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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Theme. Sex. Lang.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Goal!
  • a review of Goal! completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 February 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the movieu2019s themes, sexual references and coarse language, this movie is not recommended for children under the age of 8, who in any case are not likely to find it particularly entertaining.
Children aged 8-13 Parental guidance is recommended for children aged 8-13.
Children over the age of 13 Should be ok to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Goal!
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references, Mature themes, Mild coarse language
Length: 118 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Santiago Munez leaves Mexico as a child with his family and enters the US where they settle in Los Angeles. Santiago’s father works hard as a labourer to support his family of two boys as does Santiago who works at two jobs, helping his father and working in a kitchen, while pursuing his love of football. While playing with his local team Los Americanos Jovenes, Santiago is spotted by Glen Foy (Stephen Dilane), a former English football player and team scout for Newcastle United. He instantly recognises that Santiago has a natural ability and invites him to England to try out for his old team.

Santiago’s father refuses to give his permission for him to go believing that Santiago’s future lies in continuing in his cleaning business. His Grandmother however, (who had been left with the job of raising the boys after their Mother left them) is much more supportive and encourages Santiago to follow his dreams. Thus Santiago arrives in England where Glen Foy takes him under his wing. He soon learns though, that playing football in rain and mud is a quite different game from what he’s used to and he fails to impress the coach or the team manager. Faced with having to return home to the US, Santiago is helped in an unexpected manner by high flying team member, Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola). Gavin can also see Santiago’s potential and gets him reinstated into the reserves team.

Gavin is a wild boy however, who loves parties and women and is a bad influence on Santiago. Nonetheless Santiago remains true to his roots and prefers the company of his unpretentious girlfriend, Nurse Roz Harrison (Anna Friel). Santiago’s football skills become well recognised and he eventually gets to live his dream when he plays in a finals match for Newcastle United.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The only violence in this movie is on the football field which does get quite rough at times. Santiago is shown slipping and falling heavily in the mud on several occasions. He also grabs another player by the collar on one occasion.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are a few minor incidents that could disturb children in this age group:

  • When the family flees from Mexico they are nearly caught by a border patrol.
  • Santiago’s father dies of a heart attack and he is shown lying dead on the ground.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

It is unlikely that children over the age of eight would be scared or disturbed by any scenes in this movie.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be scared or disturbed by any scenes in this movie.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are several sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Gavin wakes up in bed with two scantily clad women.
  • one of the players tells Santiago that his sister thinks he looks like Antonio Banderas but, he says, “if you shag her I’ll kill you”.
  • two women are shown sleeping together on a sofa.

Nudity and sexual activity

Gavin takes Santiago to a party where there are several women in a bedroom, dressed only in underwear. He pushes Santiago onto the bed with the women where they start to undress him. A newspaper reporter photographs the event and prints it in the papers.

Use of substances

There is quite a lot of drinking of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes at pubs, clubs, parties and functions.

Coarse language

There is some low level coarse language, including:

  • arse
  • arsehole
  • bullshit
  • dickhead
  • shit
  • shat
  • Oh my God
  • piss off

In a nutshell

The movie’s message is to follow one’s dream and that persistence and effort are required to achieve it. Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • determination
  • persistence
  • loyalty
  • encouragement
  • unpretentiousness
  • genuineness
  • respect

This movie could give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children what the consequences can be of drinking to excess and engaging in casual sex.