A Little Game

2014 PG 1h 32m DVD

A Little Game

2014 PG 1h 32m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Following the death of her beloved grandmother, an earthy 10-year-old girl named Max finds it difficult to connect with her rich uptown schoolmates. An unlikely friendship with a short-tempered chess master teaches Max to weather and welcome change.
Ralph Macchio, Janeane Garofalo, F. Murray Abraham, Rachel Dratch, Olympia Dukakis
Evan Oppenheimer
Widescreen 1.78:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 10+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 10+
age 10+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that A Little Game is an earnest coming-of-age tale of Max, a 10-year-old girl dealing with change, sadness, and life lessons. The film uses chess to help Max come to terms with the issues she's facing, but the actual chess-playing time is minimal, and the story requires no previous knowledge of the game. The filmmakers attempt to use chess, the chessboard, and its pieces as metaphors for life. During the course of the movie, Max's beloved grandmother dies, but the scenes surrounding Max's loss are short and do not dwell on grief. What does emerge from the event are Max's reflections on the fragility and ephemeral nature of life as she's supported by a loving parent. There are a few insults ("crappy," "hell," "kick your butt," "diarrhea," "turd"). Affluent kids and their families are mostly portrayed as negative stereotypes; there is brief mean-girl bullying.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


Max's beloved grandmother dies, but the scenes surrounding Max's loss are short and do not dwell on grief. Brief mean-girl bullying.


Occasional coarse language: "crappy," "hell," "kick your butt," "diarrhea," "turd" (appears as subtitle).

Social Behavior

Many messages delivered clearly in dialogue: "Don't worry about the next game. Enjoy this one." "Make a choice and go on." "Don't let life happen to you. You happen to life." "If you make a mistake, admit it." "Think creatively. Be inspired." "Change isn't a bad thing. Often something has to close before something else can open." Throughout, the game of chess is used as a metaphor for life; the chess board is a metaphor for the city.


Quiksilver, Corrado Bread and Pastry (NYC).

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A mom and dad share a bottled beer.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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