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The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A funny and madly arresting new documentary.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Gordon's documentary proves better than 90 percent of the manufactured stories out this summer. One can breathe a sigh of relief that it was done right and not cobbled into another bad fictional comedy.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A documentary that is beyond strange, follows two arch-enemies in their grim, long-term rivalry, which involves way more time than any human lifetime should devote to Donkey Kong.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Amusing documentary duel at the video arcade.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is not a King Kong related movie in any form, but a rollicking documentary about extreme video gaming. The PG-13 rating from the MPAA is unwarranted, even though there are a few swear words and brief glimpses of sexy still pictures.

  • Families can talk about the various arcade champions, especially the flashy Billy Mitchell and his soft-spoken underdog rival Steve Wiebe. Which one do you root for? Do you think they're as legitimate as athletes in professional sports? Should video games (whether they're the vintage Space Invaders or the latest Halo) be this important in peoples' lives? How important are video games to your kids?see this together for some bonding.

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Viewers get to pick sides between the arrogant reigning Donkey Kong champion and a nice-guy family man, dogged by bad luck, who seems to need the affirmation and approval of his peers badly. There are a few female players glimpsed, but women are mostly supportive (maybe slightly exasperated) spouses.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: None, except quick flashes of violent video games over the end credits.

  • sex false0

    Sex: A sexy still photo of a nude couple (covering up each other's private parts, barely), is shown, illustrating the sordid past of a video gamer.

  • language false3

    Language: "Bastard" and "kick that guy's ass" used, but the point is made that profanity is actually frowned upon in this milieu.

  • consumerism false5

    Consumerism: Not only are video games, video game parlors, and shop franchises ubiquitous, we also see plenty of the chicken hot sauce sold by one of the contenders in his day job.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Gaming is verbally compared to drug addiction, and some interviewees smoke.