Movie Review: Queen of Katwe

QUEEN OF KATWE is based on a true story. Watching a film based on someone’s real-life experience is always inspirational. Especially a film like this one which shows us the harsh and difficult lives people lead in other countries, and what they do to overcome this.


Disney’s “Queen Katwe” is a true story about a young girl living in the slums of Uganda, and her struggle to win chess tournaments to overcome her poverty.


As a member of the Common Sense Media Insiders team, I am republishing the review offered by

Parents need to know that Queen of Katwe is the inspiring true story of a girl from the slums of Uganda who becomes a chess champion. It has strong themes of empathy, humility, integrity, perseverance, and teamwork. But there are also many hard scenes that little kids might not understand — or could be upset by — making it best for tweens and up. A boy who’s run over by a motorcycle gets stitches without painkillers, another child is almost swept away in a flash flood, and a teen girl is lured from her family by an untrustworthy man who promises her a better life. The central family is homeless and must sleep on the street, and some scenes include background drinking and smoking. But in the end this is a beautifully told, entertaining drama about a strong, smart, loyal girl that will give families a lot to talk about.

I’d like to add that this film is a whopping 124 minutes long! This movie will be best appreciated by middle school-aged kids and up. This movie just might make kids re-think everything they have and appreciate the quality of life they enjoy.

Madina Nalwanga and David Oyelowo play Phiona and coach Robert Katende

Madina Nalwanga and David Oyelowo play Phiona and coach Robert Katende


The real Phiona Mutesi and coach Katende

The real Phiona Mutesi and coach Katende

Personally, I just loved this movie. One of the reasons this story is significant is because these are recent events. The main characters in this film are still alive.

Make sure you stay until the end of the movie so you can see the real people standing alongside the actors who portray them.

QUEEN OF KATWE in theaters September 23.

Rated PG

Runtime 2 hours and 4 minutes.

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