Game Night (2018)

Movie Title: Game Night

Year Released: 2018

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 33min

Genre: Comedy, Action, Mystery

Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

Writer: Mark Perez

Starring: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Jesse Plemons, Michael C. Hall, Kyle Chandler

Review: Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie's (Rachel McAdams) weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) arranges a murder mystery party -- complete with fake thugs and federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it's all supposed to be part of the game. As the competitors set out to solve the case, they start to learn that neither the game nor Brooks are what they seem to be. The friends soon find themselves in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn over the course of one chaotic night.

Game Night is a funny, screwball comedy that benefits from a very strong cast. I'm generally a fan of both Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, but the standouts here are Kyle Chandler and Jesse Plemons. Chandler plays Bateman's psychotic brother Brooks, who like everything else in this movie, is more than meets the eye. Plemons plays Bateman and McAdams' well-intended, but lonely and socially awkward neighbor. Both of these characters are hilarious for very different reasons. This film starts off strong, but mellows out a bit as most of our central characters derive most of their comedy through ineptness. Sometimes this lack of intelligence is brilliant and other times it's rather cringe-worthy. Where I think this movie really excels is blending its comedic elements with a healthy dose of action. Despite some minor inconsistencies, this movie does a good job of making us laugh while also keeping us on the edge of our seats. Who doesn't like kidnappings, heists, and wacky twists with a dash of humor? With a quick runtime, this film hits the ground running. Game Night isn't going to go down as an all-time great comedy, but it is more than sufficient as a silly, action-packed flick that's well worth your time.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Prior to filming, the cast members had their own game night so they could get to know one another and prepare for the film. They played Clue and Joking Hazard.


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