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The Game of Their Lives Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today 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.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The Game of Their Lives has a great sports story to tell, yet the filmmakers fumble it away.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Crust

    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.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Coaching from the same playbook with which they made "Rudy" and "Hoosiers," director David Anspaugh and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo create a reverent fable.

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  • See all The Game of Their Lives reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Great game, bad storytelling. Soccer buffs only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this soccer drama includes racial tension, and characters use derogatory phrases about one another's culture (including "dago," "kraut," and "voodoo-hound"). There is some whistling at and ogling of women, but the men are mostly respectful of the women in their lives. The final match includes some emotional intensity that may be too stressful for young viewers. The message here is positive: Believe in yourself, and you will achieve greatness.

  • Families can talk about how each family member pursues his or her dreams. What do you do when you feel discouraged? How did Frank, Walter, Pee Wee, and the gang handle disappointments? This is also a good opportunity to talk to kids about racial and cultural slurs and tolerance. How did Joe and Frank work out their religious differences?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Overall, the message is one of respect and tolerance for differences and doing what you love.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Some talk about being "shell shocked" and World War II; some shoving on the field, but no fighting.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Some nicknames for cultural groups, such as "dago" or "kraut."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: At the first match, an advertiser is named.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of talk about going out and getting drunk and nursing hangovers. Some smoking.