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The Game of Their Lives (2005)
A Victory for Game of Their Lives
First and foremost, I'm hardly a soccer expert and barely a soccer fan so this commentary comes strictly from a movie fan and a fan who enjoys critiquing films. That said, I found The Game of Their Lives to be a solid film. It's a product of the same mind that brought us "Rudy" and "Hoosiers" and one can expect similar results. It tells the tale of the 1950 US World Cup team that shockingly beat England (though did not win the World Cup itself) It begins in St Louis, providing backgrounds and insight into the lives and families of the St Louisians who later will be on the World Cup Team.
Strong performances from Wes Bentley and Gerard Butler lead this film to the final victory. Bentley and Butler portray the leaders of the team (Walter Bahr and Frank Borghi, respectively) with likability and believability. The supporting cast that rounds out the team also turn out performances that will keep you involved with wanting to route for this team. Don't expect an electric atmosphere, however, as this story is told from a reporter reminiscing.
The Game of Their Lives offers character development for the team members without ever straying from the subject at hand. Through their actions on and off the field, the audience can get a taste for who these men were. Much homage and respect is also deservingly paid to England for their magnificent history in the sport. This is not one of those ports films that serves to make the United States seem over glorious and under mind the greatness of England, as many assume it will. I for one walked away from this film with a greater respect for England and what they've done, and continue to do, for the sport