English (United States)
Provided by Metacritic.com
Critical Thinking shows that Leguizamo makes a good teacher on screen and behind the camera –he’s telling a story that is truly inspiring and educational, but also revealing its relevance and keeping it fun.
Unlike some movies that feature a group of urban teens inspired by a teacher and their lessons, it doesn’t make it seem like merely winning a chess tournament will make all the problems in their lives go away. It’s one victory that might make everything else feel less overwhelming, at least for a little bit.
Although a standard story of teacher and students overcoming their environment, Critical Thinking has enough thrills, excitement, and, most of all, hope to recommend.
I am always game for a movie that makes me reckon with my personal feelings and biases, and I’m glad this one exists because representation will always speak volumes. If nothing else, Critical Thinking reminds you what a chess player can look like.
The New York Times
Critical Thinking does little to detach itself from genre cliché; yet this heartfelt drama about a rough-and-tumble group of high-schoolers who claw their way to a national chess tournament has a sweetness that softens its flaws.
Still, even at its most rote, Critical Thinking captures the appeal of chess without defaulting to a white perspective of these students.
It’s still, in the end, a bit of a connect-the-inspirational-dots movie, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be inspired.
Critical Thinking has plenty of heart, which unfortunately can’t make up for its fairly uninspired design and predictable trajectory.
Critical Thinking is a cluttered, cliched and ungainly story.
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