Benjamin Ree (2016)

U Certificate


Our Score
When a documentary about a child prodigy is both narrated by his father and heavily dependent upon his home movies, it's safe to assume that a fair degree of control has been exercised over the content. Thus, director Benjamin Ree is only able to access certain aspects of Norwegian wunderkind Magnus Carlsen's rise through the chess ranks after his intuitive aptitude for the game was unearthed while he was being bullied at school for failing at sports. His father, Henrik Albert, recalls how Magnus gave up Lego for chess pieces and developed the instinctive ability to analyse situations that enabled him to become a Grand Master at 13. A challenge match with ex-champion Garry Kasparov further boosted his reputation as the "Mozart of Chess". But it was his 2013 showdown with reigning champion Viswanathan Anand that raised the 22 year-old to the pinnacle. Ree does what he can to fathom the mind of an inscrutable youth, but he struggles to delve too deeply into Magnus's personal life or psyche, while his distinctive approach to strategy remains a closely guarded secret.

Cast & Crew

Magnus Carlsen Magnus Carlsen
Garry Kasparov Garry Kasparov
Director Benjamin Ree

Other Information

Language: English, Norwegian +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: ArrowAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 25 Nov 2016