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The Coldest Game (2019)

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During 1962's Cuban missile crisis, a troubled math genius finds himself drafted to play in a U.S.-Soviet chess match -- and a deadly game of espionage.


Lukasz Kosmicki


Lukasz Kosmicki, Marcel Sawicki (Writer) | 1 more credit »
4,990 ( 874)
3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Pullman ... Joshua Mansky
Lotte Verbeek ... Agent Stone
James Bloor ... Agent White
Robert Wieckiewicz ... PKiN Director
Aleksey Serebryakov ... General Krutov
Corey Johnson ... Donald Novak
Nicholas Farrell ... G. Moran
Evgeniy Sidikhin ... Alexander Gavrylov
Cezary Kosinski ... John Gift
Aleksandr Lobanov Aleksandr Lobanov ... Adjutant to Krutov
Wojciech Mecwaldowski ... Master of Ceremony
Magdalena Boczarska ... Gienia
Andy Beckwith ... Taxi Driver
John Benfield ... Dr. Peter
Ludwik Borkowski Ludwik Borkowski ... Makarov


Playing a major chess match in Warsaw against the Russian champion, brilliant but forgotten former US champion, and alcoholic, Josh Mansky is sucked into the world of espionage and conflict between the world's superpowers. As the military crisis escalates the chess match takes on unimaginable importance. The Americans are in danger of losing both games - the chess game and the one for world domination. Written by ron_whisky

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Jeden ruch moze zmienic historie


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Did You Know?


Though the story is fictional, the director Lukasz Kosmicki has two films about real-life espionage in his resume. In both of them he was the cinematographer. One is "Departament IV" (1996), a documentary about ideological warfare - about actions of the secret police, including surveillance, smear jobs and assassinations, against priests in Soviet-influenced Poland. The other is "Gry uliczne" (1996), a feature revolving around the real-life murder of anti-government activist Stanislaw Pyjas by the secret police. See more »


The American flag is displayed improperly on the wall during the chess match. According to US flag etiquette, the blue star field should always be displayed in the upper left hand corner when the flag is hung on a wall. See more »


Title Card: In the early 1960s, U.S. - Soviet realtions are the worst in the history of the Cold War. After the Cuban Revolution, Soviet troops are only 100 miles from Florida.
Title Card: In October 1962, President Kennedy is informed of silos built in Cuba and increased Soviet military activity. It looks like preparations for war.
Title Card: A global war.
Title Card: A nuclear global war.
See more »


Boogie Man Boogie
Music by Kenny Graham
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User Reviews

Watchable but with problems
9 February 2020 | by andy-633See all my reviews

This is a spy thriller set during the Cuban missile crisis, and centred around a fictional chess match between the Soviet and US chess champions in Warsaw. The US player is indisposed at the last minute, and the Americans substitute the last US player to beat him in a game, a college maths professor with a drink problem, played by Bill Pullman, who no longer plays chess. It transpires that the CIA have an interest in the match, with a clandestine meeting set up. But who can be trusted?

Bill Pullman is a good actor and does his best with the material, but the plot is pretty thin, the kind of thing you might see in a single episode of a TV series. There are also some irritating errors. One CIA person says that they know Russians have sent ships to Cuba but were "too small" to carry nuclear warheads. This is ludicrous, as. a nuclear warhead measures maybe three feet by one, and weighs about 100 kg. It would fit in a canoe, never mind a cargo ship.

On the chess front, I am probably being picky as I play chess quite a bit, but there are also several annoying aspects. The person who oversees the game is an "arbiter", not a "judge", and players do not pass draw offers via the arbiter, they just ask the other player. I understand that for film reasons the players are playing their moves unnaturally fast, but near the start the Pullman character says that the opening will "come down to the Italian game or the Rousseau defence" after the Russian's first move is revealed. This is absurd, as the Italian game is somewhat rare at grandmaster level, and the Rousseau opening is extremely obscure and would never be played at really top level. As for someone who hasn't played chess for a couple of decades beating the top Soviet player, that SI extremely implausible. Even Garry Kasparov, former world champion and arguably the best player of all time, struggled to perform in a tournament when he made a brief comeback a decade or so after he retired.

I had more of a practical issue with the main information to be passed at the clandestine meeting, which seemed unlikely to really be the key to the Cuban missile crisis to me but I don't want to reveal a spoiler. The bigger issue is that the film rather plods along, with limited tension. It is watchable, but hard to really recommend.

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Poland | USA


English | Russian

Release Date:

8 February 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Coldest Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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