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Based on 19 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    You might hope for a bit more depth on the kids Dellamaggiore profiles - perhaps she could have homed in on, say, two of them - but this is really nitpicking. The film is well made and genuinely inspirational. show more

  • 80
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    A sweet testament to the power of intelligence to win over adversity - even in a Brooklyn middle school where the majority of students live below the poverty level. show more

  • 80
    John DeFore The Hollywood Reporter

    The feel-good documentary is engaging enough to draw a respectable audience at arthouses, but distribs should work for exposure within communities like the ones this school serves. show more

  • 100
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    See it, and I dare you not to care about what happens to these kids, these Yankees of chess. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Katie Dellamaggiore's inspiring documentary covers two years in the history of the school chess team, during which one team member, Rochelle Ballantyn, approaches her dream of becoming the first female African-American grandmaster in U.S history. show more

  • 75
    Farran Smith Nehme New York Post

    Brooklyn Castle is an engaging tale, and the principal is wrong: These kids are much more lovable than the Yankees. show more

  • 75
    Washington Post

    Enlightening, inspiring and expertly crafted documentary. show more

  • 75
    Mark Feeney Boston Globe

    The biggest complaint about Brooklyn Castle is that there's not enough of her. A presence as magnetic as Vicary's demands more screen time. How did she come to chess (a notoriously male-dominated game)? How did she come to 318? show more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine

    It pays to consider even the small details of society's greatest investment in the future: our future generations. show more

  • 60
    David Fear Time Out New York

    If the film occasionally bumps up against the limitations of its "Spellbound"-like template, its refusal to ignore the social issues outside of the classroom proves it's more than simply a novelty human-interest story with impressive knight moves. show more

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