Game Night

Run for Your Life


23 February 2018| No Comments on Game Night     by Sean Chavel



Lots of laughs, lots of creative visuals. Game Night wisely casts Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams together as married couple Max and Annie who have gone childless, perhaps because their weekly party games are not to be interrupted. The first fifteen minutes is a great run of geek game comedy, trivia, pop references, dance-offs, and an introduction of their creepy neighbor and divorced cop Gary (Jesse Plemons) who so badly wants to fit in. When Max’s more accomplished brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) comes to town (it mostly feels like he’s there solely to upstage his little brother), older Brooks insists to host game night at his swanky mansion.

His game night has a murder mystery theme. When thugs come crashing in to thrash the place, and Brooks along with it, Max and Annie and the other two couples believe that it’s all part of the elaborate kidnapping-cum-murder-mystery. It’s the real thing, but they don’t catch on right away. Part of the comic mischief is how the plot deludes these characters – and fools the audience – in being unsure of what’s part of the game night scheme and what’s really a mobster-related crime predicament.

There’s tons of pop cultural references, for me, what’s fun is when they crash a decadent mansion that has the debauched feel of both “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Fight Club,” and the characters know those movies, too. Danny Huston doesn’t have much of a role as the man of the mansion, but he has one sinister look that gets a big laugh. There’s a jostle for a Faberge-egg that’s done in one long tracking shot which is something of a movie lover’s dessert.

Too many clichés keep it from being great, but “Game Night” is thoroughly entertaining nonetheless. There’s violence in the movie but it’s not really revolting, however, it can get redundant. Bateman and McAdams nevertheless make up a terrifically quirky comedy team, both of them a little neurotic in a way that really clicks. Plemons is a four-time (maybe five) scene-stealer as a passive-aggressive pest who wants to show others he has a big heart, but just doesn’t know how to show his heart in an uncreepy way. And last, there’s an actor who is supposed to be a stand-in for Denzel Washington, and looks nothing like him, and that’s part of what makes it funny.

100 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “After Hours” (1985); “The Game” (1997); “Fight Club” (1999); “Horrible Bosses” (2011).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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