Next Goal Wins Movie Review

“Next Goal Wins” is a paint by numbers underdog movie. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film offers a glimpse into the culture of American Samoa. With a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes, it is rated PG-13. Overall, the movie received a grade of B+ from Soap2day.

What We Liked

There were several aspects of “Next Goal Wins” that we enjoyed. Michael Fassbender delivers a fantastic performance, as expected from him. The rest of the cast also does a commendable job, including Will Arnett and Elizabeth Moss. The film provides insights into the culture of American Samoa, and Rachel House’s portrayal stands out. The training sequences and spirited dance by the team add to the enjoyment of the film. Additionally, the inclusion of real photos and video clips of the people the movie is based on adds authenticity to the story.

Areas for Improvement

While “Next Goal Wins” has many positive aspects, there are a few areas that may not resonate with everyone. The thick accents of some characters make it challenging to understand their dialogue at times. The focus on only a few players limits the opportunity to develop all of the characters fully. Some viewers may also perceive the film as another white savior story, although the flawed nature of the coach’s character differentiates it from the trope. Inaccuracies in the timeline and a few instances of subpar acting were also noticed.

Parental Guidance

For parents considering whether to allow their children to watch “Next Goal Wins,” here are some key points to be aware of. One scene features drawings of women’s breasts on a man’s face, which may not be suitable for all audiences. The movie also includes a prominent trans character, played by a trans actor/actress. Profanity, alcohol consumption, bullying, and anger management issues are depicted. Additionally, some Samoan dialogue is spoken without subtitles, which may pose a challenge for understanding.

Themes Explored

“Next Goal Wins” explores themes of tradition, teamwork, humility, respect, and hard work. It also highlights the importance of respecting the Samoan culture and traditions. These themes add depth to the narrative and provide valuable takeaways for viewers.

Funny and Interesting Lines

Here are a few noteworthy lines from the movie:

  • “I have a very particular set of skills” – Thomas Rangan (Michael Fassbender)
  • “I’m not God, but I may as well be because I perform more miracles”
  • “I’d like to apologize, but I won’t”
  • “You have to play with heart and spirit”
  • “One goal”


If you enjoyed “Next Goal Wins,” here are some similar films worth checking out:

  • “Champions” – Based on a true story, this feel-good movie features disabled actors and stars Woody Harrelson.
  • “Hustle” – A basketball drama that explores important life lessons for the coach and players.
  • “12 Mighty Orphans” – Inspired by true events, this film follows the journey of young football players overcoming hurdles.


“Next Goal Wins” offers an enjoyable cinematic experience with its underdog sports story set in American Samoa. While it has its flaws, the film provides valuable insights into the culture and traditions of the region. If you’re in the mood for a feel-good movie that highlights teamwork and perseverance, give “Next Goal Wins” a try.

We appreciate your support and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Don’t forget to check for more movie recommendations and discussions by soap2day. Catch you in the next review!

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