Raised in a middle class Brooklyn home by his communist sympathizing mother, Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) develops a distinct knack for chess which is matched by gradually deteriorating mind state consisting of narcissistic paranoid delusions. Rising through the ranks with the help of a shifty manager (Michael Stuhlbarg) and a pragmatic priest (Peter Saarsgaard), he preps for an internationally followed world tournament match against reigning Russian champion Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). Edward Zwick's take on a unique Cold War chapter that both oddly and briefly captured the public's imagination is a fascinating film about a maddening individual told through an offbeat Steven Knight screenplay that resists being dumbed down. Maguire, Saarsgaard, and Stuhlbarg are all great.
*** 1/2 out of ****