7.3/10
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Wordplay (2006)

PG | | Documentary | 21 July 2006 (USA)
Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
An in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base.

Director:

Patrick Creadon
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Shortz ... Himself
Merl Reagle Merl Reagle ... Himself
Tyler Hinman Tyler Hinman ... Himself
Trip Payne ... Himself
Al Sanders Al Sanders ... Himself
Ellen Ripstein Ellen Ripstein ... Herself
Jon Delfin Jon Delfin ... Himself
Jon Stewart ... Himself
Ken Burns ... Himself
Amy Ray ... Herself
Emily Saliers Emily Saliers ... Herself
Daniel Okrent ... Himself
Mike Mussina Mike Mussina ... Himself
Bob Dole ... Himself
Bill Clinton ... Himself (as William Jefferson Clinton)
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Storyline

A documentary that focuses on the world of crossword puzzles: those that construct them, those that love to solve them, those that compete in the annual Crossword competition in Stamford and also on Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword since the early 1990s. Shortz actually has a university degree in games and organized the first crossword championship in 1978. Some of the contributors to the Times puzzle explain how they go about building them while some aficionados, including former President Bill Clinton and comedian Jon Stewart talk about their love of solving them. The film also introduces several past champions and near champions competing in the 2006 tournament and it takes you from the preliminary rounds to the final where the top three contestants compete in front of a room full of admiring contestants. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A wildly entertaining documentary about crossword puzzles, the people who make them and the people who love them See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language and mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Word Play See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,847, 18 June 2006

Gross USA:

$3,121,270

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,177,636
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tyler Hinman would eventually work for Google for a few years. See more »

Quotes

Merl Reagle: [driving by a Dunkin' Donuts shop] Dunkin' Donuts... put the D at the end, you get Unkind Donuts... which I've had a few of, in my day.
See more »

Connections

References The Daily Show (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Crossword Puzzle
written by David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Every thing that makes a great movie
24 June 2006 | by Dan-1736See all my reviews

This is the best movie I have seen this year. It has everything that makes a movie great, fun, memorable. It's funny, it's sad, there's angst, and tension, anticipation, there's "ohhhhhhh" and smiles, laughter and tears. It's interesting--and I learned something too (actually a lot). You'll cheer and applaud DURING the movie, you'll feel their pain and marvel at how SMART these people are.

The editing is the tightest I can remember. The movie flows like a roller coaster: never off track, always going somewhere, the highs fall into the lows, and it rises back to an even keel. It never leaves you bored wondering okay when will this over. It leads you to the edge, pulls back, and then climaxes. Superbly done.

Wordplay is a small independent that is more worthy of an Academy Award than many of the "big ticket" movies out there. Go see and tell your friends—you won't be disappointed, you'll leave the theater with a smile on your face.


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