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REVIEW: Magnus (2016) dir. by Benjamin Ree

16 Oct REVIEW: Magnus (2016) dir. by Benjamin Ree

By Lorna Onabanjo

“A child prodigy becomes a chess genius”

They call him The Mozart of Chess; Magnus is his Name starting from humble beginnings. A small town in Norway. At the age of five he could name all the countries in the world, Plus the capitals and population, it was his older sister that started to play chess, which got Magnus into the game. His father would be his travel companion for all of the chess tournaments worldwide 200 days a year. Describe as being super natural. It begins … 320 pieces blind against ten players. The number of moves are infinite. People would line up for hours just to play him. Poker face; But flashes a smile, when he knows his out smarten his opponent. He enjoyed watching his opponents suffering…

While Magnus probes Carlsen’s inner life and his battles to defeat the world’ finest players, we don’t see whether the young man has any conflict with his father, or any interest in girls.

It can be persuasively argued that very little of chess theory is expressed in the documentarynor are the games themselves given more analysis, yet Ree has succeeded admirably in humanizing his most intricate subject with an appealing underdog veracity that will pull in even the most casual chess devotees.

“This documentary is truly uplifting, leaving you feeling inspired.”


Director: Benjamin Ree
Music composed by: Uno Helmersson
Producer: Sigurd Mikal Karoliussen
Cast: Magnus Carlsen – Gary Kasparov – Viswanathan Anand

Nominated Awards:
Budapest International Documentary Festival 2016
Norwegian International Film Festival 2016
Moscow International Film Festival 2016
Zurich Film Festival 2016
Nordisk Panorama 2016


MAGNUS will be available on digital, VoD, Blu-ray & DVD from 12th December