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Cinematographer-turned-documentary filmmaker Patrick Creadon takes a compelling look at the brainy world of crossword puzzles, the masterminds that conceive them, and the folks who struggle to solve them in a film that offers a close look at one of America's most popular pastimes. For 12 years, the name Will Shortz has been indelibly linked to the wildly popular New York Times crossword puzzle. As filmmakers speak with Shortz and the puzzle constructors with whom he collaborates, viewers are treated to a rare look into the minds of the people whose intellect entertains a nation of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Boy, was I wrong. There's more palm-sweating suspense in one minute of this baby than in all of The Omen."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"It manages to turn an internal, solitary activity into fodder for an engaging, even exciting movie."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"A poignant inside look into the world of crossover puzzles of the NY Times."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Patrick Creadon's documentary about the New York Times crossword puzzle's creators and fans is a positively joyful movie that will appeal even to audiences who have little affinity for the mind-bending puzzles."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Director Patrick Creadon has turned crossword puzzling into a spectator sport."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"Even though these puzzles are mapped out with utmost precision -- and even though logic is an extremely useful tool for solving them -- they're still, somehow, objects of intrigue and mystery."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
"There's a surface satisfaction to Wordplay that's absolutely undeniable. But there are also just enough smarts here to make you wish for something more."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"As pleasant and good-natured as Wordplay is, it's not exactly potent stuff""
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Similar in structure to the recent movie Spellbound, Wordplay is a fun documentary about an American institution and national habit."
‑ Robert Davis, Paste Magazine
"A five-letter synonym for this movie: Zzzzz."
‑ Phil Hall, EDGE Boston
"A playful, informative and very sweet documentary about the world of words 'across' or 'down.'"
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Manages to present lively and entertaining portraits of men and women who think in boxes while working outside of them."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"If the movie emphasizes anything, it affirms that common-interest societies like this ... all survive by sharing the traits of community, devotion, and mutual dedication."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"This movie is done so well that even if you're like me and don't do crossword puzzles, you'll still be entertained."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
"Where Wordplay wins is not so much in the contest footage, but in its interviews with average, everyday crossword puzzle junkies."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Wordplay on Rotten Tomatoes