Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama, Sport

Pawn Sacrifice (2014) Poster

Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.

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  • Liev Schreiber at an event for Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
  • Liev Schreiber in Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
  • Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
  • Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
  • Peter Sarsgaard at an event for Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
  • Tobey Maguire in Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

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User Reviews

31 December 2015 | Jerominator
| Better Than Expected, Great Subject Matter.
Was hesitant to watch this - didn't like the casting of Maguire as Fischer. Ended up watching it anyway out of curiosity as this story has intrigued me for many years. I still think Maguire was the wrong choice to play Fischer. I would like to have seen Ryan Gosling or a younger Josh Lucas attempt it. At least somebody who could carry off that particular New York accent as that was one of his hallmarks for me. But that notwithstanding, if Tobey was the only choice available then I think he did a hell of a good job. I really enjoyed this. Edward Zwick knows how to put a movie together. Great supporting performances from Sarsgaard, Stuhlbarg and Schreiber. Having followed the story before I got the general impression they were trying to remain faithful to what happened at the chess championship in '72. I'm not sure how much of the mental illness stuff I buy. Clearly there was some kind of paranoia going on there - and the film deals with that well - but I think a lot is projected onto this after the fact. Secondary gains. A lot is conveniently bundled into the mental illness bucket which may just have just been the man's world view. And I think that is disrespectful to a brilliant man who is no longer here to defend himself. But that's not so much a criticism of the film as the general view of Fischer out there now. That said, I think this particular film probably handled it more respectfully than most would have done. So overall it was a lot better than expected. Definitely worth a watch - it's an extraordinary real life story about the extremes of obsession required to compete at that level, and the toll that it can, and often does, take. A subject not too often tackled in a world that worships competition for prizes.

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Did You Know?


Academy Award-winning producer and director Edward Zwick was brought in to helm the film by producers Gail Katz and Tobey Maguire. Katz said: "A lot of top directors were interested. We knew Ed had a history of doing historical pictures with great accuracy that were also very commercial. He knows how to make a truthful and compelling film."


Boris Spassky: Bravo.


In Game 1, the film gave the impression that Fischer lost a bishop for nothing and had to resign immediately. In reality, Fischer's pawn-grabbing with his bishop on the 29th move eventually led to his giving up the bishop for two pawns, which gave Spassky an advantage but it still took him much hard work and two sessions to win. The time limit was 40 moves in the first 2.5 hours, 56 in 3.5 hours, 72 in 4.5 hours, 88 in 5.5 hours, etc. for each player. Also, the game could be adjourned after the first 40 moves (maximum of five hours of play). Thus after 40 moves, Spassky sealed his next move and the game had to be continued the next day. Both teams spent anxious hours at night analyzing whether the game might still be saved for Fischer, and opinions were mixed. On the next day, Fischer played on till the end of the next time control and finally resigned at the end of move 56.

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the name of the character Cyril (played by Shawn Campbell) is misspelled "Cryil".


Walk Don't Run
Written by John H. Smith Jr.
Performed by
The Ventures
Used by permission of Peermusic, Ltd o/b/o itself and Mesa Verde Music and On Board Music
Courtesy of Capitol Records, LLC,
under license from Universal Music Enterprises


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Biography | Drama | Sport | Thriller

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