Le match de leur vie (2005)



Critic Consensus: An enthusiastic but ultimately uninspired soccer film.

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Movie Info

In 1950, most Americans had only a passing familiarity with the game of soccer, even though it was the world's most popular sport, and few athletes in the United States played the game with any particular degree of expertise. However, when an invitation was extended to the United States to participate in the World Cup tournament in Brazil -- the international soccer championship held every four years -- Bill Jeffrey was determined that America participate. In less than two weeks, Jeffrey assembled a team comprised mostly of players from St. Louis (where soccer had developed a small but loyal following) and the East Coast (where the game gained a foothold on college campuses), with immigrants from Haiti, Portugal, and Scotland filling out the ranks. Against all odds, the Americans not only made it to the World Cup games, but defeated the British team (favored by many to win the championship) in the greatest upset of the 1950 games. The Game of Their Lives is a sports drama based on the remarkable true story of the 1950 United States team, featuring John Rhys-Davies as Bill Jeffrey, Wes Bentley as team leader Walter Bahr, Gerard Butler as goalie Frank Borghi, Jimmy Jean-Louis as Joe Gaetiens, a dishwasher born in Haiti who found his way onto the team, and Patrick Stewart as a journalist covering the games. David Anspaugh, who made the acclaimed basketball drama Hoosiers, directed.
PG (for some mild language and thematic elements)
Documentary , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Gerard Butler
as Frank Borghi
Wes Bentley
as Walter Bahr
Jay Rodan
as Frank Wallace
Gavin Rossdale
as Stanley Mortensen
Costas Mandylor
as Charlie Colombo
Louis Mandylor
as Gino Pariani
Zachery Bryan
as Harry Keough
Jimmy Jean-Louis
as Joe Gaetjens
Richard Jenik
as Joe Maca
Nelson Vargas
as John Souza
Craig Hawksley
as Walter Giesler
Bill Smitrovich
as Admiral Higgins
Patrick Stewart
as Older Dent McSkimming
Terry Kinney
as Dent McSkimming
John Rhys-Davies
as Bill Jeffrey
Maria Bertrand
as Rosemary Borghi
Marilyn Dodds Frank
as Fara Borghi
Thomas C. Simmons
as Joe Calcaterra
Julie Granata
as Janet Capiello
Mike Bacarella
as Silvio Capiello
Tia Marie
as Alma Flores
Ricardo Gutierrez
as Salvador Flores
Mike Nussbaum
as Johnny Abruzzo
Natalie Brooke Edwards
as Fiora Abruzzo
Nino Da Silva
as Eddie Souza
John Harkes
as Ed McIlvenny
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Critic Reviews for Le match de leur vie

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (15)

Director David Anspaugh has a skilled touch, but there's just not that much drama to film. This is a very competent, very predictable sports film.

April 25, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

...disappointingly mediocre...

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

...lacks even a penalty kick's worth of tension and is paradoxically inert for a movie about guys running up and down the pitch for the glory of the U.S.

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
Top Critic

These guys give a sport that is virtually nameless in the movies a good name in this one.

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's difficult to muster dislike for The Game of Their Lives, which is reasonably interesting, but it needed more grit and inspiration than this straightforward account can provide.

April 22, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

...this soccer tale is about as exciting to watch as a scoreless match between opponents so defense-minded the ball never gets beyond midfield.

April 22, 2005
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Le match de leur vie

It's okay but the real question is...why the fuck did they make a movie about this one game? Why didn't they even hint at the US's 3-1 defeat against Spain a few days before, and why is their mediocre performance in 1950 such a big deal, when the US squad got to the SEMI-FINALS in 1930!! Now that's a story!

Lucas Dias Rodrigues Dos Santos
Lucas Dias Rodrigues Dos Santos

I watch a lot of underdog sports team movies and I only stuck it out with this one because of the cast. This movie was a little slower than most, but it was definitely worth staying with it until the upset against England in the end.

Heather Metzger
Heather Metzger

My problem with this movie is that the main actors are around 15 or 20 years older than the characters they are supposed to be playing. So they look like midlife people but they are dealing with issues as if they were fresh out of high school. I think they would have been better off casting it w/ college-aged soccer players. I am usually a big fan of movies like this one, but for some reason this movie didn't quite do it for me. It was ok. Extra 1/2 star for Gerard Butler and Gavin Rossdale...I do like them.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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