Game Night – Movie Review

The movie that won the flip of the coin today is Game Night, a movie about 3 couples who have a game night together each week. One night, however, the main character’s brother shows up to do a game night of his own.

His night was supposed to be a murder mystery, but it goes off the rails as real criminals get involved and actual problems arise and everyone has to deduce what’s real and what’s just part of the game, which is a really fun and intriguing premise. The movie stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, along with a strong supporting cast.

Speaking of which, Game Night’s cast was spectacular. Almost everyone played a fun, enjoyable character. The only one who didn’t do this well the whole time was Billy Magnussen. He plays a character who is unbelievably stupid and has moments that feel like he is there only for a comedy bit. To me, this was just a minor annoyance and it didn’t detract from the film much, but I mention it to warn anyone who may find it as a huge problem.

The great acting throughout Game Night helps make its writing shine. There are moments written into the film’s plot and dialogue which give a nod to the audience, making  tongue-in-cheek pseudo-4th wall breaks occur. These moments brought laughter every time from the audience I saw Game Night with.

The film is visually stunning, especially the establishing shots it has. My wife even leaned over and asked how they would have gotten the shot because it was just that cool.

The pacing of the film never feels off after the first part of the movie, where it seems to trudge through establishing the world and characters. Aside from that minor gripe and the small one I mentioned earlier, however, I only have 1 major problem with this movie, which is…

The movie had no reason to be rated R other than the fact that it used the F-bomb enough times to bring it up to that level. While I realize there’s nothing I can do about swearing in a movie, I am of the mindset that you can get the same point across without swearing, and I do hate it when a film has gratuitous swearing solely meant to get it the now almost coveted ‘R’ rating.

That alone is enough for me to pull the movie down from my highest rating of Frame the Ticket. Instead, Game Night is good enough to receive a Keep the Ticket.

In the end, Game Night surprised me as, instead of giving me the dumb comedy I expected, it gave me a really smart, very comedic romp that kept me both laughing and on the edge of my seat. To give everyone a fair warning, you’ll want to stay both through the fun credits and until after the boring credits. I don’t think my theater knew this as they brought the lights up as though the movie was over, when in fact it has both a mid-credit scene and an end-credit scene.

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