The Game of Their Lives


Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13

Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    What the cast members lack in sharpened skill they more than make up for in raw gusto and athletic scrappiness (most of the actors have logged a lot of soccer in their pasts). These guys give a sport that is virtually nameless in the movies a good name in this one.
  2. Unlike some other soccer movies, there's no fancy editing -- excitement is generated strictly by the actual choreography and the commentary of an English announcer.
  3. Coaching from the same playbook with which they made "Rudy" and "Hoosiers," director David Anspaugh and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo create a reverent fable.
  4. 60
    Despite strong performances by Gerard Butler and Wes Bentley as the leaders of the two factions and crisply directed soccer action, the movie lacks a powerful central presence to carry the drama.
  5. 50
    The final match stirs briefly, but when it's over, the movie's energy crashes right back down again. Disappointing.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    But Game really isn't a performer's movie. And the climactic contest (in which the Americans amazingly eked out a 1-0 win against England, considered by many to be the world's finest team at the time) is only serviceably staged.
  7. The Game of Their Lives has a great sports story to tell, yet the filmmakers fumble it away.
  8. 50
    By the time of the fabled match -- which you could swear lasts a full 90 minutes -- it's all you can do to keep your skin from crawling off your body and slinking to the safety of another room. Do yourself a favor: Follow it.
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Picturesque pic, however, lacks even a penalty kick's worth of tension and is paradoxically inert for a movie about guys running up and down the pitch for the glory of the U.S.
  10. 38
    Obviously made with all of the best will in the world, its heart in the right place, this is a sluggish and dutiful film that plays more like a eulogy than an adventure.
  11. The dialogue and acting are flatter than a punctured ball.
  12. 30
    It is flat-footed, uninspired and disjointed from start to finish, a glaring disservice to the men who played the game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. RichardJ
    Sep 15, 2005
    Good intentions that missed the mark on many levels. I wanted to like it and drove for over an hour to see it.