Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In 2001, the tiny Pacific island of American Samoa suffered a world record 31-0 defeat at the hands of Australia, garnering headlines across the world as the worst soccer team on the planet. A decade after that humiliating night, they remain rooted to the bottom of FIFA's World rankings, having scored only twice in seventeen years. They have lost every competitive game they have ever played. Against this backdrop of serial underachievement, the team face the daunting prospect of a qualification campaign for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It would take a miracle-maker or a madman to turn the team's fortunes around - and in maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen the islanders somehow find both. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    Sep 22, 2014
    As an antidote to Premier League cynicism, it couldn't be bettered.
  2. Reviewed by: Charles Gant
    May 6, 2014
    No sports film is short on pep talks, bonding sessions and heartfelt analogies to family kinship, but the teammates’ easy acceptance of Saelua — and her robust performance on the pitch — give the proceedings an extra kick.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Walsh
    May 21, 2014
    Tender, charming and made with substantial care, Next Goal Wins celebrates the cliché that it's not about winning, but the taking part.
  4. Reviewed by: Anita Gates
    Apr 24, 2014
    In some ways, this is just another underdogs-go-for-it sports movie. In others, it is as sensitive and observant as an Edith Wharton novel.
  5. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Apr 24, 2014
    The film lucks out by having an intrinsically compelling story, likeable underdog protagonists, and an exotic South Pacific location.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Apr 24, 2014
    With its grasp of suspense and character, it hits the mark as a portrait of openhearted determination that's devoid of desperation.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 24, 2014
    Next Goal Wins could stand to go deeper into game strategy, or local customs and living conditions, or any number of personal stories, but the victories it does achieve are enormously satisfying.

See all 10 Critic Reviews