High school sports often serve as the film setting for a great divide: between rich and poor, Black and White, or urban versus rural. Maybe the greatest high school sports drama is Denzel Washington’s Remember the Titans (2000), where in the racist South, a Black coach and Black and White co-captains unite a newly integrated pointy football team.
Soccer movie or película de fútbol directed or produced by people or companies in Mexico or of Mexican descent, or about futbol in Mexico
This film about Mexico’s Hugo Sanchéz is a little bit different from the deluge of content the streaming era has brought. Some of the worst shows have essentially been reality showcases for celebrity footballers, such as Neymar and Paul Pogba. It felt like these players were isolated narcissists and I ended up disrespecting them as players as well.
This is a heavy-hearted review. I watched Grant Wahl’s docuseries Good Rivals during the two weeks that the USMNT was playing in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar. I had hoped that Grant would see my review during the WC. But tragically, Grant Wahl suffered a fatal aortic aneursym in the press box of Lusail Stadium, while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match. He died just a few days after celebrating his 49th birthday.
Bravo for ‘Las Bravas FC’ (2022)
It’s a shame that shows like Las Bravas F.C. get so little traction and attention in the world of futbol. It’s a cute, entertaining series that abounds with examples and themes of diversity, inclusion, and female footballer role models. Lead actor Mauricio Ochmann is a popular telenovela star with a charisma that echoes Ryan Reynolds and with an unnerving resemblance to Mikel Arteta. But I only came across this enjoyable series while scrolling through HBO Max. So I suggest you watch it while you can.
Amongst many other themes, the Netflix series Maradona in Mexico is about coaching and the power of belief. British Director Angus Macqueen follows Diego Maradona, the players and the staff of Dorados de Sinoloa, a second division club that hopes to be promoted to LigaMX in its 2018-2019 season.
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.
Mariano, an ardent fan of la Selección, passionately believes that Mexico always wins when he is at the game at Azteca to cheer them on. In a home-and-away series with the USMNT to qualify for the World Cup, Mariano (Adrian Uribe) bets all his savings on Mexico.
But on the morning of the deciding home game, his uncle dies. Mariano and his brother desperately try multiple deceptions to escape the funeral service and get to their seats in Azteca. As the game progresses, they try to at least find out the score.
Review: ‘Como no te voy a Querer’ (2008)
This teen melodrama about a working class family in Mexico City is both hard to watch and hard to stop watching. The story is a well-crafted, methodical train wreck of the bad decisions people make to derail their own lives.
A movie about dogs and soccer should be a winner—the most popular topics on the internet, right? K-9 World Cup is indeed a very clever story which made me chuckle throughout. A coach has one month to recruit and train the MexiCanine National Team for the Canine World Cup.
Chivas USA: Sí, se puede follows the front office and coach Thomas Rongen as they try to convert a 99-year-old Mexican product (Club Deportivo Guadalajara, aka Chivas Guadalajara) into a successful MLS expansion team.
Rudo y Cursi is an artful story of hick half-brothers from banana plantations in the Cihuatlán Valley between Jalisco and Colima. An agent discovers them and signs them to opposing First Division teams in Mexico City, where they succumb to the trappings of success.
When a red Coca Cola soccer ball falls from the sky, the school janitor takes this as a sign that he must revive the soccer tradition of his village. With the help of a former pro who has come home to run his father’s tiny store, janitor Don Pepe assembles team Atlético San Pancho. The school team progresses to the Cocoa Cola Championship game, played in the Azteca stadium.
La Copa de los Sueños, or The Cup of Dreams, or Soccer Dreams is a low-budget soccer film. Shot in Tijuana, the orphans in a children’s home enter a tournament in order to win enough money to pay for the house mom’s brain tumor surgery.