Ready for an uplifting sports movie that will have you cheering from your seat? Next Goal Wins is based on the incredible true story of the American Samoa soccer team as they attempt to turn around their losing streak. This comedic drama promises to deliver laughs, tears, and inspiration.
Here’s everything you need to know about the plot, cast, release dates, and more for this highly anticipated underdog film.
The Story Behind the Movie
Next Goal Wins follows the true story of Thomas Rongen, a down-on-his-luck soccer coach who is hired to help the American Samoa national team qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Considered one of the weakest soccer teams globally, American Samoa suffered a record-setting 31-0 loss in 2001. With Rongen’s guidance, this ragtag group of inexperienced players dared to dream big and attempt the impossible – boost themselves from dead last to World Cup contenders.
Directed by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, the movie promises equal doses of humor and heart as it chronicles this Cinderella story of how the worst team in the world tried to become one of the best.
Next Goal Wins Trailer
Who’s Starring in This Feel-Good Sports Flick?
Next Goal Wins has assembled an A-list cast to bring this amazing true story to life on the big screen.
- Michael Fassbender stars as eccentric coach Thomas Rongen. The German-Irish actor is best known for roles in X-Men, Steve Jobs, and Inglourious Basterds.
- Oscar Kightley plays player Jaiyah Saelua, the first transgender footballer to compete in the men’s division of a World Cup qualifier. Kightley previously starred in Sione’s Wedding and Bro’Town.
- Elisabeth Moss portrays Rongen’s wife. Moss has wowed audiences in hit shows like Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale.
- Will Arnett joins the cast as a soccer official. Arnett’s comedy chops have shined in Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Real members of American Samoa’s soccer team also portray themselves in the movie, including captain Nicky Salapu and goalkeeper Shalom Luani.
When and Where Can You Watch This Upbeat Sports Comedy?
Next Goal Wins premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2023. It will open in theaters worldwide throughout late 2023 and early 2024.
Here are the Next Goal Wins release dates for some major countries:
- United States: November 17, 2023
- United Kingdom: December 26, 2023
- Australia: January 1, 2024
- Germany: January 4, 2024
- Japan: February 23, 2024
So mark your calendars! This poignant and funny film promises to score big with audiences needing an inspirational pick-me-up.
What Early Reviews Are Saying
So far, Next Goal Wins is delighting critics and earning high praise after its festival premiere. Here’s a sampling of what reviewers are saying:
- “An outrageously entertaining crowd-pleaser” – The Hollywood Reporter
- “The funniest and most heartwarming sports movie in years” – IndieWire
- “Fassbender gives an award-worthy turn in this lovable underdog tale” – Variety
- “Waititi brings his signature humor and pathos to this uproarious yet poignant film” – Rolling Stone
Why This Feel-Good Movie Matters
In addition to comedy and inspiration, Next Goal Wins also offers some larger takeaways that resonate powerfully today:
- It’s a reminder to never give up, no matter how tough the odds seem. With hard work and belief in yourself, anyone can achieve the impossible.
- The movie highlights how sports can bring people from vastly different backgrounds together. The American Samoa team was comprised of locals who never left the tiny island plus a few US-raised players. Yet they united around a common goal.
- Next Goal Wins emphasizes that the joy of playing matters more than winning. It’s an ode to going all in to pursue your dreams, whether you make it to the championships or not.
The Bottom Line: An Inspirational True Story
If you’re seeking a funny, uplifting movie about triumphing over adversity, look no further than Next Goal Wins. With a stellar cast and acclaimed director Taika Waititi at the helm, it’s sure to score big with critics and audiences.
Don’t miss the chance to catch this crowd-pleasing sports comedy in theaters. It promises to bring laughs, tears, and a much-needed dose of inspiration. Game on for this ultimate underdog story!