Critical Thinking, a film directed by and starring John Leguizamo (pictured above), tells the true story of an unconventional but inspirational teacher who led a group of LatinX and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson High School to become the first inner city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship in 1998. The prolific actor, producer, and Emmy-Award winning Leguizamo portrays Cuban-American teacher Mario Martínez in the biographical drama. Filming in The Palm Beaches involved a combination of driving sequences with aerial drone footage along A1A in Jupiter and SR710 in Palm Beach Gardens. Not only were Palm Beach County’s picturesque landscapes sought after, but its talented youngsters as well! 30 students from G-Star School of the Arts were on set and are featured in the film, many in scenes with Leguizamo.
After festival premieres at SXSW and the New York Latino Film Festival, the film was released wide last month through Video-On-Demand (due to COVID-19 restrictions on theatrical releases) and is currently available for rent or purchase on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, DirecTV, Microsoft Store or FandangoNow. The current rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a whopping 93% approval, and as Q Network Film Desk critic James Kendrick described, the film is “an engaging and moving reminder that externally imposed limitations are meant to be shattered” (Source: rottentomatoes.com/m/critical_thinking).
"Critical Thinking" Chess Team Cast
See more about the cast, crew and where to watch at imdb.com/title/tt7870102.