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Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Wordplay focuses on the man most associated with crossword puzzles, New York Times puzzle editor and NPR Puzzle Master Will Shortz. Director Patrick Creadon introduces us to this passionate hero, as well as to the inner workings of his brilliant and often hilarious contributors and many celebrity crossword puzzlers. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. At times the film resembles a promo for Shortz and the Times, and the celebrity puzzlers, who include filmmaker Ken Burns, Bill Clinton, and the Indigo Girls, have an unfortunate tendency to bloviate. Not so Jon Stewart, who seems to regard each Times puzzle as an opportunity to go mano a mano with Shortz.
  2. What's an eight-letter word for a non-fiction feature that is witty, wise and wonderful? "Wordplay."
  3. 75
    The film's subjects are almost uniformly likable, self-deprecating, funny, and hyper-verbal, and their peculiar passion for crosswords and the sense of genial camaraderie among buffs proves surprisingly infectious.
  4. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    75
    Ultimately, Wordplay is best enjoyed as an engaging look at a little-known subculture.
  5. 70
    Wordplay offers a running tutorial in how crosswords are created - lessons that are enhanced by the onscreen graphics of designer Brian Oakes, which, come tournament time, allow moviegoers to see the clues and grids the contestants are working on, theoretically allowing us to solve the puzzles along with them.
  6. This is mildly entertaining, though like the puzzles themselves, it favors diversion over wisdom.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6

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