Notes: Best and Worst soccer movies in 2019

Best and Worst soccer movies in 2019
The 43+ soccer movies I reviewed in 2019

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 without doing a lot of 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 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:

Oscar statue

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 prserves 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:

Lemons
Lemons – black

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.

GenreRYearGenreOrigin
Make Us Dream92018documentaryBritish
The Team that Never Played92010documentaryAUS,Africa
Coach92019documentary, shortUSA
Mi Amigo Alexis92019kidsChile
Comme des Garçons82018comedyFrench
Kicking Out Shoshana82018comedyIsraeli
Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football82018documentaryBritish,BRA
Sunakali82014documentaryNepal
The Other Chelsea82010documentaryGER,UKR
Derby Days Berlin82019documentaryUK,GER
Fintar o Destino (Dribbling Fate)81998dramaPOR, Africa
Alex & Me82018kidsUSA
Back of the Net82019kidsAUS
Final Score82018suspenseBritish
Beinball (Bootball)72014comedy, shortAustria
Ordinary Gods72019documentaryUSA
Forever Chape (Para Sempre Chape)72018documentaryURU, BRA
River, el mas grande siempre72019documentaryArgentina
Diego Maradona72019documentaryBritish
Soccer in the City72019documentaryUSA
Sudani from Nigeria72018dramaIndia
Bedknobs and Broomsticks71971kidsUSA, British
The Falcons72018kidsISE
See You Soon72019romanceUSA,RUS
Seaside Town62018comedyBritish
Funke!62018comedyNigeria
Neighbors62012comedyChile
Thai Cave Rescue62018documeUSA
Bobby Robson: More than a Manager62018documentaryBritish
8962017documentaryBritish
Fuera de Juego (Offside)62017documentarySpain
Britt-Marie was Here (Britt-Marie var här)62019documentarySwedish
Zebras62016documentaryARG, BRA
Morris from America62016dramaUSA,GER
Diamantino52018comedyPOR,USA
Making Shankly52017documentaryBritish
Foul Play52017documentaryIndonesia, UK
Lost in Africa (Kidnappt)52010thrillerFinland
Infinite Footbal42018documentaryRom
Joe Bullet41973thrillerSouth Africa
The Goal (Christian)32005dramaUSA
Mirage (Delibab)22014dramaHungary
Offside12019documentaryPOR, Polish