Are you ready for another inspirational high school drama about underprivileged teens? No? Seen ’em to death, right? Well, what if I told you Critical Thinking marks the directorial debut of John Leguizamo, and the story actually centers around competitive chess? Interested now?
Based on a true story, Critical Thinking finds Leguizamo pulling double duty. He both directs the film and stars as coach Mario Martinez, who led the Miami Jackson High School chess team to the 1998 U.S. National Chess Championship. This despite the challenge of an administration with no interest in supporting chess, or the inner-city students whose lives were changed by it.
Joining Leguizamo in the cast are Rachel Bay Jones (Modern Family), Michael K. Williams, Corwin C. Tuggles (Detachment), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Far from Home) and Angel Bismark Curiel (Pose). The script is by Dito Montiel, best known for his films A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Fighting, and Empire State.
Critical Thinking hits virtual cinemas, VOD, and digital on September 4th.
SYNOPSIS: Based on a true story from 1998, five LatinX and Black teenagers from the toughest underserved ghetto in Miami fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher.