Washington Post

By Michael O'Sullivan
The film is an effective, even heartwarming, tale of one man’s commitment to teaching that playing by the rules is more important than winning.
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Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
Gooding brings just enough streetwise credibility to make Brown work.
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The New York Times

By Miriam Bale
Mr. Gooding’s performance and his complex charisma are fascinating to watch throughout.
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The Dissolve

By Nathan Rabin
Life Of A King manages to sustain a hilariously over-the-top tone of naked sincerity from start to finish.
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Brown's story is a good one, though, and solid performances — especially from star Cuba Gooding Jr. — elevate the film slightly above the familiar trappings of its genre.
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Village Voice

By Sherilyn Connelly
Life of a King isn't setting out to reinvent cinema, or even a genre, but rather just to be a moderately uplifting tale that makes watching chess interesting.
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Slant Magazine

Any potential flights of invention or creativity are subordinate to the plain and emphatic delivery of life lessons.
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52 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.