6.9/10
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17 user 16 critic

Life of a King (2013)

PG-13 | | Drama | 22 June 2013 (USA)
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Ex-felon, Eugene Brown, establishes a Chess Club for inner city teenagers in Washington, D.C.

Director:

Jake Goldberger
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Eugene
Dennis Haysbert ... Searcy
George Dick George Dick ... Jamal
Thurston Hill III ... Henry
J.D. Walsh ... Fritz
Rachae Thomas Rachae Thomas ... Katrina
Derrick L. McMillon ... Billy West (as Derrick McMillon)
LisaGay Hamilton ... Sheila King
Richard T. Jones ... Perry
Meakil Bell Meakil Bell ... Darius
Lyn Alicia Henderson ... Ms. Gadbaw
Carlton Byrd ... Clifton
Kevin Hendricks Kevin Hendricks ... Peanut
Malcolm M. Mays ... Tahime
Hammerton Killick ... Derek
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Storyline

Ex-felon, Eugene Brown, establishes a Chess Club for inner city teenagers in Washington, D.C.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

chess | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Think before you move.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug content and brief violent images - all involving teens | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jogada de Rei See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,709, 17 January 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,709, 17 January 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since the Big Chair Chess was established, it has developed partnerships with seven local schools and one juvenile detention center. See more »

Goofs

After Tee wins his first tournament in a library, The moderator declares that he has been disqualified because the parent signature was obviously forged by a child. It is impossible to tell the signature of a 16 year old or older teen from a 45 year old parent let alone one who was possibly illiterate and clearly drug addicted as Tee's mother was. While the Moderator could have made his claim, it is unlikely that 20 seconds would not be put forth by someone challenging the faulty logic. In fact, this immediately caused questions by 50% of viewers in one random screening. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Searcy: [knocking over the king] Wanna play again? Chance to get those cigarettes back.
Eugene: I'm scared, man. I don't got too many friends on the outside. Not any more.
Searcy: Just keep your eye on the end game. Everything'll fall into place.
Eugene: I'm gonna miss you chess man.
Searcy: Listen to me, Eugene. Every day you out there, you out there for me, and every other brother in here. 'Cuz I'm never gonna be out there again.
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Soundtracks

To The Top
Written by Aceyalone (as Edwin M. Hayes Jr.) and Stefan China Taylor
Performed by Aceyalone
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User Reviews

 
Terrific, gritty but ultimately uplifting drama with great performances
9 December 2014 | by MattyGibbsSee all my reviews

Cuba Gooding is an ex-con looking to make amends to his kids for not being the father he should have been. He finds himself teaching troubled inner city kids chess in a bid to put something back to society whilst trying to regain the trust of his own alienated kids.

Life of a King is a small movie and has familiar themes that we have seen in many other inner city dramas. What sets this one apart and makes it a must watch is the standard of the acting and a script that doesn't waste a scene. Cuba Gooding Jr is hugely charismatic and excels in this. It's something of a surprise that he isn't a bigger star though maybe he just wants it that way. Whats more of a surprise though is the quality of the mainly unknown young actors in this who all do a fantastic job especially Malcolm M Mays, showing both realism and passion.

This is a mainly gritty tale but also wonderfully inspiring with an ending that pays off. It is almost impossible not to like Life of a King which is one of the best feel good movies I've seen. This film deserves a much higher profile.


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