75

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.
Full Review
63

Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
Gooding brings just enough streetwise credibility to make Brown work.
Full Review
60

The New York Times

By Miriam Bale
Mr. Gooding’s performance and his complex charisma are fascinating to watch throughout.
Full Review
50

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.
Full Review
50

RogerEbert.com

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.
Full Review
40

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.
Full Review
38

Slant Magazine

Any potential flights of invention or creativity are subordinate to the plain and emphatic delivery of life lessons.
Full Review
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.