Since he was five years old, Jose’s abuelita taught him to play chess like his grandfather, who was a champion in Mexico. Now as part of the Brownsville school team, Jose has the chance to use his skills for once in his life and finds himself in the spotlight as he tries to help his team make it to the Texas finals. As their coach, Mr. Alvarado teaches his students the meaning of perseverance and team effort in the face of adversity. Jose discovers his own strengths and uses them to bring his broken family together.
“Endgame” is an appropriately titled movie that strongly makes the point that results are what counts. The film, inspired by true events, features strong performances from Rico Rodriguez as Jose, Ivonne Coll as Abuelita, Efren Ramirez as Coach Alvarado, and Alina Herrera as Jose’s best friend, Dani.
The story centers on Jose and his struggle of living in older brother Miguel’s shadow. Miguel is a superb soccer player, and his Brownsville, Texas team is on the verge of winning a championship. He has a close relationship with their mother, who absentmindedly overlooks Jose a lot. Jose becomes angry and destructive and even destroys a trophy of Miguel’s at school. But when the principal gives him detention, Coach Alvarado works with Jose and other students to start a chess team. Jose enjoys the support of his grandmother who, along with his deceased grandfather, taught him how to play chess. His life starts to improve, but then tragedy strikes in more ways than one. A terrible accident claims Jose’s brother’s life, and one of the strongest chess players, Jose’s best friend Dani, is deported, along with her parents. Will Jose be able to overcome the bitter disappointments and continue with his efforts to help his team win in a major competition? Even his coach says he has sold pickles to have enough gas money to keep driving the team to events. Will Jose’s perseverance make a difference?
The film is inspirational, but we should mention that some kids make fun of the coach behind his back, and a young man is disrespectful to his mother and to the principal. Some underage kids drink, and the driver has a beer and is texting, and then they get into a terrible accident. The kids in the movie mature quite a bit by film’s end. “Endgame” is awarded our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. Its themes include perseverance and resilience. Parents should consult our content listing to make informed decisions about their kids watching the film. The movie shows what a little love and faith can do to turn a life around.