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Movie Review: Next Goal Wins

This film fictionalises the story of the aftermath of American Samoa’s disastrous debut in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and how a sacked American coach tried to resurrect the team and its reputation. 

Press play to watch the review:

First half an hour was a little weak and full of cliches and I’m afraid to say racial stereotypes mixed with parody like humour that fell flat.

When the film concentrated on basic story telling and genuine emotional moments it really worked. The action sequences on the soccer field were well shot, exciting, and had the right amount of drama in them.

There were genuinely tender and heartfelt moments, and I praise the very sensitive and empowering storyline about a fa’afafine character in the film. 

Fassbender and Kaimana were the two strongest performances in the film and many in the cast performed really well, but one or two went for quirky instead of genuine performances and that let the film down a little bit. 

All up though, Next Goal Wins is a very entertaining story

So how did I score it?

Acting  7 /10

Story/Script 7 /10

Cinematography    7 /10

Set/Costumes 7 /10

Entertainment value 7 /10

That gives Next Goal Wins an average score of   7 / 10


Starring:   Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Will Arnett, Elisabeth Moss

Directed by: Taika Waititi 

Duration: 103 Minutes

Open in New Zealand – 7 December 2023


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