From a young age Magnus Carlsen had aspirations of becoming a champion chess player. While many players seek out an intensely rigid environment to hone their skills, Magnus’ brilliance shines brightest when surrounded by his loving and supportive family. Through an extensive amount of archival footage and home movies, director Benjamin Ree reveals this young man’s unusual and rapid trajectory to the pinnacle of the chess world. This film allows the audience to not only peek inside this isolated community but also witness the maturation of a modern genius.
This Norwegian documentary in English is about Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion who became a chess grandmaster at age 13. It might be tough to believe but Magnus' ascension was slowed down significantly by many crises in self-confidence and difficulty to cope with the pressure at a young age.
With home footage and interviews with everyone from his adversaries to the champion himself, Magnus the movie tries to be a complete portrait of the prodigy. Yet, crucial aspects are missing, such as an explanation for a sudden change in character, and perhaps more importantly, explanations of Magnus' genius in chess. His techniques and approaches are mostly attributed to intuition, but the movie fails to explain how that intuition is reflected in the game.
More like this in
Born in Evin (2020)
Born in Iran's worst prison, a filmmaker's quest for truth
Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate (2023)
A timely and important documentary about the LGBTQ+ community in Nazi Germany
Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (2019)
A travelogue through various uncanny mysteries, and a love letter to a dearly departed friend
A stirring tribute to Tina Turner's music and inner strength in the face of trauma
My Name Is Loh Kiwan (2024)
Love enables survival in this moving drama about the refugee experience
Forgotten Love (2023)
The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama
The Guilty (2018)
A minimalist, razor-sharp thriller that will have you gasping for air.
The Parades (2024)
Michihito Fujii reimagines a peaceful, communal afterlife in this slice-of-life supernatural drama
The Zone of Interest (2023)
A chilling and masterful display of the banality of evil
System Crasher (2019)
A tale of trauma and one of the most talked about movies on Netflix in 2020.