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Parents' Guide to

The Match

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Jumbled soccer drama has strong language, violence.

Movie NR 2020 94 minutes
The Match Poster Image

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In this film, actors begin their performances with yelling, so there really is no place for them to go in terms of emotional arc. The Match hops around inexplicably and confusingly from important characters and their lives to unimportant ones and irrelevancies. In the first 12 minutes, myriad scenarios are introduced, and only about three of them are central to the plot. The movie also hops around in time. The match's half-time seems to last an eternity. Night falls and the supposed final match seems to be about to start again. This time when the match begins, we have more behind-the scenes information, yet nothing seems clearer, nor do we feel more involved in the characters or their fates. A guy who makes a bet on the game seems to win his bet, yet gets in mortal trouble with the bookie anyway. A communion proceeds at the same time as the match, then seems to go on the next day as well. When a food fight/physical fight breaks out over tomatoes between sisters-in-law at the reception, nothing is added to the film but a sense that the writer-director has reached a desperate moment of creative emptiness. The rhythms here are all off.

At the seemingly climactic moment when a big game ends, the movie still has 26 minutes to go. At this point, calling the whole thing only marginally comprehensible wouldn't be overly harsh. The writer-director's ambition to tell a complex story is evident, but he lacks the technical competence to make a coherent, well-plotted movie.

Movie Details

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