Parents' Guide to

Shaolin Soccer

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Nontraditional underdog sports team story has violence.

Movie PG 2004 111 minutes
Shaolin Soccer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 10+

Chow dancing to the beat of a different drummer

A quirky, inventive film that does not take itself too seriously, but still is able to portray "high" stakes. Chow portrays his character's burdens well and also allows for his brothers to relay their lots in life that allow for us to root for them in their attempts to spread the Shaolin way through soccer. The jokes come fast although not all may hit their mark, but the ones that do seem to land with grace and good humor. Chow is clearly very talented and you can clearly see the evolution of his vision from Shaolin Soccer to 2004's Kung Fu Hustle.
age 10+

Funny, but a little better for the older kids

Very funny - though lots of slapstick violence and one scene at the end where a man's clothes are blown-off, revealing his fully bare bottom for a moment (it's a funny scene though). Kids were a little grossed out at seeing one character put a pair of clearly worn and stained underwear on his head. Watched by 8-11 year olds; they all loved the movie but with some of slapstick including bottles being broken repeatedly over one character's head and few other unkind acts to "shame" characters, I think it's better for the 10+ set.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (5 ):

The most successful Hong Kong film ever, this is a very traditional underdog sports team story told in a delightfully nontraditional style, with whimsy, fantasy, and heart. Shaolin Soccer 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 sweet buns) 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.

Movie Details

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