The Luzhin Defence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Luzhin Defence Reviews

June 14, 2001
Makes up for a creaky structure with the intensity of emotion and psychological nuance provided by two of our finest screen actors.
May 21, 2001
It plays a predictable, if pretty, game.
May 21, 2001
As brave as it is affecting.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
May 18, 2001
When Luzhin's old chess teacher shows up, the movie becomes a slow-motion wreck.
Read More | Original Score: C+
May 17, 2001
If The Luzhin Defence falls short of being totally absorbing and compelling, it's surely because it's so difficult to translate Nabokov's view that we are all pawns in the big game.
May 11, 2001
Trapped between being an offbeat, slightly daffy period romance and a dark study of a tragic genius, The Luzhin Defence struggles to a draw.
May 9, 2001
Nabokov's novel is an internal adventure; the Gorris-Berry film is imperfect theater.
May 4, 2001
Just as Hicks did for the keyboard, Gorris makes the chessboard sexy, mostly by focusing not on it but on the people sitting at it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
May 4, 2001
An utterly hypnotic movie.
May 4, 2001
Has many beautiful moments.
May 4, 2001
The film is elegiac and sad, beautifully mounted, but not as compelling as it should be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
May 3, 2001
If you accept this Defence as a compromise of its source ... you should find a lot to enjoy
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
April 27, 2001
By the time the center of gravity shifts to a villain who exploits Luzhin, the pleasure of following this film has turned to impatience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 27, 2001
A more than workable romance carried by gorgeous visuals and intense performances.
April 20, 2001
Turturro, by conveying his character's painful, ecstatic inwardness, creates a bond of sympathy with the audience.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
April 20, 2001
Fine candy for mind and eye.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
April 20, 2001
Trumped by its own equivocations and reliance on hackneyed conventions.
April 20, 2001
It's Turturro's extraordinary, Oscar-worthy performance that makes The Luzhin Defence something really special.
April 20, 2001
Carefully made, involving and old-fashioned.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
April 20, 2001
Turturro .... delivers a mesmerizing portrayal of Alexander Luzhin.
April 19, 2001
Gorris's recreation of the period setting is scrupulous and fresh.
April 18, 2001
[Turturro and Watson] demonstrate considerable rapport.
April 17, 2001
Effectively combines the maneuvers of the chess board with the unfathomable intricacies of the human heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
March 6, 2001
As ever Turturro is thoroughly watchable, but unfortunately, his cranky intensity is wasted on Watson.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5