goal Wins
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Next Goal Wins, based on a true story, is a heartwarming and genuinely enjoyable film that captures the essence of teamwork, perseverance, and the human spirit. It’s a family-friendly movie that offers both humor and feel-good moments and is told with an authenticity that makes it relatable and engaging.
The story revolves around the determined coach, Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) who takes on the challenging task of coaching an American Samoa soccer team with a historically abysmal loss record. Their only goal is to score one point, a seemingly insurmountable task.
This film is a delightful cinematic experience that celebrates the power of belief, teamwork, and the indomitable human spirit in the world of sports. As the film develops, it dives deeper into the characters’ lives, particularly Coach Rongen and the soccer team. The connections that form between the players showcase the power of heartfelt camaraderie in sports. The film brings out both the emotional and comedic aspects of these players’ journeys. It’s clear that the cast and crew put their heart and soul into this project, resulting in a standout film. The camera work is outstanding – it captures the action on the field with finesse, making you feel like you’re right there with the team as they strive for victory. Michael Fassbender’s performance as Coach Rongen is commendable, as he skillfully balances humor with emotional elements in the film, delivering a memorable character. Oscar Kightley, as Tavita, Coach Rongen’s right-hand man, brings a good-spirited energy to the film. His character adds to the loveable dynamic of the team, making it easy for the audience to root for them. The film’s pacing is fast-paced, keeping the story engaging and ensuring that viewers remain invested in the team’s journey from start to finish.
The film’s core message is a simple, yet powerful one: believe in yourself and have fun. It’s a message that resonates with both young and adult audiences, reminding us of the importance of enjoying the process and having faith in our abilities. It’s important to note that the film contains some profanity, alcohol use, glimpses of drug use, and a transgender lead character, which may require some parental guidance depending on the age of the viewers.
I give Next Goal Wins a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults who appreciate uplifting and heartwarming stories. It releases in theaters on November 17, 2023.