2019 was a Womens World Cup year, but unlike with the Men’s side, few producers timed their theatrical releases to the tournament. However, interest in football films and soccer movies continues to grow rapidly, so that my list of movies to watch grows much faster than the movies that are available to me. My to-watch list now numbers almost 600 whereas 2-3 years ago it was around 400.
One of the downsides to the push for content is that Amazon Prime is buying packages of older football-related international movies, some of which are quite bad. I finally decided to create one post that summarizes the bad ones so that I don’t feel the need to do the background research. It normally takes me 3-5 hours to research and write a review, and these days too many movies are not worth that effort. There is quite a queue of such movies in my Amazon watchlist because I haven’t been able to force myself to view them.
The industry trend to produce football fictional and documentary series for streaming websites and cable has definitely risen to meet the insatiable demand for content. However, I have stayed away from reviewing these series because of the 8-12 hour investment to watch each one. I may have to reconsider that because I feel like I am missing out on an important consumer trend. We’ll see.
43 films watched in 2019
Despite my areas of reluctance, I reviewed about 43 films in 2019, which is an increase from 41 films in 2018, 35 films in 2017, and 20 movies in 2016. About half of the films I watched in 2019 were documentaries. I had hoped to end 2019 by accumulating 300 reviews but didn’t quite make it. Most of the films I watched in 2019 were not released in 2019.
As in 2018, I assessed almost one-third of the films with a high Rating of 8 or 9 on a scale of 10. Bad films were more plentiful this year: 9, or 20%, received a Rating of 1 to 5. Following is a quick summary of the top- and bottom-rated films.
2019 Best Soccer Films:
My four best films this year, all rated at 9, include 3 documentaries and 1 kids movie. There were 10 films that I rated at 8, which I think is indicative of the kind of quality that is coming to the market or showing up on streaming services. This year, I discovered that the public library’s Hoopla streaming service had some gems.
Make Us Dream (2018) is an in-depth look at Steven Gerrard. I didn’t know much about him, but this film made me a fan.
Mi Amigo Alexis (2019) is a kids movie starring Alexis Sanchez as himself. He’s probably one of the more talented guys I’ve seen at playing himself. It’s not really that easy, and I think Alexis will best Cristiano Ronaldo on the screen if they both end up as actors.
Coach (2019) is a short but totally inspiring documentary about an American college coach who gets her UEFA license.
The Team that Never Played (2010) is an older documentary that preserves an important piece of history about the South African players who didn’t make it to the world stage because of apartheid.
2019 Worst Soccer Film:
The worst film I saw this past year was a Polish documentary called Offside. The bottom 3 films were all on Amazon Prime and not worth your time.
Soccer Movies reviewed in 2019
This table lists all the football films reviewed this year. Within a numerical Rating, movies are sorted by release year and then by title.
|Make Us Dream||9||2018||documentary||British|
|The Team that Never Played||9||2010||documentary||AUS,Africa|
|Mi Amigo Alexis||9||2019||kids||Chile|
|Comme des Garçons||8||2018||comedy||French|
|Kicking Out Shoshana||8||2018||comedy||Israeli|
|Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football||8||2018||documentary||British,BRA|
|The Other Chelsea||8||2010||documentary||GER,UKR|
|Derby Days Berlin||8||2019||documentary||UK,GER|
|Fintar o Destino (Dribbling Fate)||8||1998||drama||POR, Africa|
|Alex & Me||8||2018||kids||USA|
|Back of the Net||8||2019||kids||AUS|
|Beinball (Bootball)||7||2014||comedy, short||Austria|
|Forever Chape (Para Sempre Chape)||7||2018||documentary||URU, BRA|
|River, el mas grande siempre||7||2019||documentary||Argentina|
|Soccer in the City||7||2019||documentary||USA|
|Sudani from Nigeria||7||2018||drama||India|
|Bedknobs and Broomsticks||7||1971||kids||USA, British|
|See You Soon||7||2019||romance||USA,RUS|
|Thai Cave Rescue||6||2018||docume||USA|
|Bobby Robson: More than a Manager||6||2018||documentary||British|
|Fuera de Juego (Offside)||6||2017||documentary||Spain|
|Britt-Marie was Here (Britt-Marie var här)||6||2019||documentary||Swedish|
|Morris from America||6||2016||drama||USA,GER|
|Foul Play||5||2017||documentary||Indonesia, UK|
|Lost in Africa (Kidnappt)||5||2010||thriller||Finland|
|Joe Bullet||4||1973||thriller||South Africa|
|The Goal (Christian)||3||2005||drama||USA|