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Brooklyn Castle is a warm, engaging, and even uplifting documentary about chess-playing whiz kids. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Chess helps transforms a New York school into one of the city's best, but recession-driven budget cuts threaten to undermine the school's championship chess team.

Cast & Crew

Wendy Ettinger
Executive Producer
Robert Mclellan
Executive Producer
Brian Schultz
Producer

News & Interviews for Brooklyn Castle

Critic Reviews for Brooklyn Castle

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Brooklyn Castle

  • Jan 04, 2015
    One one level, "Brooklyn Castle" is an occasionally suspenseful documentary that also makes unfortunate use of stop motion effects about the dynasty of championships won by the chess teams at I.S. 318 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That winning streak continues even though players like Rochelle graduate and seek to continue their study of the game at a higher level, because new players like Justus enter the school, even though he has to travel all the way from the Bronx on a daily basis. On a much wider and more important level, "Brooklyn Castle" makes a great case for why such extracurricular activities are important, and not just because they might keep kids off the street. What this extremely successful program also does is allow the students to travel outside New York City for tournaments, while chess exercises their brains and is an activity that prizes sportmanship.(I love the handshake before and after matches, by the way.) So while they think six moves ahead in the game, they also become prepared to do so in real life, as the documentary also provides insight into the structure of the New York City school system. All of which is threatened is by severe budget cuts after the 2008 recession. As one student says, the last thing that should be cut from any budget is education.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 09, 2012
    It's excellent. The critics are absolutely right about this movie. You do not need to know chess to enjoy it. If this movie won the best documentary Oscar this year, I would be very happy. I am afraid no one will see it, and that's a shame. These people, both students and teachers, are the kind of role models our country needs to see, and often. I hope this film makes us more likely to look at chess as part of a good education.
    Morris N Super Reviewer

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