Cuba Gooding Jr. is chock-full of talent.
This inspired from true events movie is a truly amazing film. It is about Cuba, a recent jailbird who is trying to make sense of his life after a long stint in prison.
His daughter is pre-law but his son, following in his footsteps is in Juvie.
He gets a job as a janitor in his children's old high school, until one day the at-risk detention kids run their monitor out and Cuba has to take over.He impresses them with his courage and the fact that he's all 'been there, done that'. He then attempts to win them over with chess.
The movie follows several different sub-plots, with several different students. Some who are trying to get by, some who are trying to sell drugs and some who are trying to change the way that they live.
The movie is a beautiful piece of cinematography. Cuba does an exemplary job of acting, with giving due chance for you feel sorry for him and then be able to feel his strength.
The score of the movie is nothing unusual but it works especially well in the scenes when they show them playing the game. The filming is done in a slightly artsy way but it still feels relatable, rather than something surreal.
It is the story of a man trying to change kids lives by teaching them to understand the bigger picture through chess.
It is a beautiful movie which speaks to you and makes you respond in a very strong emotional way ie. I cried like a little girl.
It did become a little black man versus the white towards the end, but ignore that.
There are too many metaphors and symbolism in the movie, but even if you focus just on what you see, it is still absolutely engaging.
The Good: The idea of 'Think before you move' is proved brilliantly in this movie.
The Bad: It's just so sad to think that this way a real story.