TETRIS holds a special place in most gamers’ hearts. If you had a Gameboy, you probably played too much TETRIS as a kid. It was simple, addictive, innovative, and, most importantly, fun! So before I dive into my review of the good, not great movie, let’s share some #NerdAlert details about my obsession with TETRIS.

  1. As a kid – Pic #1 captures me in the late nineteenth century, being told by my mom to stop playing TETRIS and celebrate my birthday. 
  2. Eight Years ago – Pic #2 is my high score on TETRIS. I know it shows 999, but it’s around 1130 lines. On the Nintendo DS version of TETRIS, the game stopped counting your lines after 999. The story behind that high score is that I was on a plane ride and somehow managed to keep going even while we we landed. I then played in the Uber and finished it without around forty more intense moments after arriving home.
  3. How I Met My Wife – I was in Santa Barbara on a weekend trip, stood up to shake a girl’s hand, and lost my only weekend game of TETRIS to my friend. In other words, I lost a game but won a girl’s heart. 

Now let’s dive into the movie. TETRIS is an intense thriller that takes a slew of liberties to tell how one of the top-selling games ever made it out of Russia. What works well in the film is the always-engaging Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers. When the movie geeks out to tell his story, mixed with fun Nintendo cameos, it easily scores a “Tetris.” Also, the fun visual style works on every “level.” However, when the movie occasionally “pauses” to go deep into generic thriller mode, including an unrealistic car chase, it’s worse than a mistimed “t-spin.”

For a game that’s so beloved, it’s interesting that I don’t have much to say about the film about its journey to a gamer’s hands. TETRIS still scores by proving that “good ideas have no borders.” Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve happened had the film kept to the facts and not the fictional story. I guess I’ll have to “insert (more) coins” to find out.

It’s available on Apple TV+.

Aaron "Dobler" Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein is a Product Manager by day, ludicrous speed content consumer by night. He’s a LA Film School Alumni and TV Academy / Producers Guild of America member. Aaron is a proud parent and dad joke enthusiast.

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