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Kids Suspense

‘Cosmoball’ (2020) is a visual adventure

It’s such a shame that Cosmoball had its theatrical release during the pandemic, dooming it to financial failure. Because this movie is a hoot. If you are curious about the Russian ability to make a CGI Marvel-universe type blockbuster, watch this film. Right now you do not need to pay extra to watch it with your Amazon Prime membership.

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Drama Kids

‘Cool Kids Don’t Cry’ (2012) is a better Eighth Grade

Cool Kids Don’t Cry is a hopeful and touching film about a vibrant eighth grade girl who contracts leukemia, and how she and her classmates respond to her illness as it progresses.

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Kids

‘Strike’ (2019) a kids movie with football, mining, and sabotage

Strike is the story of Mungo, a footballing mole with a goal to win the Wild Cup for England. Mungo is torn, because like many footballing greats from the olden days, he has to work in the mines and uphold the proud tradition of his forefathers and everyone else at the Diggington gold mine.

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Drama Kids

I’m no fan of ‘Fan of Amoory’ (2018)

The most charitable description of Fan of Amoory is that it is well-meaning propaganda meant to exhort young boys to follow their dreams and work for them. In the glory of the UAE.

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Drama Kids

‘The Goal’ is social justice + football in 1999

Gulbahar Singh is a director who wants to make feature films on humanity, and The Goal (द गोल) is an unusual football drama in that its coach decides that overcoming prejudice is more important than winning.

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Kids

A Walkman can’t save ‘All the Freckles in the World’ (2019)

As a kids movie, there are a lot of reasons to dislike Yibran Asuad’s All the Freckles in the World. Take your pick: sexualization of 13 year olds, a teacher-student sexual relationship, a sexist affront to women, and last but not least, very little soccer despite a tenuous link to the Mexican National Team at the 1994 World Cup. Writer-Director Yibran Asuad is known for serious work, but it looks like he took this “commercial” job for the paycheck. 

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Drama Kids

Alexis Sanchez is a Maravilla in ‘Mi Amigo Alexis’ (2019)

Mi Amigo Alexis has been released on Netflix in the USA without fanfare. Which is puzzling to me, because this is one of the best and highest-quality family-friendly soccer movies to arrive since Bend it Like Beckham. That being said, My Friend Alexis is not a comedy, not a film where you giggle along with your child while watching. It has some serious themes that you might need to discuss with your child afterwards. 

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Kids

‘Back of the Net’ (2019) mirrors USWNT values

Created just in time for the 2019 Womens World Cup, Back of the Net embraces many of the same values that propelled the US Womens National Team (USWNT) into the social media stratosphere: embracing diversity, teamwork and a can do spirit. If your child got on the USWNT WWC2019 bandwagon and wants other forms of that messaging, this is the film for her or him. On top of that, Back of the Net is a refreshing creative spin on the classic underdog tale. 

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Kids

‘The Falcons’ (2018): Icelandic values in a soccer tale

Iceland Iceland Iceland. They have so much to envy: gorgeous environment, the Viking thunder clap, and a team that performed at the highest international stages despite a population of around 350,000 and being coached by a dentist. 

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Kids

A magical football match in ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ (1971)

Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks is not a soccer movie, but should be watched for its engaging 10-minute animation of a football game. Like all Disney animations, the quality is so good that the 50 year old film remains on par with today’s technology. 

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Kids

‘Alex & Me’ (2018) is a quality movie with good role models

Even if you are like me and have watched over 250 soccer movies, Alex & Me provides an enjoyable fresh take on the underdog theme. Despite going straight to DVD, it is an inspiring family-friendly film that is well worth watching by pre-teen girls as well as their parents.

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Documentary Kids

‘The Anderson Monarchs’ (2012) all-Black girls team

Soccer decision makers, fans, and parents who don’t understand how our sport works in America should watch The Anderson Monarchs. Writer-Director Eugene Martin captures, in a decidedly upbeat way, the commitment required to sustain a unique, inner city, all-African-American, girls soccer team in Philadelphia.

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Drama Kids

A Costa Rican gem: ‘Buscando a Marcos Ramirez’ (2017)

I was thoroughly enchanted by Buscando a Marcos Ramírez, the first soccer movie I have seen from Costa Rica. In the story, Marcos’ single mom has named him for the popular eponymous children’s book and given him a love of reading. But when she dies, he must move from the simple countryside to the unwelcoming home of his grandfather in the city of San José, Costa Rica.

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Drama Kids

‘Mi Mundial’ (2017) is a cautionary tale

Mi Mundial is a charming Cinderella-like football tale, except this Cinderella returns to the ashes of his old life. This futbol pelicula is based on the 2010 children’s book of the same name, by former Uruguayan futbolista Daniel Baldi. A prolific author of mostly juvenile books mostly about football, Baldi uses much of his life in his stories, and he made sure that the film stayed true to its origin and message.

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Kids

Don’t bet a leg on ‘Shui Hu the Soccer Heroes’ (2006)

Talk about strange. I found Shui Hu, The Soccer Heroes ( 水浒足球 ), an anime Chinese DVD, in my county library system. The animation is quite crude and similar to Captain Tsubasa, so that I thought this film must be from the early 1980s. Instead, this feature length cartoon from Hong Kong was produced in 2006.