Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos
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Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos
While professional soccer is still struggling to find a firm foothold in the United States, in the 1970s the North American Soccer League marked the brave first attempt to introduce the game to American sports fans. While most teams had only limited success at best, one did manage to break through to genuine mainstream popularity -- the New York Cosmos. The brainchild of Steve Ross (a passionate soccer fan who was also a major executive at Warner Communications) and Ahmet Ertegun and Nesuhi Ertegun (the founders of Atlantic Records), the Cosmos got off to a rocky start in 1971 (no one was… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"... treats its audience like a bunch of attention deficit disorder cases."
‑ Peter Debruge, Miami Herald
"Once in a Lifetime would have benefited greatly from historical and outside perspective, but the story on screen is such a kick that even monotone narrator Matt Dillon gets caught up in the excitement."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Once in a Lifetime is like a soccer team that plays good defense but lacks offense."
‑ Tony Macklin, Las Vegas Weekly
"mostly I'm stricken with nostalgia for '70s fashion and Marv Albert's hairdo"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Packed with observations and recrimations, many of the latter aimed at or by Chinaglia, which makes for some gossipy entertainment."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"... accomplishes the minor miracle of making you mourn a sports team you likely never knew existed in the first place."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A cavalcade of theatrical personalities, juicy war stories, unforgiven grievances and old-school cinema dazzle."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Well-researched and exuberantly compiled, this is a thoroughly entertaining tribute to America's first tackle at surgically implanting the beautiful game."
‑ Leigh Singer, Film4
"An energetically told tale, with eccentric characters to spare and a nostalgically bittersweet tone."
‑ Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"... the film is bursting with astonishing old footage, hip tunes, vivid interviews and you-couldn't- make-it-up anecdotes."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Once in a Lifetime, which relies on interviews and archival footage, may not be a great documentary, but it certainly gets its points across."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"An energetic and often enjoyable documentary, particularly for soccer fans."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Not being a soccer fan, the Cosmos phenomenon had no impact on me at the time nor does this energetic film change that opinion."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"With just a little tweaking ... could be reworked in a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary of swollen egos and corporate whimsy."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Once in a Lifetime is a marvelous primer on this remarkable event in soccer history, most likely never to be seen again."
‑ Brian Orndorf, eFilmCritic.com