User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 76
  2. Negative: 4 out of 76
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  1. JumperM.
    Mar 10, 2008
    10
    A fine movie! Who thought documentaries could be so good? Complete with champions, villains and nerds. Very nicely done.
  2. Nov 4, 2012
    9
    The King of Kong is an excellent documentary. It portrays an engaging story and the director should be praised for how well the audience is positioned during the movie. Many great scenes, and wholly recommended.
  3. FelixJ.
    Nov 27, 2007
    10
    That muthaf0cking Billy person is such a muthaf0cking tool. He totally sucks ass. And that guy with the glasses is his slave, his tool and his ass. What a fuck! Maruamamtmt!
  4. ChrisJ.
    Jan 7, 2008
    8
    This film definite makes the argument that Billy Mitchell is a tool. He uses the Twin Galaxies organization to protect his all-time high score. The film will make you cheer for Steve, who is a competent, down-on-his-luck-for-life-type of guy. The film didn't disappoint, and I had high expectations.
  5. Bryan
    Jan 31, 2008
    10
    That Billy Mitchell is such a douche! Great movie, I hope Wiebe can beat him again.
  6. Dan(nirv)
    Feb 3, 2008
    8
    This is a very good movie. I call it a movie and not a documentary because as you'll find on the official Twin Galaxies forums, a lot of important facts are left out in the movie to dramatize it. It may or may not be intentional, but any documentary should not leave out important facts to make the story more interesting than it really is.
  7. ChadS.
    Feb 12, 2008
    9
    Seen together as a collective, the guys from Stacy Peralta's "Dogtown and Z-Boys" and Seth Gordon's "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters", are like the two outsider cliques in Judd Apatow's "Freaks and Geeks". Freaks win, hands down; at least their labour of love led to fame and fortune, while the geeks will just have to make do with this absolutely mesmerizing doc Seen together as a collective, the guys from Stacy Peralta's "Dogtown and Z-Boys" and Seth Gordon's "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters", are like the two outsider cliques in Judd Apatow's "Freaks and Geeks". Freaks win, hands down; at least their labour of love led to fame and fortune, while the geeks will just have to make do with this absolutely mesmerizing doc about being a beautiful loser(the film uses Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows"; the Canadian singer/songwriter wrote a novel called "Beautiful Losers"). Hot-sauce impresario Billy Mitchell(or what I like to call him, evil Kenny Loggins) is the sort of guy who relates with the evil sensei from "The Karate Kid", you know, the guy who tells his pupil to "sweep the leg", Danny's leg, Ralph Macchio's leg, at the climactic karate tournament(the movie uses the immortal "You're the Best" to spectacular effect). Why nice-guy Steve Wiebe feels the need to measure up to this megalomaniac is beyond comprehension. Even worse is Wiebe's need for validation by the corrupt people who run Twin Galaxies, a monolithic organization with a rulebook that's fluid just like the NCAA's(these jackasses stripped the University of Hawaii's men's volleyball of its title in 2002). When official Walter Day mispronounces Wie-be's name like a monosyllabic cognomen, we get the old coot's gyst; this gamer from the Northwest is a "dweeb". You really feel for Steve's wife, "the first-lady of Donkey Kong", who is the ultimate armchair quarterback's wife. If Steve ever buys a Frogger coin-op, she should file for divorce. "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" does for the eighties what "Dogtown and the Z-Boys" did for the seventies, the soundtrack and cultural signifiers from both films make you want to relive the decade of your childhood. "You're the best!/around!/nothing's ever gonna keep you down... Expand
  8. [Anonymous]
    Feb 27, 2008
    10
    Amazing movie. Not as funny as I thought it was going to be but very nicely done. It was just so frustrating.
  9. AlexK.
    Feb 29, 2008
    10
    Extremely compelling! Billy Mitchell is an excellent villain, a cowardly, arrogant jerk with horrible fashion sense.
  10. ChrisS.
    Mar 5, 2008
    9
    Wonderful movie if you have any (and I mean any) interest in the subject. If I can thoroughly enjoy this movie on a cruise ship, on a crappy 14" TV, while the boat rocks harshly from a nearby storm, it has to be darn good.
  11. AlecE.
    Mar 14, 2008
    7
    well made documentary. you really feel yourself rooting for the under dog. shows how serious even the most absurd interests are to those unfortunately involved.
  12. KerriR
    Aug 21, 2007
    9
    Practically perfect. So hillarious...you can't believe there are actually people like this that exist! Billy is the biggest tool ever, and it blows my mind that he thinks that highly of himself. He has to know on some cellular level that he is the BIGGEST TOOL EVER. Funniest line ever has to be the guy going around the arcade telling people theres about to be a Donkey Kong killscreen Practically perfect. So hillarious...you can't believe there are actually people like this that exist! Billy is the biggest tool ever, and it blows my mind that he thinks that highly of himself. He has to know on some cellular level that he is the BIGGEST TOOL EVER. Funniest line ever has to be the guy going around the arcade telling people theres about to be a Donkey Kong killscreen if they want to come see it. So pathetic, but SO funny. Expand
  13. LeanneM.
    Aug 25, 2007
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen! I haven't laughed this hard since seeing "Office Space" in 1999. Don't miss this one...it is truly a gem.
  14. DavidM.
    Aug 25, 2007
    9
    Hilarious -- King of Kong is more a panorama of a subculture than just about gaming. One of the best documentaries I've seen in years.
  15. NathanM.
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    I broke down and went to the movies by myself. The draw of
  16. TedS.
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    Good vs. Evil incarnate. Live DK vs. taped DK - no comparison, baby. An excellent Doc.
  17. MarkM.
    Sep 2, 2007
    10
    One of the more entertaining documentaries I've seen, and definitely the best sports documentary I've seen in a long time. And yes, it is absolutely a sports doc, the sport being DK. Like any good sports movie (or book) it's not about the sport itself. Rather it's about the characters involved (and they're memorable), and what their pursuit of excellence tells us One of the more entertaining documentaries I've seen, and definitely the best sports documentary I've seen in a long time. And yes, it is absolutely a sports doc, the sport being DK. Like any good sports movie (or book) it's not about the sport itself. Rather it's about the characters involved (and they're memorable), and what their pursuit of excellence tells us about them and about the way people are in general. This lesson in humanity is laid out with humor and even suspense. Extremely well-edited. Great movie! Expand
  18. ScottT.
    Sep 2, 2007
    10
    With fantastic characters and a classic good guy vs. bad guy story line, this move is very satisfying. It delivers laughs effortlessly as we see two groups (Billy's cronies vs. Steve's family) follow their respective gamers to Donkey Kong success and all of its point-totaling glory. So good, it's hard to believe this was not made up. Spend your quarters on this on
  19. AlexW.
    Sep 3, 2007
    10
    One of the best documentaries I've seen this year. A tense rivalry that points to a side of competitive gaming that few would expect even exists.
  20. MelanieH.
    Sep 7, 2007
    10
    An unbelievable story! You couldn't make this stuff up. I laughed the whole time and fell in love with the characters, even the "bad guy".
  21. TonyS.
    Sep 16, 2007
    10
    100% Killer. So good it actually inspired me to vote.
  22. MarkP
    Sep 20, 2007
    10
    You couldn't cast better characters or write a more compelling script - this documentary has it all. I'm not a gamer, but this film ultimately isn't about gaming, it's about life. Don't miss your opportunity to see this one - you leave it's biggest fan.
  23. P.J.S.
    Sep 26, 2007
    9
    On the surface this movie is just about two guys competing for the top score on the classic arcade game 'Donkey Kong', but this is one of the most gripping, hilarious, and moving documentaries I have ever seen. It's about ego, it's about the true meaning of being a winner, it's about coping with depression, it's about challenging yourself in life, it's On the surface this movie is just about two guys competing for the top score on the classic arcade game 'Donkey Kong', but this is one of the most gripping, hilarious, and moving documentaries I have ever seen. It's about ego, it's about the true meaning of being a winner, it's about coping with depression, it's about challenging yourself in life, it's about competition, it's about forgiveness, it's about friendship, it's about living with integrity. Seriously, go see it. Expand
  24. EvieB.
    Oct 22, 2007
    10
    Oh man, I just loved everything about this movie. It was thoroughly compelling from start to finish, much in the same way "Spellbound" (the spelling bee doc, not the Hitchcock) was. I was a nervous wreck throughout, thinking, "Oh my God, if Steve does not win this thing, I don't know *what* I'll do!" The tension was excruciating, and I mean that as a compliment.
  25. RobertP.
    Oct 31, 2007
    10
    Besides showing the goofy personalities of the contestants, the film bares the scandaliferous political jockeying among the obsessed oddballs behind the scenes in the "world record" business. All through the movie, they're busy putting the evil eye on our quixotic mild-mannered hero Steve W., scheming to throw yet more obstacles in the way of his exhausting quest to break the Besides showing the goofy personalities of the contestants, the film bares the scandaliferous political jockeying among the obsessed oddballs behind the scenes in the "world record" business. All through the movie, they're busy putting the evil eye on our quixotic mild-mannered hero Steve W., scheming to throw yet more obstacles in the way of his exhausting quest to break the official record. This is a great way to use up two hours of your life sitting in a plush seat. Expand
  26. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    If you can shift your reality to believe that video games are the way of life and success, then "King of Kong" may be the most important movie ever made. If you can't, then it is just one of the most entertainingly weird cinematic experiences to ever be documented.
  27. Nov 10, 2010
    9
    This movie could of easily have been a mockumentary with the extreme characters involved. However, it isn't, this is real life complete with Heroes, Geeks and Villains. Despite Billy Mitchell being the villain, it is really him who makes it such a compelling movie. His extreme personality and egotistical drive make this as much an emotional journey as a geeky, game playing journey. Don'tThis movie could of easily have been a mockumentary with the extreme characters involved. However, it isn't, this is real life complete with Heroes, Geeks and Villains. Despite Billy Mitchell being the villain, it is really him who makes it such a compelling movie. His extreme personality and egotistical drive make this as much an emotional journey as a geeky, game playing journey. Don't be put off by the subject matter, it is so much more than that. Expand
  28. Nov 27, 2011
    8
    It is very entertaining. If you have interest in old gaming, you'll like it more than others. The subject matter is real and may have a lot of meaning to you.
  29. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    "King of Kong - A Fistful of Quarters" - One Line Review!

    The one word review would be amazing, but even if you aren't into video games, this documentary is incredible - There's some controversy after the making of it, but it's so funny and so good - Everyone should check it out. Available on Netflix' instant queue!
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/king_of_kong/
  30. Aug 12, 2013
    8
    The King of Kong follows Steve Wiebe's attempt to beat the Donkey Kong world record held by the famous (in arcade gaming circles) Billy Mitchell, a record held since 1982 that many thought would never be beaten.
    Unfortunately for Wiebe simply beating Mitchells score is not enough. The established arcade hierarchy aren't happy with an outsider beating their 'hero' Mitchell. What transpires
    The King of Kong follows Steve Wiebe's attempt to beat the Donkey Kong world record held by the famous (in arcade gaming circles) Billy Mitchell, a record held since 1982 that many thought would never be beaten.
    Unfortunately for Wiebe simply beating Mitchells score is not enough. The established arcade hierarchy aren't happy with an outsider beating their 'hero' Mitchell. What transpires is an underdog story to rival the best Hollywood has offered in recent years as Wiebe tries to prove himself to the arcade elite.

    By the end it becomes impossible not to want Wiebe to succeed (partly because Mitchell is so smug), ignore the subject matter this is simply a great real life story.
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Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. As impressive as it is geeky. Most of the principal characters look like they haven't seen daylight since "Pac-Man Fever" was on the charts.
  2. 88
    A portrait of two different men whose compulsion for Donkey Kong is hilarious.
  3. 75
    A nuanced study in obsession, dedication, manipulation, ethics and how the all-American need to be the best at something -- anything -- can shape a life.