Shaolin Soccer

Untraditional underdog sports team story.
  • Review Date: August 22, 2004
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Some action violence, mention of suicide.

Sexy stuff

Kiss, some crude humor.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Hangover, smoking, reference to performance-enhancing drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some comic violence and crude humor, including a scene of a man peeing on a wall. There is some action/fantasy violence, and characters are wounded. Characters smoke and drink, and there's a reference to "American drugs" (presumably steroids). A character mentions suicide as a response to humiliation. There is a joke about being in love with a married woman. A character removes his pants (off camera) and makes another character wear his underpants on his head to humiliate him.

What's the story?

When former soccer superstar \"Golden Leg\" Fung sees Sing demonstrating Shaolin in the streets, he realizes the guy has what it takes to be a great soccer player. Sing (Stephen Chow) dreams of a world based on the principles of Shaolin. He realizes that becoming a soccer champion by using Shaolin techniques could bring his message to the masses. So, Sing agrees to help Fung start a team, and they invite Sing's brothers to form a team. At first, they suffer humiliating defeat. When they register for the big tournament, the owner of Fung's arch-nemeses Team Evil laughs at them. But then the games begin. The Shaolin team's magical leaps and kicks bring them to the final round where they must face Team Evil. But when the goalie is injured, who will replace him?

Is it any good?


The most successful Hong Kong film ever, SHAOLIN SOCCER is a very traditional underdog sports team story told in a delightfully untraditional style, with whimsy, fantasy, and heart. The movie is pure silly fun with such wonderful spirit that even the dumbest jokes and most predictable developments seem brighter.

The film's visual imagination and effervescent good spirits are pure delight. A group of Chinese people spontaneously break into a dance number to the Kool and the Gang song, "Celebration." Soccer players fly through the sky and kick the ball the length of the field. A sweet bun maker (that is, a sweet maker of sweetbuns) uses kung fu to mix the flour and gets fired when the buns get sour after her tears fall into the batter. And the hero tells the heroine she is beautiful before her makeover.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Sing saw Mui as beautiful even when no one else did. How did he know? What made it possible for the Shaolin team to begin to win? Families could also talk about the way that Sing made Shaolin into a way of life that affected everything he did.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 26, 2004
DVD release date:August 24, 2004
Cast:Man Tat Ng, Stephen Chow, Wei Zhao
Director:Stephen Chow
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:martial arts action and some thematic elements

This review of Shaolin Soccer was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old March 25, 2010
age 11+

The 'Soccer' Sum Up

I think its a GREAT movie, BUT, there is a lot of violence that I don't think is appropriate for some ages. It may scare them or make them cover their eyes. It can be a great family movie and a lot of fun. Its a wonderful comedy and a must have around the house.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byH2Clark February 15, 2013
age 8+

Kids laughed out loud

Just watched this with my boys 8 & 10. Great movie for them. Although, they are great readers, they appreciated me reading the subtitles. This was ridiculous enough that they were laughing out loud.
Teen, 14 years old Written byxcolossal April 9, 2008
age 0+


Great Movie


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