Next Goal Wins sets unwanted record for Taika Waititi

next goal wins
Next Goal Wins sets unwanted Taika Waititi recordSearchlight Pictures

Taika Waititi's latest film Next Goal Wins has set an unwanted record for the director, holding the title for his lowest-rated movie as director.

Starring Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss and Oscar Kightley, the movie tells the real-life story of the American Samoa football team who hire US coach Thomas Rongen (Fassbender) to help them bounce back after a 31-0 defeat to Australia in 2001.

The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the first reviews from critics painting a mixed response for the sports drama.

At the time of writing, Next Goal Wins currently sits at 54% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

kaimana, next goal wins
Searchlight Pictures

Related: First look at Marvel stars Taika Waititi and Kumail Nanjiani's new comedy series

While the film is yet to be released to wider audiences, Next Goal Wins is currently Waititi's lowest-scoring movie as a director, below 2007's Eagle vs Shark – which sits on 57%.

Here's what the reviews have said.

Screen Rant

"According to the director, Next Goal Wins has some embellishments, but its biggest mishap is missing the mark on jokes and limiting character development for almost every person."


"True to form, Waititi keeps proceedings as light as possible... Waititi's winning, winsome film is his most accessible and mainstream movie to date, Marvel aside, one that successfully mixes in funny jokes with zeitgeisty social commentary."

taika waititi
Steve Granitz - Getty Images

Related: First trailer for Elisabeth Moss and Michael Fassbender's new movie


"The idea is to have a good time, and Waititi knows how to give audiences that."


"Though Next Goal Wins aims for silly and feel-good, it wildly misses the mark. Taika Waititi undercuts his ensemble by reducing most of them to barely their roles... In the end, it's hard to walk away with warm and fuzzies, because this movie is just too fuzzy to hit us in the heart."

Next Goal Wins premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in the US on November 17 and in the UK on December 26.

You Might Also Like