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Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Life of a King is the unlikely true story of Eugene Brown and his one-man mission to give inner-city kids of Washington D.C. something he never had — a future. He discovered a multitude of life lessons through the game of chess during his 18-year incarceration for bank robbery. After his release and re-entry into the workforce, Eugene developed and founded the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of due to circumstances. From his daring introductory chess lessons to a group of unruly high school students in detention to the development of the Club and the teens’ first local chess competitions, this movie reveals his difficult, inspirational journey and how he changed the lives of a group of teens with no endgame. [Millennium Entertainment] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jan 16, 2014
    75
    The film is an effective, even heartwarming, tale of one man’s commitment to teaching that playing by the rules is more important than winning.
  2. 63
    Gooding brings just enough streetwise credibility to make Brown work.
  3. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Jan 16, 2014
    60
    Mr. Gooding’s performance and his complex charisma are fascinating to watch throughout.
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jan 16, 2014
    50
    Life Of A King manages to sustain a hilariously over-the-top tone of naked sincerity from start to finish.
  5. Reviewed by: Christy Lemire
    Jan 17, 2014
    50
    Brown's story is a good one, though, and solid performances — especially from star Cuba Gooding Jr. — elevate the film slightly above the familiar trappings of its genre.
  6. Reviewed by: Sherilyn Connelly
    Jan 14, 2014
    40
    Life of a King isn't setting out to reinvent cinema, or even a genre, but rather just to be a moderately uplifting tale that makes watching chess interesting.
  7. Reviewed by: Veronika Ferdman
    Jan 14, 2014
    38
    Any potential flights of invention or creativity are subordinate to the plain and emphatic delivery of life lessons.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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