‘Believe’ (2013) is best for adults

Director David Scheinmann extends Believe beyond the well-worn story of motley kids trying to win a tournament. The film pivots on the parallel story of Coach Matt Busby redeeming his survivor’s guilt.

Many of his young ManU players, known as Busby’s Babes, died in the 1958 airplane disaster in Munich. Sir Matt Busby (Brian Cox acting in his third soccer movie) was severely injured but one of the few survivors. The film United covers this story very well. Believe weaves a purely fictional tale where post-retirement Busby coaches a forlorn neighborhood team whose key talent, Georgie, is a handful.


‘Mad About Mambo’ (2000) samba on a Belfast pitch

Mad About Mambo isn’t known as a soccer movie, but it portrays soccer (and dance) ambitions in a light-hearted boy-wins-girl story that is sweet, humorous, and romantic. A 16 year old striker (William Ash) learns to samba with Keri Russell so that he can tryout for Belfast United.

Comedy Drama

‘A Shot at Glory’ (2000) largely misses

A Shot at Glory starts off with a bit of fun — the ashes of a long time fan are poured onto the Kilnockie stadium turf so that he can “be with the lads”. It’s during practice, and as the team distractedly stands in respect, they juggle the ball from one to another down the line. But Glory doesn’t continue the humor.