• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 6, 2011

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 6, 2011
    So far it's the televised documentary film of the year, with its truths stranger than fiction from opening move to checkmate.
  2. Reviewed by: Sam Allis
    Jun 6, 2011
    Robert James Fischer's story is astonishing on and off the chess board, and tonight's HBO documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World captures it well.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jun 6, 2011
    [Garbus] captures the epic, almost mythical scope of his talent and thus the tragic height of his fall.
  4. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jun 6, 2011
    Director Liz Garbus conveys much of the excitement and turmoil surrounding the subject of her documentary, Bobby Fischer Against the World.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jun 6, 2011
    Garbus, director of the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning "The Farm: Angola, USA," fills in many of the blanks--to an impressive extent, given the obsessively guarded privacy of her subject--in a film that is both meditative and exciting, like the game it concerns, and mercilessly penetrating even as it reserves judgment on a man whose outrageousness practically demands it.
  6. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jun 6, 2011
    This intelligent, sensitive portrait effectively explores a lost childhood and remarkable mind. It's engrossing to a point, then tiresome.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jun 6, 2011
    Despite what we know about his troubled childhood, Fischer remains enigmatic.
  8. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jun 6, 2011
    The film, which kicks off HBO's long, annual summer of well-curated documentary offerings on Monday nights, is certainly absorbing. For those only vaguely familiar with the competitive chess circuit (or even the game's 1,500-year history), Bobby Fischer Against the World is both an easy introduction and a thorough recounting of Fischer's improbable rise to superstardom some 40 years ago.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Sep 9, 2011
    Documentary of chess prodigy pursues world cliché championship. Left alone by a hippie mother with a bottle of Drano and a bookDocumentary of chess prodigy pursues world cliché championship. Left alone by a hippie mother with a bottle of Drano and a book on chess tactics, the 6-year old Fischer takes the slower but surer poison of intellectual obsession resulting in worldwide acclaim and emotional isolation. More mysterious than the origins of Fischerâ Full Review »