Knight Moves - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Knight Moves Reviews

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November 15, 2015
It could be better but...good enough to kill your time...!
½ July 22, 2015
With no idea about the story, Knight Moves caught my eye strictly for featuring the presence of Highlander star Christopher Lambert in the lead.

The premise in Knight Moves is pretty ridiculous. It's a rather basic thriller concept with the one difference being that the subject of the accusations is a chess grandmaster. This concept does not really have much potential to it and so the fact that there is no creative exploration in the end proves to be a predictable downfall of Knight Moves. But the most ridiculous thing in all of this is that there is honestly no competent reason why a killer should come after a chess grandmaster. There would have to be some really creative just cause for a killer to want to ruin the life of a professional chess player, but nobody bothered to figure one out. The story is a by the numbers slasher one where victims are being killed in a repetitive manner and nobody has any idea who the killer is because nobody actually has the slightest bit of just cause. Since writer Brad Mirman can't think of a clever reason for the killer to actually be a killer, I can't think of reason I should be entertained by Knight Moves. It certainly isn't because of the thrills in the film because there ultimately are none.
Even though there is potential for Knight Moves to follow in the footsteps of Ron Howsrd's Ransom in being a game between the subject and the killer, Carl Schenkel fails to find a clever allegory in the game of chess to match the game of cat and mouse between Peter Sanderson. Knight Moves opts instead to spend so much time messing around with every character plaguing the narrative with their own melodramatic subplots which never carry the dull story anywhere. There is romance involved and conspiracy theories, but it is never enough to contain the fact that Knight Moves is simply a monotonous film bereft of thrills or the tenacious focus it takes to play an intense game of chess. Director Carl Schenkel instead decies to play it safe and let the story unfold with a slow pace and repetitive script, serving as the nail on the coffin to ensure that the entire film was one massively boring experience. For a film which is essentially a whodunit, Knight Moves was so damned boring that I did not care in the slightest who the killer was.
And with such weak roots for the rest of the film, the cast end up succumbing to the same ultimately boring fate.
Christophe Lambert's performance is nothing to boast about, yet remains the most enticing aspect of Knight Moves. Many scenes in the film depict Peter Sanderson engaged silently in intense games of chess where the only acting he can contribute to the film is strictly physical, and that is the highlight of his performance as it demands nothing from him but an intense stare. And considering that the actor has profound myopia, he is easily able to create an appropriately intense stare. However, there isn't much else for him to offer. Christophe Lambert is an actor with his own gimmicks, but none of them transfer into Knight Moves well. Since the film gets so caught up pretending to be a legitimate thriller, it ends up so pretentious that the tone is a monotonously serious one which cannot embrace Christophe Lambert's distinctive charms. The role is not right for him because his manner of speaking and many bursts of overacting only have a sense of guilty pleasure in them, and it is not the kind which honestly matches up to the tone of the film correctly at all. It's still fun to see the man who created Connor MacLeod trying to take on a legitimate role even if he cannot do it without having random accent bursts and unintentional melodrama thrown in there. Considering the lifeless and dull nature of the storytelling in Knight Moves, the performance of Christophe Lambert is the only thing in the film with any life in it, even if that means bringing unintentional comedy to the film. The point is that his presence is most welcome in Knight Moves.
Christophe Lambert's wife of the time however, Diane Lane, does not embrace any dramatic spirit in Knight Moves. I don't exactly blame her because she is rooted in the most dull character of the film with the only appeal she brings to the film coming from her appeal during the sex scenes of the film, but even then the obvious nature of her breast augmentation make the sexiness seem artificial. Diane Lane is pathetically melodramatic in Knight Moves, as monotonous with her facial expressionsa as she is with her line delivery. Her only attempt to be dramatic comes from her amplfiying her voice, but not her spirit. Diane Lane is weak, and she can't even show any chemistry with her real life husband which might explain why they ended up divorcing.
Daniel Baldwin also delivers a very lazy performance. His character is like every other in being a pathetically thinly scripted figure, but he barely even makes an effort in the part. He is so lacking in energy that there is not even thes slightest hint of dramatic strength in his line delivery, and he can't even grasp a weapon without shaking too much. Daniel Baldwin does not even bother to try in Knight Moves, and although it's understandable since nobody involved in writing or directing did, it's still no boost to credibility on his behalf.
Even Tom Skerritt has no charisma to bring to Knight Moves.

So though the cheap gimmicks of Christophe Lambert's occasional overacting pay tribute to fans of his well enough, Knight Moves is a by the numbers thriller with elements of being a slasher and a whodunit but nothing more than a slowly paced generic story and weak acting to justify it.
½ September 3, 2014
everything a late 1980's early 1990's thriller should be, complete with gratuitous sex, obvious killer from the get go and Tom Skerrit. It actually did hold my attention and Daniel Baldwin's performance is so over the top that it fits perfectly.
April 9, 2012
Boring rubbish full of poseurs
February 26, 2012
Good, as far as psychological thrillers go, with a few plot twists and turns. We never really know who the bad guy is until the end. Typical American arrogant cops in the film, both meet a nasty end. The film keeps you guessing and keeps you excited.
½ July 24, 2010
A rather average thriller which wasn't particularly memorable.
½ July 18, 2010
Christopher Lambert delivers a fantastic performance. Diane Lane maintains her charming way about her and Tom Skerritt never ceases to amaze. I was not expecting this film to be this good. Thumbs up!
½ June 21, 2010
I only saw this film because it has chess contents in it. However the film shows some good elements of a psycho killer using chess to kill and play to compete with his younger challenger.
May 15, 2010
guilty pleasure only, i watched this not so long ago and honestly enjoyed its premise and red herrings. i liked it and since coming on here i'm shocked at the rating it has. very funny how you can view a film without any recommodations and enjoy it and find on this site everyone hates it. lucky i didn't look on here first for reviews.
lambert should never have tried the american market as the acting has never really improved.
fun and harmless if you are at home and this comes on, you can't really complain to much if you end up watching the whole thing. a great cast makes the most of the weak story
December 3, 2009
As far as this film is concerned, it's checkmate.
October 10, 2009
** (out of four)

Uneven thriller about several ritual-like murders that occur during a chess tournament at a ritzy ocean-side resort. All the clues point to one of the players.
September 10, 2009
Better than I was expecting it to be, it has some very intense moments and for the most part, it is interesting. There are a few lulls along the way though. The performances are fine.
September 8, 2009
This is by far the worse movie I ever see. Oh, the humanity!
July 13, 2009
Good thriller that includes chess! Need I say more?
April 15, 2009
This suspense/thriller is a must see...<3
½ April 6, 2009
A very well made and slick thriller, Knight Moves serves as a perfect vehicle for Christopher Lambert's unique acting skills and carries a great mystery story to boot. While similar to many other mystery movies, this one is helped greatly by the acting of Lambert and Skerritt and the utterly brilliant use of chess analogies to help track a killer. A very underrated film, its worth a watch if you can find it anywhere.
March 15, 2009
saw it a long time ago, and remember it being watchable, but not that great....
½ January 22, 2009
a good flick from the early 90's.

well directed!
June 9, 2008
This movie sounded good and had potential but the writing was all wrong and the cinematography looked at times like a made for tv movie or something on the SciFi channel (sorry SciFi channel.. lol). I would recommend maybe seeing this if you are bored and it comes on TV but otherwise do not bother.
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