Boaz Yakin (1994)

18 Certificate


Our Score
The frequently explored subject of ghetto life and drugs is wonderfully enlivened here by Boaz Yakin's direction and Sean Nelson's quietly contained performance as the 12-year-old trying to extricate himself from his squalid upbringing. He is well backed up by Samuel L Jackson as the father who has failed his son in every respect but has taught him to play chess. The absence of moralising and macho posturing gives authenticity and poignancy to the film, which stands as a great example of what African-American cinema can achieve. Yakin's movie may be set in the ghetto, but its message is universal.


A resourceful 12-year-old New Yorker uses his skill at chess to exact an appropriate revenge on the cocaine dealer responsible for killing a friend. Drama, starring Sean Nelson, Samuel L Jackson and Cheryl Freeman.

Cast & Crew

Fresh Sean Nelson
Esteban Giancarlo Esposito
Sam Samuel L Jackson
Nicole N'Bushe Wright
Corky Ron Brice
Jake Jean LaMarre
Lt Perez José Zuñiga
Chuckie Luis Lantigua
Chillie Yul Vasquez
Aunt Frances Cheryl Freeman
Red Anthony Thomas
Director Boaz Yakin
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment Film Dists LtdGuidance: Contains violence, swearing and drug abuseAvailable on: video