Reviewed by: Daniel Gray
Very simply put, this film is the sleeper of 1993 and was the second best film of the year (after “Schindler’s List”). Almost nobody saw this story about chess, but it’s true life tale of a prodigy trying to find his place—and a surprisingly exciting climax—make this film a near perfect piece of work.
Josh Waitzkin (played by Max Pomeranc—in a stunning debut) is a 7 year old chess prodigy. His father (Joe Mantegna) turns into a typical dad—pressing, rushing, forcing—getting him a teacher (Ben Kingsley) who cares more about winning that the game being fun. It takes an outsider, a drug addict/chess hustler (played by Laurence Fishburne) to remind Josh what chess is really all about.
From a Christian viewpoint, there is really nothing offensive (there is slight profanity). It is perhaps Josh’s entire demeanor—that it is more important to have respect for ones opponents than to crush them and make them feel inferior—that really gives this story its heart. Nothing offensive—I recommend it to the entire family.