Bleecker Street | Release Date: September 16, 2015
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 95 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
73
Mixed:
18
Negative:
4
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6
netflicSep 28, 2015
This is a bio-pic about a chess match between Bobby Fisher and Soviet Grandmaster and then chess world champion Boris Spassky.
It could have been a very good movie. Tobey Maguire played Bobby Fisher and he did an excellent job.
But what
This is a bio-pic about a chess match between Bobby Fisher and Soviet Grandmaster and then chess world champion Boris Spassky.
It could have been a very good movie. Tobey Maguire played Bobby Fisher and he did an excellent job.
But what hurts the movie in my opinion is poor casting (in some cases, namely, Spassky’s role) and details that do not look right.
"The devil is in the details".
I am a demanding movie goer, and if details look phony, especially in a bio-pic, the movie looses credibility and therefore is not a good one.
As I mentioned above, Boris Spassky was, of course, a Soviet Grandmaster, and he could not speak Russian with an American accent. The actor who plays Spassky is too buff and looks more like a boxing champion than a chess player. There are dozens of native Russian speaking actors in this movie. Spassky's role was not that big. Every time he spoke, it bothered me.  An interview that Bobby Fisher gave to "60 Minutes" on CBS in 1972 did not look real either. Either you make it look right, or do not put it into the movie... I could go on and on.
Having said that, the over-all atmosphere of Cold War times is caught quite nicely. Plenty of chronicle reels that attach the movie to it's time frame.
If you are a chess enthusiast, do not miss it.
My score, though, is only 6. Could have been much higher.
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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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6
SpangleFeb 5, 2016
Though the performance from Tobey Maguire is fantastic and the mental condition aspect of the film is handled perfectly, Pawn Sacrifice does largely fall a bit flat. Though it is never boring or a bad film, it only rarely captivates and evenThough the performance from Tobey Maguire is fantastic and the mental condition aspect of the film is handled perfectly, Pawn Sacrifice does largely fall a bit flat. Though it is never boring or a bad film, it only rarely captivates and even worse, it is like every other biopic ever made. Following the biopic formula to a fault, Pawn Sacrifice gave me deja vu many times as I could have sworn I saw this film before, even though I had not. This is problematic for a biopic. Fortunately, the story of Bobby Fischer is quite interesting, the scenes of his mental turmoil are grueling and sad to watch, and the performances of Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, and Liev Schrieber, are all very, very good. At the end of the day, I wish this one was just not so typical because it has a good story, but its generic nature certainly hurt it at the end of the day. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
TVJerryOct 1, 2015
This bioipic follows the life of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) from his boyhood days thru the tournament that made him a world champion. Even at an early age, he was peculiar and his mental issues develop throughout the film.This bioipic follows the life of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) from his boyhood days thru the tournament that made him a world champion. Even at an early age, he was peculiar and his mental issues develop throughout the film. The structure repeats several times: arrogance, then paranoia, then a high stakes game. Watching people play chess is already unexciting, but repeat the process several times and it's downright excruciating. Even edited with plenty of cuts and angles, the underlying event is a snooze. Maguire plays the traits of arrogance and obsession without being sympathetic, although Liev Schreiber manages to make his character (Boris Spassky) compelling with few words. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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6
AliceofXOct 1, 2015
Pawn Sacrifice is a good enough drama to leave you well entertained but
not good enough to leave a deep, lasting impression. It is terribly
uneven for one thing and can't decide if it wants to be a biography of Bobby Fischer or a story of
Pawn Sacrifice is a good enough drama to leave you well entertained but
not good enough to leave a deep, lasting impression. It is terribly
uneven for one thing and can't decide if it wants to be a biography of
Bobby Fischer or a story of that moment, their game, and it's meaning
for that time. Is it about the game of chess or a man's descent into
paranoia and madness? It undecidedly wavers between the various points
and can't make them come together to a satisfying whole.

That said there is nothing particularly bad about Pawn Sacrifice. Even
though the story is mediocre the cast all give good performances. Tobey
Maguire especially stands out by creating a character that is a
brilliant yet arrogant genius slowly loosing his senses, more pitiable
than likable. He is the most memorable thing about this film.

Paranoia is the one thing that the movie does really well. It creates
an interesting atmosphere of fear and distrust. But in the end there is
nothing that really shines about this film and that is always kind of
sad about biographical films because it is after all someone else's
life story that you are using.

Overall Pawn Sacrifice is a decent film, solid entertainment, but
nothing to make you want to rush to the theatres.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
RvwFromUpHereNov 2, 2015
Who: Tobey Maguire, A Serious Man, and Wolverine's Brother as Boris Spassky
What: A movie where Tobey Maguire is actually a good actor and doesn't make the Uncle Ben cry-face at all
​Where: The place where every kid in chess club dreams of
Who: Tobey Maguire, A Serious Man, and Wolverine's Brother as Boris Spassky
What: A movie where Tobey Maguire is actually a good actor and doesn't make the Uncle Ben cry-face at all
​Where: The place where every kid in chess club dreams of going, which is apparently Iceland...
When (can I watch again): A few years
Why: If you like chess, this is probably the only movie other than the end of X2: X-Men United that will satiate your theatrical needs
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1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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6
DavidTejadaDec 28, 2016
It's a recreation of a famous chess player which Maguire shines every way. But this "mental condition" starts to distort the plot and the whole movie too, don't get me wrong that really happened but how Bleecker Street recreated it, theyIt's a recreation of a famous chess player which Maguire shines every way. But this "mental condition" starts to distort the plot and the whole movie too, don't get me wrong that really happened but how Bleecker Street recreated it, they totally exceeded. At this point it results an athlete's common depression life but with an ambitious cast. (58%) Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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