Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    Goal! hits the back of the net and is an early candidate for the funnest movie of the summer.
  2. 75
    The movie works because it is, above all, sincere. It's not sports by the numbers. The starring performance by Kuno Becker is convincing and dimensional and we begin to care for him.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    75
    Most sports films are also fish-out-of-water stories, and this one qualifies as both.
  4. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    75
    Has an awful title, a bland hero and a predictable story - but it also has a nice blast of English atmosphere.
  5. 67
    There's enough realism to keep a soccer buff like me happy, but the film is aimed at the young at heart, and I think they'll love it.
  6. 67
    How much viewers care about what happens in Goal! is directly proportionate to how much they care about soccer, because decent execution aside, there's an underdog fantasy movie just like this one for every sport.
  7. 63
    An unknown commodity to anyone who doesn't follow telenovelas, Becker is sure to be a big star and has already signed on for two sequels. Apart from being scorching hot, he's enormously sympathetic in dramatic scenes.
  8. A sports movie for people who may not care about sports but can't resist a heart-tugging underdog story.
  9. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    63
    A big success in Europe, the film has already spawned two sequels, the first of which is due to be released in the fall.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    The film is capably acted and somewhat inspiring.
  11. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    A slickly mounted slice of can-do nonsense.
  12. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    58
    The cast, all around, is sterling. There's only one thing they don't need to bring back for the sequels, and that's the movie's appetite for every sports cliché there ever was.
  13. Reviewed by: Winda Benedetti
    50
    Goal seems destined to be an ongoing soccer-themed soap opera, but it's one that only the game's biggest enthusiasts likely will find compelling.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Gallo
    50
    The appealing young man's tribulations are predictable, his triumph inevitable; while he gets respect, we get another Rocky-style dose of emotional uplift, cloaked in the usual game-day clichés.
  15. Reviewed by: Patrick Somerville
    50
    If you can abide booming orchestral punches during verbal confrontations and ubiquitous Adidas product placement, you'll be rewarded by exciting soccer sequences and the joy of watching a likable character triumph on a global stage.
  16. Despite employing every cliché in the sports-movie handbook, Goal! The Dream Begins tells a reasonably engaging story.
  17. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    40
    As the clichés mount, Danny Cannon directs as if he's the one on trial, teasing tension out of every pass and dribble. Most irritating of all is his determination to paint British soccer as a gentleman's game, a notion United's real fans would no doubt treat with the scorn it deserves.
  18. The trouble with Goal!, which -- horror of horrors -- is the first of a trilogy, is that it's neither a persuasive story nor a satisfying display of soccer.
  19. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    38
    Handsomely shot and with a likable lead in Kuno Becker, it also suffers from a script so outrageously generic you could buy it at Costco.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Jan 14, 2011
    8
    I'm a massive fan of football so I loved this movie. Not exactly funny but still a great movie for football (or soccer) fans.
  2. Apr 30, 2013
    4
    Half believable and half not. Genuinely the plot may happen to a point but I extremely doubt it would go so far. You can spot what will happen by picking up the box. It was just far too predictable that any of the tension was sucked out of the movie. The Cameo appearances are meant to be WOW moments but really they are not. I did not care. The film was pointless and really did not have any emotional depth to it. The actors playing footballers you can see are terrible football players and the plot is as thin as paper.
    I would really not waste my time and I will not watch the second film.. Why would I? I bet I know that plot as well.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 19, 2011
    7
    Nice movie... charming... is nice to see how a man go too far for his dream, and to be sincere, there's not many movies of football... so, it's even better to see this well known worlwide game from another point of view, better than watch documentals the whole time... the first movie i guess trying to put us in the mind of a football player beginnings and how long and hard is the path of glory... job well done. Intelligent and emotional. Full Review »