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191 Ratings

Pawn Sacrifice

Directed by Edward Zwick
United States, 2014


In this remarkable true story set in the height of the Cold War, chess legend Bobby Fischer is locked in a gripping championship clash with the Soviets as he struggles against his own psychological demons while the whole world anxiously awaits the outcome.

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Pawn Sacrifice Directed by Edward Zwick
Although Edward Zwick’s “Pawn Sacrifice” has the great virtue of centering on expert performances by a cast including Tobey Maguire, Liev Shreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, it ends up as a sad example of the inherent difficulties of dramatizing a cerebral face-off like the 1972 battle royale between chess masters Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky.
September 18, 2015
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Maguire may be the lead, but Schreiber — whether dressed in a sober gray Soviet suit or emerging from an ocean swim like a sea god deciding he’d like to have a strut on land — takes his queen every time. Even so, Pawn Sacrifice clicks along with crisp efficiency. Zwick, the director behind movies like Glory and Blood Diamond, is old-school in his attention to craftsmanship, alive to telling details.
September 15, 2015
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The film’s thesis, that Fischer’s sweeping paranoia was the product of the era’s fearmongering and the kind of absolute myopia necessitated by chess, is perhaps too elegant and simplistic to be fully convincing, but director Edward Zwick’s decision to present Fischer’s life as a political thriller remains perversely engrossing.
September 15, 2015
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