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Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Inspirational docu on the "Mozart of Chess"; some bullying.

Movie NR 2016 78 minutes
Magnus Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Like its subject, this documentary is one of a kind. Magnus stands out from so many other niche-centered documentaries because it's about so much more than chess or even a chess prodigy. Ultimately, it's about what can happen when someone who is "different" from those around him is given the space and freedom to develop his or skills to their fullest potential. This makes the movie engaging not just for chess aficionados, but also for those who don't know their rooks from their bishops.

And that's what makes the documentary special. Not only does it trace the growth of Magnus Carlsen the chess player, but also Magnus Carlsen the human being. From an introverted chess-playing tween who was an easy target for bullies to an internationally-known media star (even giving Homer some pointers in a Simpsons episode), Magnus is as much a coming-of-age story as it is a chronicle of an extraordinarily gifted young man's whirlwind ascendance into becoming the highest-ranked chess player in the world.

Movie Details

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