Parents' Guide to

Pele

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Focused look at soccer's G.O.A.T.; violence, language.

Movie NR 2021 108 minutes
Pele Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

Great movie!! I strongly advise watching it!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (1 ):

While Pele's career and achievements are celebrated, the film doesn't quite know how to frame Pele against Brazil's political turmoil that led to a brutal dictatorship. On one hand, Pele wants to definitively enshrine Pele as the greatest of all-time, a determination that many already agree with. The film covers how Pele became a symbol for an emerging modern Brazil. He brought belief and a sense of self worth to Brazilians. But on the other hand, the film rightly wishes to question Pele's behavior and actions during the reign of the Brazilian Military Government. In the film, Pele admits to being aware of everything, but he also states that they (the soccer players) never knew, really, what was true and what was rumor. And Pele states that he just tried to stay out of it and focus on soccer. A few journalists also suggest that if you haven't lived in and through a dictatorship, you shouldn't comment on what Pele was going through. One journalist suggests that Pele very well knew that if he spoke out against his government, there was a good chance he'd end up tortured, in jail, or dead. Other superstars ignoring societal ills have the leisure of speaking out without those particularly horrifying consequences.

The soccer Pele covers and historicizes, however, is wonderful. There is so much great footage of Pele during his early years, height of dominance, and later career triumphs, like the 1970 World Cup that he almost didn't play in. For the pure soccer fans, expect a definitive reminder of why Pele is considered the greatest of all time. He was unquestionably unparalleled in ability and produced staggering numbers. He was a confounding dribbler, passer of the ball, and reader of the game, able to predict body movements and ball trajectories quicker and better than anyone else. Many managers feared his brain as much as his lethal feet. Also evident is the sheer power of Pele, his bursts of speed and penetration of defenses, and his blistering shot (his last goal was a 30-yard free kick for the New York Cosmos). Of course, lots of Pele's dribbles, assists, and goals are shown, and the narrations and commentary of particularly famous World Cup games provided by Pele and his teammates are thrilling. For fans of soccer or Pele, Pele is a highly recommended. Non-soccer fans may get less mileage.

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