Game Night

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Let’s face it folks we all like games, except maybe the ones that involve our hearts, but that’s for another day. Everywhere you look there are games for us adults and I am not talking about a Friday night playing Hungry Hungry Hippos. Instead we have adult games that involve us being locked in a room while we look for clues to get ourselves out or playing words with friends while we ignore the actual friends in front of us. It’s a simple reason why we love to play these games, we love to beat the people we play against. It seems with games now, it’s more about the extreme and I am not talking about playing Clue with real weapons, no instead I am talking about “Game Night”.

Max (Jason Bateman) is that guy you take to a bar trivia contest because he knows all the answers. It is at one of those contests he meets his match in Annie (Rachel McAdams) and their life really becomes fun and games. Friday nights is their game night with the same group of friends which includes, Kevin (Lamorne Morris), Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) Ryan (Billy Magnussen), and the random different girl he brings every week. Max and Annie’s goal is simple, have some fun and try to keep their creepy neighbor Officer Kingsbury (Jesse Plemons) from knowing they are ever having a game night. The continuity is thrown for a loop when Max’s better and more successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) calls and wants to join in one night. The following week Brooks hosts the game night. When they all arrive, Brooks has set up a game where he is kidnapped, and it is up to the players to follow the clues and find him. The game though becomes real, but only Brooks knows the truth and what was once a game now becomes a real whodunit.

I have to say I was not really looking forward to another bad Jason Bateman film when I first saw this, but boy was I wrong. Writer Mark Perez delivers a fun and surprisingly good time with a story that feels tailor made for both Bateman and McAdams. The way the story unfolds feels fresh and while Bateman is more a miss than a hit with his one note act, that note is in perfect tune in this one. I found myself laughing out loud more than I have in a movie in a while and wanted to plan my own game night with hopes it is half as fun as this movie. Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein delivers something sharp that feels a little ahead in its delivery. It’s not just Bateman and McAdams who are good, it’s the whole cast, especially Plemons who plays creepy so well. I really had low expectations going in to this and I am so glad I was wrong. “Game Night” is a great way to spend an evening at the movies because unlike any other game you play everyone will leave a winner.

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