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Its Hollywood hokum hugged around a sour little arthouse movie trying to chew its way out.
"Its Hollywood hokum hugged around a sour little arthouse movie trying to chew its way out."
Its a fitfully entertaining and well acted movie that doesnt quite come togetherthough maybe the frustrating lack of resolve is appropriate for Fische ..
Most annoyingly, the filmmakers lamely try to conjure the era by repeatedly blasting period rock n roll hits on the soundtrack.
The director is a pro and hits all his marks, but apart from some fancy, A Beautiful Mindlike computer effects in early matches, Zwick hasnt figured o ..
The achievement of Edward Zwicks new Fischer biopic, Pawn Sacrifice, is that it does just that.It manages to turn thinking into action.
Maguire deserves lots of credit for bringing these complicated feelings to the screen, giving a compelling performance.
Common Sense Media
You might just want to bring out that old chessboard after watching this one.
It is a moment Pawn Sacrifice doesnt take, just as it doesnt take other opportunities to provide shading and depth to its tale.
And doom averse audiences can breathe easier, as this Tobey Maguire starrer spares viewers depiction of Fischers eventual downfall as a ranting anti S ..
Pawn Sacrifice is an engaging and well made biopic with solid performances, but fails at being an insightful and thematically rich work of cinema.
Pawn Sacrifice is no smear job, but a fairly nuanced portrait of the tension between chaos and genius in Fischers mind that fostered creation and dest ..
They resist the temptation to get righteous about Fischers fall; its an act of kindness for them to acknowledge it without rubbing our faces in it.
Part of the appeal is Maguire, who has grown up a lot since portraying milquetoast Peter Parker in one Spider Man sequel too many.
Director Edward Zwick does a great job recreating the 1972 Fischer Spassky battle World War III on a chessboard, it was called with its attendant cult ..
Ny Daily News
He was an ordinary Brooklyn boy with a stubborn, withdrawn personality and a great gift.
Its a compelling watch because the genius chess player is really crazy.
Its a jaunty early journey as an adolescent and young man Fischers brilliance still exceeds his eccentricity, and its good fun to see the prodigiously ..
While its still a relatively good film, both intelligently crafted and well written, Zwicks old fashioned style, where the story is told in such a str ..
Edward Zwick is a great filmmaker, but he rarely gives you subtlety.
We Got This Covered
Although the zeitgeist capturing film handsomely dramatizes elements of Liz Garbuss excellent 2011 documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World, Fische ..
The Globe And Mail
Still, plain professionalism has its upside, if less spectacularly so than genius.
But its never been recreated on screen, which is what writer Steven Knight and director Edward Zwick have attempted to do in Pawn Sacrifice, a classic ..
It is an interesting tale, and a sad one, about the thin line between genius and madness.
Zwick kind of blows the presentation of the greatest game ever played.
Rogers Movie Nation
A 1972 face off against Russian master Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber in a thankless role) unites the world in Cold War fervor, but Zwick captures litt ..
Eric Ds Nider
Its a subject thats more prevalent in Steven Knights screenplay than the topic of chess.
Mark Reviews Movies
When the film flashes back more than 20 years, to Fischers boyhood in Brooklyn, we see that for him paranoia was something of a birthright.
While it isnt likely to reignite a chess craze in America, and likely will be overshadowed by upcoming Oscar contenders, Pawn Sacrifice is a solid pie ..
Oftentimes a genuinely great filmmaker will make a genuinely great film that actually gets noticed, but just in case, directors like Zwick are needed. ..
Combust Ible Celluloid
The hardest type of guy for an actor to play is one without charisma.Thats the challenge faced by Tobey Maguire in Edward Zwicks Pawn Sacrifice, which ..
But you watch Maguire and slowly, with pity and terror, you understand.
I think it a really funny, emotional and truly entertaining film.
Spirituality And Practice
But this isnt a chess movie, it isnt a biopic, and it isnt a documentary.
The New York Times
Bobby Fischers historic 1972 victory over Russian grandmaster Boris Spassky at the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik became one of the most celebr ..
In the summer of 1972, as the Cold War and Vietnam War still raged and the Watergate scandal was just simmering, two men started World War III on a ch ..
Maguire overdoes his performance, but Schreiber is more effective.
Pawn Sacrifice is intelligent, absorbing, never boring, and skillfully tense when it should be, but its not one of Zwicks genius flicks.
Hes largely forgotten now, but in his day chess champion Bobby Fischer was legendary.A whiz kid with minimal social skills but prodigious competitive ..
Scenes of Fischer and Lombardy running through practice games in their heads, rapidly reciting board moves at each other, convey merely a hint of the ..
Pawn Sacrifice movie rating: red light by MaryAnn Johanson Yawningly dull Cold War chess drama squanders the charms and talents of Tobey Maguire (as B ..
In cinematic terms Zwicks film may not possess the unhinged brilliance of its subject, but Fischers storyand Maguires committed portrayal of himcarry ..
One Guys Opinion
Its sort of amazing that its taken so long for Hollywood to get around to dramatizing a fascinatingly bizarre event that riveted the worlds attention ..
New York Post
Landing somewhere between art house and solid mainstream entertainment, Pawn Sacrifice probably owes its art house cred to its cast, subject matter an ..
Genius is fascinating, particularly when it is complicated, as it always seems to be.
Unfortunately, the films focus on Bobbys mental issues ultimately detracts from the more intriguing aspects of the story, particularly the Cold War te ..
Susan Grangers review of Pawn Sacrifice (Bleecker Street Films) The name Bobby Fischer isnt as familiar today, but back in the Cold War era this eccen ..
It doesnt have to be a zero sum equation, and not every story has to have a good guy.
Like Olympic hockey and the space race, competitive chess was a proxy Cold War battlefield in the 1960s and 70s, a place where the Soviet Union strove ..
It wasnt just personal glory at stake but national pride as the Cold War waged and America wanted one more way to display its superiority.
But it never fully captures how Fischer became Fischer or gets beneath the surface of its political themes.
The gripping period film, rigorous in its reconstruction of the recent past, proves that the game of chess can be cinematic in well edited doses, and ..
The drama, directed by Edward Zwick, takes liberties with the story and shears off some noteworthy details, but despite the rigid yet slapdash filmmak ..
When the movie takes time to focus on a pivotal Fischer/Spassky match and really build the tension between the two, it conveys the excitement and intr ..
Las Vegas Weekly
Liev Schreiber (left) and Tobey Maguire square off as chess masters Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, respectively, in Pawn Sacrifice..The Cold War was ..
His story deserved a worthwhile biography and Hollywood has complied.
The Film Stage
Pawn Sacrifice whips up a dervish of energy and is mostly engaging, yet the movie isnt a definitive checkmate. The narrative ferocity is unable, try a ..
Blogs Indie Wire
But with a protagonist as difficult and fascinating as Bobby Fischer, its too short an order.
The at times shallow Pawn Sacrifice flirts with simplifying its story to a nationalistic triumph of patriotism and education, but the diseased mind of ..
Its difficult to envision a sport less suited to cinematic dramatisation than chess, a game which involves labyrinthine intellectual strategising and ..
Hey U Guys
Zwick stages this rise with a maximum of closeups and a minimum of actual chess.
Its tough to make a compelling character out of someone suffering from mental illness; ultimately, all you can do is look on with pity and horror.
Newbies will learn little and pros will learn even less as the screenplay diminishes the game to one of power moves and memory.
The latest effort ties its subjects incipient craziness to the paranoia of the Cold War.
Great effort went into making Pawn Sacrifice, about chess beast Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire), into a powerfully bland biopic ... But Fischer is too d ..
Metro New York
Droll perfection, that.And that goes for the whole movie, which masterfully quotes and then demolishes the cliches of an increasingly tired sub genre.
Tobey Maguire gives a career best performance as the brilliant, but erratic chess champion Bobby Fischer in Pawn Sacrifice.
Reel life: Bobby Fischer comes to life in Pawn hello Liev Schreiber, left, stars as Boris Spassky and Tobey Maguire stars as Bobby Fischer in Edward Z ..
makes the historic matches come to life, such that even non players will appreciate the gripping excitement and intellectual rigour to be found in the ..
Steven Knights tight script gives the supporting cast plenty to chew on.
But in executing a predictable narrative strategy, Zwick effectively gives away all of his moves in advance.
A smart, intelligent and fascinating movie in every way, director Ed Zwicks Pawn Sacrifice makes all the right moves in this intensely watchable, sort ..
At this point it might be a more entertaining film if it were Looney Tunes.
PAWN SACRIFICE is an endlessly fascinating study of the price of genius.
Killer Movie Reviews
You know a movies something special when it succeeds at generating tension and excitement from a game in which two people do little more than stare at ..
Seven Day Svt
More effective is the films habit of simply forgoing any chess matches it can stand to excise.
Yet, you dont need to be a chess aficionado or even know how the game is played to be impressed by this gripping drama.
The New Paper
Sacrificing electricity and artistry, the portrait it paints is by the numbers rather than an original masterpiece.
Even the most stoic opponent might be inspired to stand and applaud.
Even Spassky applauds.As sheer entertainment, the movie suffices.
This is the heart and guts of the movie and here Zwick and Knight truly shine.
Honey Cutts Hollywood
Its a bittersweet depiction, a transcendent Horatio Alger tale entwined in a Greek tragedy.
More problematical, Zwick wants us to see the drama in those dangerous Cold War politics.
You will see, however, remarkably cliche interactions between Bobby and a hooker whos happy to take his virginity (how old is Bobby supposed to be her ..
Maguires the star of the show, but Schreiber delivers the acting checkmate.
Sandiego Union Tribune
This makes for a film with the contours of a sports movie complete with shots of ordinary Americans glued to their TV screens but the depth of a chara ..
Stick to the HBO documentary. The film is accurate to the historical events but ironically the documentary has more drama than the fictional treatment ..
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