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Life Of A King
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HEROES OF "Life Of A King"
Life Of A King
CRITICS OF "Life Of A King"
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The Dissolve
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January 31, 2014

Though ostensibly based on a true story, the film feels like it has been finessed, exaggerated, and beaten into formulaic fiction. It's a twisted parody of high school and mentoring whose achievements are entirely accidental.
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
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January 16, 2014

Gooding gives a strong performance, but viewers might be better off seeking out the...documentary Brooklyn Castle, which focuses on the championship chess team at an inner-city New York middle school.
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Village Voice
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January 14, 2014

Even if the story is faithful to the way the events played out in real life - and the official description is that the picture is a "dramatic retelling" - Life of a King couldn't feel more formulaic.
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RogerEbert.com
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January 17, 2014

Solid performances-especially from star Cuba Gooding Jr.-elevate the film slightly above the familiar trappings of its genre.
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Common Sense Media
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February 04, 2014

Sentimental, formulaic tale of an inspiring chess teacher.
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Slant Magazine
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January 14, 2014

Any potential flights of invention or creativity are subordinate to the plain and emphatic delivery of life lessons.
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Tribune News Service
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January 14, 2014

Sentimental, somewhat predictable feel-good tale of saving lost kids through chess. Very well-acted.
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Screen International

January 17, 2014

Unquestionably well-meaning, this tale of an ex-con who teaches some inner-city teens about discipline through chess treads incredibly familiar emotional terrain.
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Baret News
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January 19, 2014

A Sunday school-style parable which makes very effective use of chess mastery as a metaphor for negotiating the perilous gauntlet of possible ghetto pitfalls.
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Washington Post
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January 16, 2014

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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Cinemalogue.com
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January 31, 2014

The result has a predictably wholesome and formulaic structure, yet is redeemed through solid performances from Gooding and the youngsters, and a heartfelt sincerity that rings true.
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