Parent reviews for Queen of Katwe

Common Sense says

Inspiring true tale of girl Ugandan chess champ.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews
Parent of a 9 year old Written byScott B September 21, 2016

Indeed, Great for Families

I was able to see a preview of "Queen of Katwe" yesterday with my child and some of the kids from her 4th grade class. Despite the trailer, it is not a saccharine Disney film. It does touch on the realities of living in the Ugandan slums, as well as cover the life of this amazingly brilliant young woman chess player. We were expecting a 90-minute film, but were there for over two hours. This is a great one to see with your kids (although it may not be great for the under-9 crowd - they will either be scared or bored by lack of action). It can lead into discussions of privilege, basic human rights, sexism, perseverance, respect, and more. I loved that the characters all had flaws, and that the movie didn't try and gloss over them.
Adult Written byDan G. October 14, 2016

Excellent Movie, but too intense for pre-teens

The movie portrays extreme poverty without hiding much. The suffering that living in poverty causes is portrayed, and can be hard to watch, even for some adults. The story and values of the movie are generally good, however there is something that the Common Sense Media's review did not go into detail on. The daughter's 'boyfriend' is not just a boyfriend, but it is pretty clear that they are living together and in a sexual relationship. That is the reason the mother does not want to accept any money from the man, because of what he has lured her daughter into. In the movie, it can be assumed that it is just another desperate act by desperate people, something best understood by teenagers and above.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byCarrie M. October 13, 2016

Loved watching this w/my 8yo chess kid

I was surprised at how much my son enjoyed this movie, given that it bears no resemblance to the Star Wars franchise. But while I found it too long, he was engaged the whole time. There were a number of things he would not have understood had I not sat next to him to help explain. One subplot concerns prostitution but I was able to explain in a way that didn't raise any questions about sex or sex talk. My son plays chess and understood the chess action, which no doubt helped. What I loved most about this movie is that it provided my privileged little white boy with a window to a different world, one where a kind teacher gives us a high-paying job that would've helped his own struggling family in order to service to a larger community of children. This point had a pretty powerful affect on him, judging by the conversations we later had about the film.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byBug M. April 7, 2017

Really wonderful underdog movie, good values

This is easily my favorite family movie of the year. It starts out really slow (12 yo was skeptical) but it builds really well. Phiona starts out humble, like a pawn, and becomes overconfident and prideful like the queen, before encountering failure and despair. Her coach counsels her through chess and life lessons, "never give up so easily". Education, privilege, choices. Perseverance, humility. Faith and courage. Light Christian elements and messages. I read the book and unlike a lot of movies I've seen this year, I don't believe anything was exaggerated or fudged for the movie. Most of the warning parts were covered in the main review, the motorcycle accident and the hospital. Extreme poverty and hardship. There are references to prostitution and 'sugar daddies' in order to escape the poverty, and the consequences therein, there's sexual awareness and danger, some slut-shaming but family ultimately wins out. It's an excellent movie to show anyone who is struggling with anything and needs to learn to persevere through failure. Tell everyone about this movie!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Parent Written byGeorge R. February 17, 2017

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMiranda P. October 10, 2016

Every Emotion

From laughing to crying to being surprised and delighted or hopefully inspired, I think that this movie manages to evoke a full range of emotions. I encourage everyone to see it. I've never lived in Uganda, but I have lived elsewhere in Africa and appreciated several details that showed an attention by the producers to make it feel more culturally authentic than other movies set in Africa but geared for Western audiences. Loved all the actors. We will be buying it when it comes out.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 4 and 8 year old Written byGulshan S. January 6, 2017

A Masterpiece by Mira Niar

Queen of Katwe is another masterpiece by Mira Niar. It is replete with beauty at every corner of protagonist Phiona's life in the slums. This is an 'underdog sports' movie about Phiona's journey to becoming a chess prodigy, one you would instantly want to take the next child you know. The directorial brilliance is in leading the first world eyes into the most disadvantaged alleys of Uganda and portraying its triumph through street music, joy through colorful fabrics flying around open spaces and spontaneous inspirations in situations that don't apparently offer much. Phiona's character is quiet and inquisitive giving the audience a similar grip on the story. Her mother's resilience and fortitude is a rewarding watch for a parent. Phiona's life is translated into her chess strategy; she progresses from freezing during key competitions to finally claiming her 'safe space.' Her coach is the tour de force in her seemingly impossible success. Performances by all artists is understated and stellar. There are some slant allusions towards prostitution but maybe unobvious to kids; a shot where the coach is getting cosy with his wife and one rattling flood that sweeps away a sibling (ends up safe!). Else its easy on a child's nerves. Kudos to Disney for going beyond animation princesses to a real life Queen.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 11 year old Written byChristine S. January 21, 2018
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byJessica M. May 27, 2018

Amazing film

We watched this movie as a family, and absolutely loved it. It was a brilliant introduction to chess for my seven year old, and also a wonderful portrayal of a caring and incredibly loving family. It also provided a great opportunity to discuss with my kids about how different people live in different ways, and talk about the extreme hardships that some people experience, while at the same time showing my children an incredible young girl who was a great role model for them. We were prepared to fast forward a few parts thanks to reading other reviews here (specifically when the brother is hit by a motorcycle and the baby is in trouble in a thunderstorm), but found it appropriate viewing for my four and seven year old. An incredible film, I'd whole heartedly recommend it to families.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models