Film review: Game Night is one of the funniest films of the year

Jason Bateman as Max and Rachel McAdams as Annie in Game Night. Picture: WARNER BROS

Jason Bateman as Max and Rachel McAdams as Annie in Game Night. Picture: WARNER BROS - Credit: Warner Bros.

For some audiences it might be easy to dismiss Game Night as the sort of risible comedy often churned out following awards season and before the big Easter and Summer blockbusters.

It is a joy to report that John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s black comedy thriller is a delight.

The film revolves around competitive couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) whose regular game night with their friends descends into a violent, real-life mystery when Max’s charismatic older brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) gets involved.

From Annie disastrously trying to remove a bullet from Max’s arm to a tense, frenzied chase through sinister criminal Donald Anderton’s (Danny Huston) luxurious mansion Daley and Goldstein, along with screenwriter Mark Perez, deftly balance the film’s mixture of dark humour, mystery and action; teasing the audience with enough clues to the central mystery but withholding enough to shock them later on with a number of bizarre and hilarious revelations.

Performance-wise the film is also strong.


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Bateman and McAdams are a fine double act, beautifully capturing the couple’s bemusement and fear of the situation they find themselves plunged into and their determination to save themselves and their friends.

Chandler is also impressive, exuding charm and sleaze as the unscrupulous but loving Brooks.

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Driven by strong work from McAdams, Bateman and Chandler, Perez’s biting, riotous script and Daley and Goldstein’s powerful direction Game Night is a gripping laugh-out -loud, jet black comedy and one of the funniest films of the year.

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