Pawn Sacrifice has everything going for it: director Edward Zwick knows how to tell a cinematic narrative; the real life story of Bobby Fischer is filled with personal and political drama; and, the cast includes such talented performers as Tobey Maguire (as Fischer), Live Schreiber (as Boris Spassky), and Peter Sarsgaard (as Father Bill Lombardy).
Despite the talent oozing from every frame (in front of and behind the camera), the film verges on the humdrum for me. This may be because I know a bit about the story so that there is nothing new to me unfolding onscreen. Not just in terms of the plot, but this is also true regarding some details about Fischer’s life. I was looking for fresh insights and an original approach and, instead, found an accomplished but conventional film.