Game Night

Jason is more of a charades kind of guy
7/10 - Game Night serves up an unexpected plot with enough dark humour to keep viewers engaged for the entire 100-minute runtime
Release Date: 
Friday, March 2, 2018
Written by: 

Game Night follows married couple Max and Annie, whose weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother arranges a murder-mystery party.


With an original storyline and plenty of silliness, Game Night offers up a surprising number of laughs.

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the co-writers of Horrible Bosses and Spider-Man: Homecoming, the story follows married couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams).

The duo spends their free time hosting game nights for their pals, including Kevin (Lamorne Morris), his wife Michelle (Kylie Banbury), and womaniser Ryan (Billy Magnussen), who typically brings along whatever model he's dating.

They also throw a lot of effort into trying to conceal their gatherings from their creepy police officer neighbour Gary (Jesse Plemons), who used to attend alongside his former wife Debbie.

One night, Max's super successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) rocks up to the party, proceeding to humiliate him by sharing an embarrassing story during charades, and then inviting everyone to come to his bachelor pad for the chance to play in a real high stakes game.

What starts out as a murder-mystery game, with the winner getting the keys to a Corvette Stingray, suddenly kicks up a notch when "actors" break into the house and drag Brooks away, with the participants believing his abduction was all part of the game - until they are all drawn into an actual criminal plot.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Writer Mark Perez offers up a tightly formatted narrative, packed with twists and turns that truly keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. But it's Bateman and McAdams who carry the story throughout the 100-minute runtime, and have a great chemistry, as evident in their comfortable banter.

While Bateman relies on his characteristic deadpan delivery, McAdams brings natural charm and wit to the role, with her performance harking back to her Mean Girls days. A highlight of the film has to be a scene involving the pair attempting a bullet removal using a box cutter, squeaky pet toy and bottle of cheap wine.

Morris offers up plenty of comedic moments and a great Denzel Washington impression, while Magnussen does his best as the group's dimwit, who unexpectedly falls in love with his work colleague Sarah (Sharon Horgan).

Chandler has fun with his role after starring in a series of more serious films, such as Manchester by the Sea, while a dead-eyed Plemons nails his part, and by using a monotone delivery, fills each of his scenes with suspense.

Daley and Goldstein do a good job of winding together the various story threads, including a subplot about Max and Annie wanting to have a baby and Kevin learning of Michelle's relationship with a "celebrity" in her youth, though the story becomes more and more absurd in the third act.

So, while Game Night probably won't win any awards for outstanding cinema, it does keep viewers totally engaged, and turns out to be a whole lot of fun popcorn viewing.

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