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Goal! The Dream Begins (Goal!: The Impossible Dream) (2005)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 81
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 45

Impressive sports action sequences are the highlight, as the run-of the-mill story invokes every known sports movie cliche.


Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 15

Impressive sports action sequences are the highlight, as the run-of the-mill story invokes every known sports movie cliche.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 96,052

My Rating

Movie Info

One young man's dream takes him on a remarkable journey in this sports-themed drama. Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) was born in Mexico, and came to California with his family when he was just a boy. One of the few things Santiago brought with him was a love for soccer, and while he holds down two jobs -- working landscaping during the days with his father, Hernan (Tony Plana), and as a busboy at night -- he still dreams of playing the game professionally, and spends his precious spare time with an


Sports & Fitness, Drama


Sep 12, 2006


Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (89) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (45) | DVD (13)

It is constructed of sports movie clichés but built on an unshakable foundation of earnestness.

October 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The combination of button-pushing uplift, sundry sweeping helicopter shots and a bombastic score that sounds like it came on a free transfer from a Tony Scott movie proves as resistibly synthetic as the CGI-enhanced heroics on the pitch.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Everything here is beyond predictable.

June 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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Goal! is filled with cringe-inducing scenes we've seen before many, many times.

May 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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... it is good and caring work, with more human detail than we expect.

May 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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In the end, I can't think of a movie that matters less than Just My Luck. It's just negligible.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Director Danny Cannon ("I Still Know What You Did Last Summer") captures every bit of Kuno Becker's star quality although the committee-written script remains slack.

April 19, 2009 Full Review Source:

...engaging and fun to watch, thanks mainly to Kuno Becker in the title role (he's such a nice kid, we can't help but root for him).

September 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The action on the field won't be enough to sate the most soccer-crazed viewers.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A predictable mishmash of sports underdog cliches with a domestic release timed to capitalize on anticipation for the World Cup. Accordingly, expect plenty of elbow room at the local multiplex.

June 12, 2006 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

The script is about as solid as a penalty kick with a deflated ball.

June 8, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A soccer-themed soap-opera that misses the net as an insipid, if inspirational, underdog tale.

May 20, 2006 Full Review Source:

Each obstacle is brought up and then dealt with in such a rushed and perfunctory manner that you wonder they even bothered to introduce them in the first place.

May 20, 2006 Full Review Source:

... loses points for its disjointed script and fumbled field photography.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

There isn't one three-dimensional character or convincing line of dialogue, and the plot is simple-minded to the point of imbecility.

May 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Heck, we even call soccer by another name, christening it football even though foot actually seems to touch ball maybe a dozen times a match, if that.

May 15, 2006 Full Review Source:

While the movie is a thoroughly generic sports movie, there's no denying that it works as a rousing example of the genre.

May 14, 2006 Full Review

The father-son tension comes to a head when -- as must happen in an inspirational sports drama -- Santiago gets his big chance.

May 13, 2006 Full Review Source: PopMatters

It all turns out to be a modest success because of its cliches rather than in spite of them.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Goal! The Dream Begins (Goal!: The Impossible Dream)

A cliche script highlighted by a sheer spectacle of in-depth soccer experiences. Goal! inspires and motivates with hints of satire and laughter. Kuno Becker gives a performance that's as spectacular as his skills on the soccer field. 4/5
August 16, 2012
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Most movies about soccer suck. Most movies about rags to riches suck. Most soccer rags to riches movies in the 2000's suck. But "Goal" didn't suck. In fact, it rocked. It had great acting, good emotion, a nice ending. I really enjoyed it, despite how corny and cliche it was.

Like I mentioned, the worst part about the movie is DEFINATLEY the corniness. It was just so corny and cheesy, I wanted to explode sometimes. Luckilly, it's not as corny as the trailer proclaims. VERY good news considering how horrible the trailer made the movie look.

There is a lot of emotion in this film. If you cry at movies, then you'll cry a LOT at this one. I almost cried, and you're looking at someone who sat through the incredibly violent Ninja Assassin!

The acting wasn't amazing, but it was pretty good. The leads Kuno Becker and Tony Plana did really well. Besides that, I'd give it a 7/10.

The plot twists were without a doubt the best thing about the movie. For a sports movie, there are plenty of them and most are pretty good. One moment, Santiago is at the top of the depth chart, next moment, he might be kicked off the team. It was very enjoyable.

I really liked the ending too. It was sad, but happy at the same time. I'm kind of angry that this got a sequel, because this is a movie that shouldn't really have a sequel The ending felt very conclusive.

I don't want to give this movie a 90%, because it is not really what it deserves and I want to stay as close to the tomato meter as possible. But truthfully, I actually enjoyed it. A LOT.
July 12, 2011
Marc L.
Marc Lewis

Super Reviewer

Great Soccer Movie! This is how sports movie should be, with a tremendous story and fantastic ending!!!

Like millions of kids around the world, Santiago harbors the dream of being a professional footballer. However, living in the Barrios section of Los Angeles, he thinks it is only that--a dream. Until one day an extraordinary turn of events has him trying out for Premiership club Newcastle United.
August 26, 2010
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

The poster says it all: "The impossible dream". At best the movie has its moments, like in the beginning when he's struggling in the States and trying to get along with his father.

But when he's moving to England and getting it all in just a month... It's impossible! He has his ups and downs but in the end he meets David Beckham (should've been avoided) and scores the big goal. And gets a contract of course. And falls in love. And will star in the sequel... With David Beckham. (Silent shout of terrible pain)

But if he's in England, why the fuck doesn't he drink a pint of Guinness? Instead he pursues a career at kicking a ball (or trying to) for 90 minutes. As you can see, I'm more of a hockey guy. Football/Soccer ain't my game.

Oh yeah, and the acting is average at best, just like the storyline. Recommended for Premier league fans and all other fans of the sport.
November 2, 2008

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