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Parents' Guide to

A Little Game

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Earnest coming-of-age film uses chess as a metaphor.

Movie PG 2014 91 minutes
A Little Game Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+
Disappointing. I thought it would be about a bright girl who uses chess to deal with life, as the synopsis suggested. I have a bright child and thought it would be good for her. The main character didn't show signs of intelligence; it was just mentioned that she's so smart. They mention a boy's 2 moms and she later wonders what it'll be like if she had 2 dads (or a different grandma/family), and has a nightmare and wakes up crying because the sun is burning out. Like I said, no true signs of intelligence. The guy who teaches her chess wasn't too smart either. His chess metaphors, and the metaphors she uses for the last game, were absolutely horrible, even for kids. They weren't at all applicable to real life. There was no true plot and a lot of bad decision making by the adults. The grandma keeps bashing her son-in-law, even in her death (it became sci-fi at this point). The mother moves away from her family in NYC to Boston to take a $15/hour job. Not sure how they're surviving in NYC and attending private school on the UWS on $15..or why the mom couldn't stay in NYC for $15. I live in NYC and it's so unrealistic. Speaking of UWS, the writer made it about the upper side vs the lower side (rich vs poor, fake city kids and real city kids). Even for a fiction movie, it's a waste of time.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Writer-director Evan Oppenheimer has elicited some terrific performances, photographed New York City with style, and delivered a movie with appeal for older kids and tweens. The story deals with thoughts and situations with which most kids struggle during their formative middle-grade years. But there's nothing subtle here; the messages are straightforward, frequent, and predictable. F. Murray Abraham tries his best to create a memorable character out of one we've often seen before. Some of the metaphoric tasks Norman assigns to Max are real stretches, and the young girl would have to be clairvoyant to figure them out. Still, though there are ideas, situations, and scenes that may seem obvious to parents, they will be effective and engaging for young viewers.

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