Word Wars
2004
In this character-driven documentary, filmmakers Eric Chaikin and Julian Petrillo follow four "word nerds" through their fastidious preparations and smaller tournaments that lead to the national championship Scrabble tournament in San Diego in 2002. Our favorite contender: Joel Sherman, a true dork with acid reflux trouble (he constantly quaffs Maalox) and no other discernable job besides playing Scrabble.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

It's neat to see how elite Scrabble players operate, such a memorizing letter combinations so that they can alphabetize their rack at any time and immediately recall a top-scoring word for that string of seven letters. The movie wants to dig into the personalities of these men, but what's there to find out? They're nerdy, lonely losers, but at least they found one thing that they're good at and that they enjoy. The movie's willingness to show cursing, drug use, and prostitution is definitely a change of pace from other family-friendly game-obsession documentaries.

− April 9, 2013 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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