Computer Chess - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Computer Chess Reviews

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May 27, 2014
Admirably idiosyncratic in a way so few indie movies are. I like the performances and the sorta mockumentary feel. But the movie is just lost up its own ass philosophically, and imo not really worth the contemplation it expects out of you.
½ May 18, 2014
I couldn't even finish this movie and thats very rare for me. I didn't find any comedy in this movie. I had to stop because i didn't even know what i was watching. I did not have a good or bad reaction, i had no reaction.
May 8, 2014
The genius of this film is in its smart-ass recreation of a weird period in American history, the very early 1980s when a new breed of computer nerds was programming now-archaic machines to challenge grandmasters (and each other) at chess. Director Andrew Bujalski has lovingly used period videography (in black and white) to capture the period outfits (bad!), characters (not just nerds but swingers and members of an encounter group) and shabby hotel environs at this low-rent conference/chess match. I think this is the first "mumblecore" film I've seen (I had to google the term) and if you aren't ready for it, the non-acting, hapless and fragmented dialogue, amateurish production values, and relatively absent plot just might trick you into thinking you are watching the real thing. Judging by the IMdB, this isn't too everyone's taste - but personally I love absurdity.
½ May 7, 2014
More "unlike any film you've ever seen" than any film that came out in 2013. It's thoroughly enjoyable and the type of film that can only improve upon reflection. Bonus points for showing in 1980 we weren't sure if computers could ever beat us in chess.
April 27, 2014
Film Comment says this about the film: "a series of touchingly rhapsodic variations on communion and aloneness, desire and repression, control and chaos." That may be true. It is also one strange film that leaves the viewer questioning seemingly random scenes and wondering if the filmmaker was trying to make a deeper, philosophical film. It's a good exploration of what's important to people, and it definitely will lead to interesting discussions.
½ April 19, 2014
Slow, convoluted, unengaging characters. Got to 20 minutes from the end and gave up because we didn't care.
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2014
intriguing period piece, that obviously took a lot of effort, but the comedy starts falling dry towards the end. I want to give this a re watch since I feel that I missed a considerable chunk of the meaning behind the satire.
March 23, 2014
A mockumentary (sort of but not exactly) set in the late '70s/early '80s of a group of computer software engineers competing against each other to find out which is the best chess-playing computer software. It's deliberately crudely shot using or at least making it seem it was using, the video and editing equipment of its time period. Honestly, I wasn't sure about it at first but it eventually won me over. Some people might get frustrated by the weird tangents this film goes but I dug it. It's laugh out loud funny at times and surprising.
½ March 12, 2014
Best in Show meets Spellbound (2002). But not as good as either of those movies.
½ February 27, 2014
This is a weird indie film, shot in black and white, that has some funny, awkwardly nerdy characters and moments. I doesn't have a strong plot, but the awkwardness of the characters gives the film a charming quality.
½ February 25, 2014
I dare you to watch this!
February 24, 2014
Amazing authenticity to the acting matches a an absolutely phot-realistic depiction of the past. Rather than glamorize it exactingly dissects a period. It's also funny.
February 24, 2014
Bastante sorprendente experimento, una especie de falso documental muy bien logrado. Buena ambientación, buenas actuaciones y ese aire de ñoñez de principios de los 80 que rayaba en la marcianidad.
February 19, 2014
Weird little comedy that mostly works.
½ February 6, 2014
Brilliant. Eccentric. Thought-provoking.
February 4, 2014
Intriguing story set during the course of a computer chess tournament during the early 80s; part comedy, part coming-of-age drama, with a tantalizing hint of sci-fi. The actors are rather natural and credible in all their painful awkwardness, but the film is shot in a gimmicky fake documentary style, going as far as purposefully blurring the image and applying a washed out black & white filter throughout, surely an attempt to emulate old tube TV sets, along with the glitchy editing that only serves to break up the flow of immersion the film could otherwise have achieved by taking a more traditional approach. The presence of the camera in some private scenes is never justified either. Niggles aside, to which the clumsy ending should be added, the film will appeal well to the nostalgic geek within, for the most part.
January 30, 2014
A complete waste of 90 minutes!
The premise of the movie is we are witnessing a 1970s tournament where ancient computers are pitted against each other in a chess tournament in a hotel somewhere in the US (where else!)
The film stars several geeks armed with computers that have less power than the smartphone I am writing this small review!
The film is shot in annoying black and white using an analogue camera of the period.
As well as the tournament itself we see some minor interaction between the contestants in the hotel.
Director Andrew Bujalski shot the film as some kind of minor comedy where the geek/nerd is explored. I must say it was more funny peculiar than funny haha.
The winning nerd actually has a slight physical resemblance to UK Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP.
The organiser of the tournament predicts that by 1984 a computer will be able to beat him.
Well in 1984 The Terminator was released so I suppose he was right!
I suppose I might have had a little more interest if I actually knew the rules of Chess.
Definitely the worst film I have seen this year. Expect on Channel 4 in the UK then!
½ January 30, 2014
A nostalgic, geeky, funny, trippy eighties-set computer chess tournament/encounter session/freakout.
½ January 28, 2014
Unexpectedly psychedelic.
½ January 26, 2014
Weird film. But I think I got most of it. Loved the cat joke as a retrospective foretelling of the networked computer age that this film is foreshadowing. A very weird film
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