- Taika Waititi’s latest release, Next Goal Wins, has received even worse reviews than his previous film, Thor: Love and Thunder, with a 48% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Critics have criticized the sports movie for focusing too much on comedy and following a predictable underdog story, but positive reviews highlight its heart despite some flaws in story and character development.
- Despite being Waititi’s worst-reviewed film, Next Goal Wins still has some merit, particularly in its use of familiar tropes in biographical sports movies and its ability to resonate positively with some viewers.
Taika Waititi’s newest theatrical movie, Next Goal Wins, has an even worse Rotten Tomatoes score than the mixed reception of his previous film, Thor: Love and Thunder. The director is best known for his comedic films, such as the critically acclaimed Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Jojo Rabbit. Recently, though, some of his movies have received mixed reviews from critics, such as Thor 4‘s 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, the Rotten Tomatoes score for his upcoming sports comedy Next Goal Wins is even lower than that of Thor: Love and Thunder. As of writing, the movie sits at a 48% critics score on the site based on 60 reviews. While other positive reviews may come before the movie releases in theaters, it is clearly getting more negative responses than positive ones.
Next Goal Wins will be released in theaters on November 17, 2023.
Why Next Goal Wins Is Getting Mixed Reviews?
Next Goal Wins is a biographical comedy-drama about Thomas Rongen, a Dutch-American football coach tasked with turning the losing American Samoa national team into a talented group of players. Thomas is portrayed by Michael Fassbender (The Killer), who is joined by Oscar Kightley (Sione’s Wedding), David Fane (Eagle vs. Shark), Rachel House (Soul), and Will Arnett (BoJack Horseman), among others. The film is billed as a comedic yet historical look at the team’s early years.
Reviews critical of Next Goal Wins have cited too much focus on comedy in its second act and a by-the-numbers, predictable underdog story. However, positive critical reviews say Waititi’s latest project has enough heart to satisfy despite some flaws with its story and character development. Because of how split the movie’s critical score is, it seems the enjoyment is a matter of perspective when it comes to familiar sports stories on the big screen.
Although Next Goal Wins is Waititi’s worst-reviewed film, its strengths seemingly lie in falling back on well-worn tropes of biographical sports movies. While it clearly won’t appeal to everyone, the split number of negative and positive reviews means there is still some merit to be found in its story. The critical response may be a new low for the director’s career, but it seems to have some positive resonance nonetheless.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
Next Goal Wins
- Release Date:
- Taika Waititi
- Michael Fassbender, Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Kaimana
- 97 Minutes
- Comedy, Drama, Sports
- Taika Waititi, Iain Morris
Next Goal Wins is a sports-comedy film based on a documentary of the same name released in 2014. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film takes a more comical approach to the story of one coach’s attempt to take the American Samoa national football team, considered the worst in the world, to the FIFA World Cup.
- Story By:
- Mike Brett, Steve Jamison
- Imaginarium Productions
- Searchlight Pictures