Brooklyn Castle

Watch Brooklyn Castle

"Imagine a school where the cool kids are the chess team. Welcome to I.S. 318"
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 7.2  (1,012)
  • 77

Brooklyn Castle is a documentary film released in 2012 that reveals the fascinating success story of an underdog chess team from I.S. 318, a public school in Brooklyn, New York. The students who attend this school come from an impoverished background and the chess team has emerged as the school's pride and joy. The film primarily follows the lives of five young chess players from the school: Rochelle Ballantyne, Justus Williams, Alexis Paredes, Patrick Johnston, and James Black Jr. These five students are incredibly talented at the game of chess.

The opening of the film introduces viewers to the school's chess coach, Elizabeth Vicary. She is determined to help her students succeed and prepares them to compete against some of the country's top chess players. The pressure on these children is immense, and the film illustrates the daily struggles and challenges these students encounter in pursuit of their passion.

As the film progresses, we see how the school's chess team has achieved monumental success over the years. In fact, the students have won several national and state championships over the years, despite the school's lack of resources. In 2010, however, the financial crisis hit the school and threatened to put an end to the successful chess program.

The school's chess program relied heavily upon private donations from family and friends, but with the economic downturn, the funding dried up. This meant that the chess team could no longer afford to travel to national tournaments, making it impossible for them to defend their national titles.

However, the students and their coach do not give up. They hold multiple rallies to raise awareness about the school's plight and participate in fundraising events to keep the program alive. Eventually, they receive a grant from the Chess-in-the-Schools program, which helps them continue with their chess programs and dreams.

The strength of the movie is how it portrays the lives of the five children - how chess has brought meaning to their lives, how it gave them hope during tough times, and how it brought their families and communities together. Along with the inspiring tales of victory, the film also reveals the tremendous pressure that the children face daily. The documentary beautifully captures the sacrifices these young champions make to balance their schoolwork and chess competitions.

The film's director, Katie Dellamaggiore, uses different angles and techniques to portray the struggles of the students and their resilience in overcoming obstacles. She interviews parents, teachers, and coaches, who reveal the impact the chess program has had on not only their students but also their families and the wider community.

Brooklyn Castle is an inspiring movie that shows how an underdog team from a low-income school can achieve incredible results if provided with the resources and opportunities. The film is not only about high-achievement in chess but also about overcoming obstacles and the importance of community.

Overall, Brooklyn Castle is a must-watch documentary for those who love chess and sports, and especially for those seeking inspiration and hope in challenging times. The film is emotional, authentic and packed full of drama as the lives of the main chess players are cleverly documented. It is a testament to what children from low-income backgrounds can achieve with access to the right resources and opportunities. With captivating storytelling, the documentary is a perfect showcase of the importance of investing in education and extracurricular activities to empower young people to achieve their dreams.

Brooklyn Castle is a 2012 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 77.

Brooklyn Castle
Where to Watch Brooklyn Castle
Brooklyn Castle is available to watch free on Plex and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at FuboTV, Apple TV and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Brooklyn Castle for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (1,012)
  • Metascore