Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now
CRITICAL THINKING - Review
Rated: Not Rated
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Director: John Leguizamo
Stars: John Leguizamo, Angel Bismark Curiel, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Corwin C. Tuggles
Plot: The true story of the first inner-city school to with the Chess National Championships
Clint Says: Rent this movie this weekend
It is very rare for me to like a film that is directed by and stars the same person. Typically, this means that it is a passion project for them and they refuse to change anything. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and when it is done right, the film can be extraordinary.
John Leguizamo did it right.
And that is doubly extraordinary in this case because he managed to make a movie that features chess exciting. (Please do not read this as a slight on chess. It is an exciting game when played at a high level, but it isn't something one would think to add to a film in order to add excitement).
This is an underdog drama filled with interesting and dynamic characters. It doesn't take long to care for and cheer on the protagonists. They have so many obstacles to overcome, but they refuse to be beaten.
Leguizamo does a masterful job in making the characters, the story, and the dialogue real but still accessible. Like a great chess match, he builds everything one step at a time, while always building on what else is going on, and thinking three steps ahead. By the time the film gets to the final scenes you will be so invested in the characters and so engrossed in the story that, if you are like me, you won't breathe for several minutes.
This is one of the best movies of the year. It may not be the biggest and it may not get a lot of attention, but I have a feeling this film might be an underdog just like the kids on the chess team. It's going to fight hard, rise to the top and be a winner. Anyone that sees this film will know they have seen something special.