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845 voters

The Best Chess Movies

Updated April 9, 2018 2.2k votes 845 voters 115.7k views27 items

A list of the best chess movies ever made, ranked by movie fans with film trailers when available. This chess movie list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about chess are at the top of the list. If there are any great movies about chess you believe we missed, please feel free to add them to the list yourself. The films on this list are the most famous chess movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already. Click on these chess movie titles for more information about the films.

List is made up of many different items, including The Luzhin Defence and Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best chess movies?" and "What is the greatest chess movie of all time?"

Various bits of information are included with these popular chess movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. Whether you're watching these chess movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these good chess movies can be enjoyed no matter what.
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  • 1
    Ben Kingsley, William H. Macy
    215
    65

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Zaillian

    Searching for Bobby Fischer, released in the United Kingdom as Innocent Moves, is a 1993 American drama film written and directed by Steven Zaillian. The film was his directorial debut, and stars Max...  more
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    #217 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#331 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s#120 of 154 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • 2
    Rob Hartelt addedLiev Schreiber, Tobey Maguire
    135
    37

    Released2014

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Pawn Sacrifice is an American biographical film directed by Edward Zwick and written by Steven Knight. The film stars Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer, Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky, and Lily Rabe as...  more
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    #83 of 100 The Best Cold War Movies#25 of 90 The Best Movies About Geniuses

  • 3
    John Turturro, Emily Watson
    147
    90

    Released2000

    Directed byMarleen Gorris

    The Luzhin Defence is a 2000 film directed by Marleen Gorris, starring John Turturro and Emily Watson. The film centres on a mentally tormented chess grandmaster and the young woman he meets while...  more
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  • 4
    Lee Kirby addedMikhail Zharov, José Raúl Capablanca
    53
    36

    Released1925

    Directed byVsevolod Pudovkin, Nikolai Schpikowski

    Chess Fever is a 1925 Soviet silent comedy film directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky. Chess Fever is a comedy about the Moscow 1925 chess tournament, made by Pudovkin during the pause...  more
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  • 5
    44
    27
    Bobby Fischer Against the World is a documentary feature film that explores the life of the late chess Grandmaster and 11th World Champion Bobby Fischer. It incorporates interviews with chess players...  more
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  • 6
    Pasion Ajedrez addedGerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins
    38
    20

    Released2013

    Directed byAndrew Bujalski

    Computer Chess is a 2013 independent comedy-drama film written and directed by Andrew Bujalski. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film...  more
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  • 7
    Rob Hartelt addedLupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo
    101
    91

    Released2016

    Directed byMira Nair

    Queen of Katwe is a 2016 American biographical sports drama film directed by Mira Nair. A Ugandan girl (Madina Nalwanga) sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess....  more
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  • 8
    Fabrice Wantiez addedMagnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov
    34
    21

    Released2016

    Directed byBenjamin Ree

    Magnus is a 2016 documentary film directed by Benjamin Ree. The film explores chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen's rise to the top....  more
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  • 9
    Rob Hartelt addedCuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert
    49
    40

    Released2013

    Directed byJake Goldberger

    Life of a King is a drama film directed by Jake Goldberger....  more
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  • 10
    Ted Danson, Keke Palmer
    74
    78

    Released2005

    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

    Knights of the South Bronx is a 2005 TV film about a teacher who helps students at a tough inner-city school to succeed by teaching them to play chess. It was directed by Allen Hughes and written by...  more
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  • 11
    Ryan Phillippe, Laurence Fishburne
    28
    23

    Released2006

    Directed byLaurence Malkin

    Five Fingers is a 2006 drama/thriller film directed by Laurence Malkin, and written by Chad Thumann and Malkin. The film had ten producers, including actor Laurence Fishburne, who stars alongside...  more
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  • 12
    Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov
    41
    40

    Released2003

    Directed byVikram Jayanti

    Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine is a 2003 documentary film by Vikram Jayanti about the match between Garry Kasparov, the highest rated chess player in history and the World Champion for 15 years,...  more
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  • 13
    Pasion Ajedrez added
    24
    19
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  • 14
    Diane Lane, Katharine Isabelle
    33
    35

    Released1992

    Directed byCarl Schenkel

    Knight Moves is a 1992 American thriller film, directed by Carl Schenkel and written by Brad Mirman, about a chess grandmaster who is accused of several grisly murders....  more
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  • 15
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  • 16
    Rob Hartelt addedJe'Daiah Ballantyne, Michelle Ballantyne
    20
    21

    Released2012

    Directed byKatie Dellamaggiore

    Brooklyn Castle is a 2012 documentary film directed by Katie Dellamaggiore. Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the...  more
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  • 17
    Pasion Ajedrez addedBarbora Bobuľová, Ettore Bassi
    13
    13

    Released2001

    Directed byClaudia Florio

    La Regina Degli Scacchi is a 2001 drama film written and directed by Claudia Florio....
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  • 18
    Rob Hartelt added
    40
    52
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  • 19
    Pasion Ajedrez added
    15
    20
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  • 20
    Mischa van den Ouweland added
    9
    13
    Algorithms is a 2012 documentary film directed by Ian McDonald....
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  • 21
    Ro Díaz addedMax von Sydow, Bibi Andersson
    7
    10

    Released1957

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman

    The Seventh Seal (Swedish: Det sjunde inseglet) is a 1957 Swedish epic historical fantasy film.

    The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in Denmark it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess, who has come to take his...  more
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    #152 of 245 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#288 of 566 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#9 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel

  • 22
    Rob Hartelt addedKevin Kline, Jennifer Beals
    21
    34

    Released2009

    Directed byCaroline Bottaro

    Queen to Play is a 2009 film directed by Caroline Bottaro....  more
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  • 23
    Pasion Ajedrez addedKate Beckinsale, Michael Gough
    10
    20

    Released1994

    Directed byJim McBride

    Uncovered is a 1994 film based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte's The Flanders Panel. It was directed by Jim McBride. The leading actress was Kate Beckinsale as the main character Julia....  more
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  • 24
    Pasion Ajedrez addedSean Bean, Alexa Vega
    8
    18

    Released2014

    Directed byMark Young

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  • 25
    Pasion Ajedrez addedCatherine Deneuve
    8
    18

    Released1994

    Directed byYves Hanchar

    La partie d'échecs is a 1994 film directed by Yves Hanchar....
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