Game Night, rated R
Game Night is a very funny adult comedy with a good cast, but has some content issues. The film is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who co-wrote Horrible Bosses and co-directed Vacation; it is written by Mark Perez.
Three-time Golden Globe nominee Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) plays Max. He is married to and very much in love with Annie, played by Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams (Spotlight). Bateman and McAdams have great screen chemistry. As a married couple they are so close, they often know what the other is thinking and finish each other’s thoughts. Their one issue is that thus far they have not been able to start a family. They love games, are very competitive, and host a regular game night at their home with friends. Those friends don’t include the strange neighbor and policeman Gary, played by Jesse Plemons, who wants to be invited to the game nights.
On this particular night, the game players are Ryan, played by Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods, The Big Short), a friend of Annie’s. Ryan brings a different date to each game night. On this night, his date is Sarah, played by Emmy nominee Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe). Kevin, played by Lamorne Morris (New Girl) is married to Michelle, played by Kylie Bunbury. Brooks, Max’s brother who has always been more successful than him, is played by Emmy winner Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights).
Brooks, always looking to one-up Max, invites the group to a special game night at his place. He promises that it will be the best game night they’ve ever had.
They won’t be playing a board game, but instead it will be a mystery night in which one of the players will be kidnapped and the rest will have to solve the crime.
As the players gather at the mansion he is renting, we see masked kidnappers take Brooks while the rest of the players look on enjoying their snacks, assuming it is all part of the game. But it turns out that these are real kidnappers who abduct him before the fake kidnappers can get there. It turns out that Brooks’ successful investing career wasn’t all that he made it out to be and now he is paying for it. From there, we see one crazy development after another as Max and Annie work as a team to rescue Brooks.
The entertaining plot takes some interesting twists and turns and there are several laugh out loud moments. There are plenty of movie references and a car chase.
Content issues include a significant amount of adult language, some of it of a sexual nature, and many abuses of God’s and Jesus’s names. The film also contains a significant amount of violence.
Note of caution: The previews at our theater were pretty raunchy, so you might want to arrive 15 minutes late.
Game Night is a very funny well-acted film with a good cast. It contains some positive messages but also has some content concerns. Themes include sibling rivalry, competition, marriage, children and sacrifice for others.