User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7

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  1. Sep 10, 2011
    10
    Recommended viewing for chess fans but broader appeal could be limited because the Cold War subtext seems irrelevant now and the movie does not have a dramatic arc so much as a focal point - the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match. The treatment of the buildup to and playing of that match was adequate - particularly noteworthy is footage of Fischer engaged in exercise workouts to gird himself for the grueling intellectual contest to come. However, the film should have pushed the audience to follow more details of the key strategies used - this is ultimately a movie about chess after all. Once the movie moves past Fischer-Spassky, it seems to lose its bid for pathos, although it keeps up with the chronology of Fischer's life, patchy as it becomes due to his reclusiveness. The frequent inclusion of on-camera interviews with various people who knew Fischer or know chess proved a stylistic distraction - more voiceovers would have been better, so that the film could have kept more of its focus on its charismatic subject. Collapse
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Sep 22, 2011
    80
    This expertly constructed film follows the curious and tragic life of the troubled chess icon as he went from child prodigy to global legend to paranoid recluse.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 17, 2011
    83
    For those who love chess, Fischer will probably always be its premier player, a fact his mental illness cannot expunge.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 15, 2011
    83
    The result is a gripping film about a subject almost too good to be true.