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Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Brooklyn Castle tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories. Ironically, the biggest obstacle thrust upon them arises not from other competitors but from recessionary budget cuts to all the extracurricular activities at their school. BROOKLYN CASTLE shows how these kids’ dedication to chess magnifies their belief in what is possible for their lives. After all, if they can master the world’s most difficult game, what can’t they do? (Producers Distribution Agency) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 1, 2012
    100
    See it, and I dare you not to care about what happens to these kids, these Yankees of chess.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 19, 2012
    83
    As inspirational academic stories go, it doesn't get much better than this.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 25, 2012
    80
    It's a wonderful documentary look at an astonishingly successful public-school chess program that manages to be more moving and heartening than you expect. Which is saying a lot.
  4. Reviewed by: Nora Ankrum
    Nov 1, 2012
    78
    Set against a backdrop of deep budget cuts and high-stakes testing, this story makes an eloquent plea for the crucial but endangered role of afterschool programs in public education.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Nov 15, 2012
    75
    The biggest complaint about Brooklyn Castle is that there's not enough of her. A presence as magnetic as Vicary's demands more screen time. How did she come to chess (a notoriously male-dominated game)? How did she come to 318?
  6. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Oct 19, 2012
    75
    Brooklyn Castle is an engaging tale, and the principal is wrong: These kids are much more lovable than the Yankees.
  7. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Oct 16, 2012
    60
    If the film occasionally bumps up against the limitations of its "Spellbound"-like template, its refusal to ignore the social issues outside of the classroom proves it's more than simply a novelty human-interest story with impressive knight moves.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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