Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams in Game Night
[Image: Warner Bros]

‘Game Night’

 

Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

 

Starring: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Jesse Plemons, Michael C. Hall, Jeffrey Wright, Danny Huston, Chelsea Peretti

 

Rating: R

 

3 (Out Of) 5 Globes

 

 

Plot: Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) host a regular game night for friends Kevin (Lamorne Morris), Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and his revolving date, which they also dominate on each occasion because they are so competitive.

 

It has to be held on the sly, though, due to the prying eyes of Max and Annie’s neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons), who pines to be invited. 

The return of Brooks (Kyle Chandler), Max’s very successful big brother, immediately puts Max on edge, though, especially when he organizes his own murder mystery night, which proves to be much more real than any of those involved actually realize. 

Review: “Game Night” is a comedy that often feels like it is on the cusp of falling apart. 

 

While its jokes are solid, they’re never overly remarkable, and it is constantly trying to be a legitimate thriller, something that it never comes close to achieving. 

 

But “Game Night” always has an ace up its sleeve that pulls you back in. Most of the time that’s simply down to the patter between its cast. Not only are the separate pairings of Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman, Billy Magnussen and Sharon Horgan, and Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury eminently watchable and entertaining, but the group is just as humorous when they're together.

 

They’re also aided by scene-stealing turns from Kyle Chandler as the wily but alluring Brooks, and Jesse Plemons as the creepy neighbor that’s jealous of the game night. And while “Game Night” doesn’t give David Fincher anything to worry about, its twists and reveals just do enough to keep you interested. 

 

All of which makes “Game Night” a lively and exciting enough romp to watch unfold, even if it is completely frivolous.