Goal! The Dream Begins

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Goal! The Dream Begins Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Soccer + melodrama. Older tweens and up.
  • PG
  • 2006
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Santiago and his father argue repeatedly about his dream to play soccer; Hernan complains about the wife who abandoned her family; Santiago hides his asthma from team; Gavin is a hard partier and womanizer who learns to be serious about his work (soccer).


Soccer action can be brutal (smashing bodies with added smash-sound-effects, falling in mud), leading to various damage: a broken leg, bruises, and joint-wrenching, bloody injuries.


Group sexual activity at party insinuated, then makes tabloid headlines; Gavin has sex with girl (we see kiss only, the scene cuts to next morning in bed, as he wakes up hung over); Santiago kisses his nurse/girlfriend Roz.


Language mostly expresses anger or frustration: "bull-snot," "shite" (a few times as a running joke, to show that Gavin is a disappointment to his fans), "boneheads," "hell," comment on getting the "squirts" in Mexico.


Lots of Adidas product and billboards, less Coca-Cola, mention of Blockbuster video, some name-branded cars (Mercedes).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink at parties and appear hung over afterwards; characters smoke cigarettes; allusion to cocaine use (character makes snorting noises).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that film includes some loud and body-slamming soccer action, usually leading to someone's face bruised or a limb brutally banged. Characters lie to one another (including family members) in order to achieve ambitions. British teammates make fun of Santiago at first. A decadent star soccer player appears drunk and hung over repeatedly; he also appears with multiple sex partners (sex takes place off-screen, following brief kiss or embrace). Characters smoke cigarettes and drink, a couple of characters appear to have been snorting cocaine during a party scene, as they sniff and rub their noses.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bynickhan27 July 10, 2015

Great movie

There are 2 iffy parts in the movie (I recommend watching the movie so you know when to tell your child to not watch a certain scene).
Adult Written bybjlehman April 9, 2020

A few scenes ruin it for younger kids.

I actually previewed this movie as something to show to my high school Spanish classes. NOPE. I will not show it at school. There are a few scenes that show... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bydelankid November 15, 2017
Teen, 14 years old Written byDead Girl Walking August 28, 2014

Goal! the movie. review

Goal! the dream begins. is about a footballer who want to follow his dreams to become a professional footballer. through some tough times he finally has a chang... Continue reading

What's the story?

A dedicated soccer (or football, as it's called in Europe) player from the time he was a child, Santiago leaves Mexico with his father Hernan (Tony Plana) in search of a new life in Los Angeles. As a young man, Santiago (now played by Kuno Becker) works for his father's gardening company, but hangs onto his dream of being a soccer champion. When he's spotted by a former scout for Newcastle United, Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane), he makes his way to England in order to try out for the team. In England, Santiago faces a number of trials and obstacles in pursuit of his dream.

Is it any good?

A generically inspirational sports movie, GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS focuses on the worldwide popularity of soccer. While the movie is full of clichés and runs too long, it does raise some timely issues, almost in spite of itself. For one thing, it reveals the difficulties of Santiago's life in a Los Angeles barrio, with his father, younger brother, and grandmother Rose (Miriam Colon): They have no chance at social mobility, despite years of hard work and following the rules, as they are technically "illegal." By the same token, once Santiago proves himself as a player, his new employers are eager to exploit his potential, as a winner and money-maker. Santiago's dream, in other words, hinges on making someone else wealthy. That said, he looks very happy when he score a big goal on television.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the conflict between Santiago and his father, as they clash over how best to support the family. How does the film resolve this relationship, even though they don't see one another again after Santiago leaves L.A.? How does the grandmother help to bring them together? Why do so many sports movies tend to focus on the same themes?

Movie details

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