Daily reviews and interviews

Some Assembly Required

D: Dori Berinstein

This feel-good documentary about children who take part in the annual TOYchallenge competition can't help but make you laugh. Launched by former NASA astronaut Sally Ride (who executive produced), the competition encourages fifth- through eighth-graders to learn about science and engineering through collaboratively designing a toy or game. Berinstein's cleverly crafted film (toys from yesteryear mark the film's act breaks) follows eight diverse teams from across the U.S. as they prepare for the national competition. The toys are interesting, but it's really all about the kids. Wacky, earnest, beguiling, and often witty beyond their years, the film is reminiscent of previous documentaries in which kids deliver more than even their adult mentors dared to imagine (Spellbound, Mad Hot Ballroom). Some Assembly Required is also appealing for its unintentional message: In spite of the burdens of adulthood, there's always time for play.

Thursday, March 13, 11am, Paramount

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Sake-Bomb'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Amy Smith, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Milo'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Marjorie Baumgarten, March 15, 2013

More by Belinda Acosta
Margaret Moser Tribute: Rose Reyes
Rose Reyes
“She was the leadership in Austin journalism that made sure women, Latinos, blacks, and youth weren’t overlooked”

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

June 30, 2017

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)