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!
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.