Looking for more great family movies to watch like Queen of Katwe? You’ll love these fabulous heartwarming flicks! From epic fictionalized accounts of legendary chess champions to engaging documentaries, if your family loves chess, these are the films you want to watch together while you’re waiting for Queen of Katwe to hit theaters on September 23rd.
As we told you in our Queen of Katwe trivia post, the upcoming Disney film is a biographical drama showcasing the life of chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, from Uganda. It looks like such a stunning and uplifting film, so we wanted to stick with that theme for these similar movies. Let’s check them out!
Related: Watch the Powerful Queen of Katwe Trailer & Get Inspired by This Uplifting Disney Film
Our Favorite Chess-Related Movies Like Queen of Katwe
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer is a 1993 drama movie that is based on the true story of Joshua Waitzkin, a prodigy chess player, who hires Bruce Pandolfini to teach him the game of chess. When Pandolfini tries to teach him to play like Bobby Fischer, a chess legend who is aggressive, Joshua decides he wants to win games on his own terms. The movie is based on the 1989 book Searching for Bobby Fischer: The World of Chess Observed by the Father of a Child Prodigy by Fred Waitzkin, Joshua’s father. Searching for Bobby Fischer stars Max Pomeranc as Joshua Waitzkin, Joe Mantegna as Fred Waitzkin, Joan Allen as Bonnie Waitzkin, Ben Kingsley as Bruce Pandolfini and Laurence Fishburne as Vinnie.
Brooklyn Castle is a 2012 documentary movie detailing the true-life story of an inner city Brooklyn, New York public school, Intermediate School 318, home of the country’s most winning junior high school chess team. The movie stars the real-life players and school administration including Rochelle Ballantyne, Justus Williams, Pobo Efekoro, Patrick Johnston, Alexis Paredes, Elizabeth Vicary, Fred Rubino and John Galvin.
Pawn Sacrifice is a 2014 biographical movie that showcases the true story of chess prodigy, Bobby Fischer, during the Cold War, as he takes on various top chess players in the Soviet Union while battling his own demons of paranoia. The movie stars Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer, Live Schreiber as Boris Spassky, Lily Rabe as Joan Fischer and Peter Sarsgaard as William Lombardy.
Queen to Play
Queen to Play is a 2009 French-German drama movie about Helene, a French chambermaid, who becomes interested in the game of chess. As a chambermaid, she is employed for Doctor Kroger, a chess player who teaches her how to play and master the game of chess. The movie stars Sandrine Bonnaire as Helene and Kevin Kline as Doctor Kroger.
The Dark Horse
The Dark Horse is a 2014 New Zealand drama movie and the real-life story of Genesis Potini, a smart and talented speed chess player and chess coach, dealing with the severe bipolar disorder. He eventually teaches his knowledge of chess to underprivileged kids in the community. The movie stars Cliff Curtis as Genesis Potini.
More Great Chess Movies Like Queen of Katwe Include:
- Bobby Fischer Against the World (Great documentary to watch after the fictional movie)
- Knights of South Bronx
- Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (documentary about Garry Kasparov’s loss to the IBM computer)
- Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (I know that chess plays a very small part in the end, but you have to admit it’s a pretty important part! Plus, it’s a great way to introduce kids to the game.)
I’ll admit, it was a bit hard to find a ton of chess-related movies that were uplifting and family-friendly like Queen of Katwe! Chess does play a major role in quite a few films, but not all of them are exactly appropriate for all audiences.
16 thoughts on “9 Great Chess-Related Family Movies Like Queen of Katwe”
Well, although it is not about chess, there are some scenes of Magneto and Professor X playing chess in X-Men: The Last Stand. I don’t know if that qualifies or not on your list, but I liked that movie!
I used to play chess when I was a kid but my brother is the one who really step out and compete in school. I bet he will love all this movies you have listed in this post. As he can relate so much with them. I will share this to him.
Sadly, no one in my immediate family is good at chess. However, these movies you mentioned may be interesting enough to watch even if they revolve around the game. Thanks for the list!
These chess movies actually sound interesting and we will have to watch them for sure because of the messages that you get out of them.. I never really learned to play chess that good but my sons love to play. Thanks for sharing the chess movies.
I was able to follow Kasparov and Fischer before in their chess matches. The chess part of Harry Potter did play an important part too.
Looks like some fantastic movie options, I have not seen any that you referenced here but now I really want to check them out for sure!
I have to admit we have not seen any of these movies. I do not know how to play chess. I had my kids join a chess club a few years ago, but they couldn’t ever understand the Russian instructor’s accent. ☺
These sound pretty interesting! I’d love to watch a few of them. Thanks for the recommendations.
I always think of Harry Potter when I hear chess. No other chess game like that one!
I’ve never heard of these movies, but they sound like so much fun. My husband really enjoys to play chess, so I will definitely check out these films.
The only one of these I’ve heard of is the Search for Bobby Fischer. I’ll have to check out the rest of these movies!
I learned how to play chess when I was in the 6th grade from my math teacher. Every since then I always loved watching people play and I this make me really look forward to the new Disney movie coming out.
My daughter was really interested in chess for a while after reading Harry Potter and learning about Wizard’s Chess. I bet she would have enjoyed these movies too.
I am looking forward to Disney’s Queen of Katwe. This is a great list of movies even if you are not a chess lover. I loved Searching for Bobby Fischer.
These all sound like interesting movies. I’ve never liked to play chess, but I’ve always appreciated it, and I love a movie with a good, intelligent story. Thanks!
My grandsons love to play chess with my husband. I’ll have to check out a few of these chess-related movies.