Pawn Sacrifice

Critics Consensus

Anchored by a sensitive performance from Tobey Maguire, Pawn Sacrifice adds another solidly gripping drama to the list of films inspired by chess wiz Bobby Fischer.

72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 114

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,492
User image

Tap to review this movie

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you get your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMC (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Cinemark (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal (Coming Soon)

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Bought somewhere else

Pawn Sacrifice Videos

Where to watch

Pawn Sacrifice Photos

Movie Info

In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Also starring Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, PAWN SACRIFICE chronicles Fischer's terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world. (C) Bleecker Street

Cast

Tobey Maguire
as Bobby Fischer
Peter Sarsgaard
as Father Bill Lombardy
Liev Schreiber
as Boris Spassky
Michael Stuhlbarg
as Paul Marshall
Lily Rabe
as Joan Fischer
Robin Weigert
as Regina Fischer
Edward Zinoviev
as Efrian Geller
Seamus Davey Fitzpatrick
as Fitzpatrick-Teenage Bobby Fischer
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
as Teenage Bobby Fischer
Aiden Lovekamp
as Young Bobby Fischer
Sophie Nélisse
as Young Joan Fischer
Conrad Pla
as Carmine Nigro
Vitali Makarov
as Ivanovich
Brett Watson
as Lothar Schmid
Igor Ovadis
as Russian Bookstore Owner
Bobo Vian
as Bookstore Owner's Wife
Joe Cobden
as Motel Clerk
Brent Skagford
as Businessman (Motel)
John Maclaren
as US Charge d'Affaire Tremblay
Jonathan Dubsky
as Tremblay's Aide
Mark Slacke
as Icelandic Journalist #1
Yanick Bousquet
as Foreign Reporter #1 (French)
Shanugasunder Chetty
as Foreign Reporter #2 (East Indian)
Mohsen ElGharbi
as Foreign Reporter #3 (Dutch)
Andrew Peplowski
as ABC News Anchor
David Pryde
as 50's Reporter
Roc LaFortune
as Official (Soviet Accres.)
Vito DeFilippo
as Russian Opponent (Bulgaria 1967)
Basil McKenna
as Kissing Man
Ellen David
as Party Guest #1 (Fischer Apt.)
Rosa Ruby Kagan
as Party Guest #2 (Fischer Apt.)
Arthur Holden
as Party Guest #3 (Fischer Apt.)
Richard Jutras
as Referee - Santa Monica
Al Goulem
as Reporter #1 (Vancouver)
Carlo Mestroni
as Reporter #2 (Vancouver)
Glen Bowser
as Bus Driver
Zach Fraser
as Long Haired Hippy
Raphael Grosz-Harvey
as Harvey-Donald Byrne
Alexandra VanLoon
as Joan's Daughter
Sam Stone
as Customer - Diner
Matt Keys
as JFK Airport Journalist
Ilia Volok
as KGB Guy
Edward Yankie
as President Nixon
Al Vandecruys
as Arbiter - Bulgaria
Christopher DeCourcy
as Ireland-BBC Anchor
Olga Martchenko
as Woman Speaking Russian
Al Dubois
as NBC Reporter
François Cote
as Marshall Heavy
Marco Verdoni
as Joan's Husband
François Ducharme
as Bent Larsen
Ivan Freud
as Reefer Man
Maurice Demers
as President Brezhnev
Norman Roy
as FBI Agent
View All

News & Interviews for Pawn Sacrifice

Critic Reviews for Pawn Sacrifice

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (82) | Rotten (32)

  • Like all of Zwick's works, it's perfectly watchable fare, but it's often infuriating for its refusal to dig deeper into its incredibly compelling subject.

    Oct 14, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Fine-looking but safe ...

    Sep 25, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Archived news reports and a Dick Cavett interview fit seamlessly into the dramatic recreations, as do era-specific rock tunes.

    Sep 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Despite his best emoting, Maguire ultimately comes across as Peter Parker with a mole and a bad haircut.

    Sep 24, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Genius is fascinating, particularly when it is complicated, as it always seems to be.

    Sep 24, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Features a showboat performance from Tobey Maguire as the increasingly disturbed Fischer, along with a more composed one from Liev Schreiber as the taciturn Spassky.

    Sep 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pawn Sacrifice

  • May 30, 2016
    Excellent. This is a fantastic film...explores a really interesting series of events that hasn't been explored much in popular media.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2016
    It is dull, formulaic and directed in such a mediocre way (hell, even Zwick's sense of geography is terrible) that there is no pleasure in going through this plodding plot so full of clichés and awful dialogue just to finally get to a tense climax that saves the film from being a disaster.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 19, 2016
    A fascinating character piece, Pawn Sacrifice looks at the tragedy and genius of chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer. After withdrawing from competitive play American chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer is approached by a lawyer looking to be his backer and to help him to win the world chess championship and a victory for America in the Cold War; however Fischer's eccentricities and neurosis start to get more and more out of control and threaten to destroy everything that he's worked for. Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, and Peter Sarsgaard lead the cast and give incredibly good performances. And director Edward Zwick does an impressive job at depicting Fischer's psychoses through his use of the camera. But the storytelling is a little weak, feeling disjointed and underdeveloped at times. Yet overall Pawn Sacrifice is a gripping tale and a cautionary reminder of the price that often comes with pursuing greatness.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2016
    Pawn Sacrifice Captivating, confounding, and utterly enthralling, Pawn Sacrifice is a gem of a film that deserves much more attention and praise than it is receiving. Set during the Cold War, Pawn Sacrifice follows what is perhaps the infamous Bobby Fischer's most memorable chapter, that of his showdown with then world champ and Soviet representative--Boris Spassky. The film does a great job of building the tension and setting the stage for what was a very precarious geopolitical time. A time when tensions were so high with the Russians that even a chess match would take on significance. The performances were strong, this being the best role I've ever seen Tobey Maguire in. The dialogue is rich, the characterizations nuanced, and the scenes well executed. In the end we are left both admiring and vexed at the enigma of Bobby Fischer, and that's undoubtedly how it should be. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

Pawn Sacrifice Quotes

News & Features