Bobby Fischer Against The World

  • 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: David Hinckley
    Jun 6, 2011
    [Garbus] captures the epic, almost mythical scope of his talent and thus the tragic height of his fall.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jun 6, 2011
    Despite what we know about his troubled childhood, Fischer remains enigmatic.
  4. 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.
  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: 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  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 »