Game Night

This is, by far, the greatest date night movie of 2018. That will most certainly change soon enough, but it’s refreshing that comedies released in February can bring some serious laughs.

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) met through their love of competition – almost exclusively through party games. Every week they host a game night for their friends (the ones who don’t care about losing). And beyond avoiding their creepy police officer neighbor (Jesse Plemons) who really wants to be a part of game night, this is the life they want to live.

Until Max’s brother shows up. He’s rich, he’s handsome, and he’s taking over game night by hiring a company to treat his guests to a murder mystery adventure party. When thugs break in and kidnap his brother: Max and company are excited. What a cool game. Soon, they’ll find out just how real it’s about to get.

Game Night’s biggest strength is that it is consistently funny. We move from location to location with a purpose and with minimal dillydallying unless it’s for a solid joke. And there are quite a few solid set-piece jokes. Standouts include Annie trying to sew up Max’s arm in an alley after he gets shot, Max dripping blood all over a white dog, and any scene with Jesse Plemons in it.

There’s very good chemistry between the main characters – particularly loved the dumb jock as he gets many of the best lines. And a late game twist saves the film from being a little too by-the-numbers. Although the end is a little lackluster – complete waste of Michael C. Hall.

Funny and fun, Game Night is great group watching fare. A solid comedy for those late winter blues.

3 out of 4 stars.

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